Chameleon Shedding Procedure, Care, and Reasons Uncovered

Chameleon Shedding

Chameleons are captivating reptiles due to the variety of characteristics they acquire, ranging from a sticking-out long tongue to catch insects to puffing up and changing colors.

All of these characteristics set the Chameleon apart from other reptiles. It becomes difficult for their owners to deal with their unique qualities because their exceptional qualities can be difficult to comprehend at occasions.

 Are you upset that your chameleon has begun to shed? Don’t worry because this article will help you answer your mind’s mysteries concerning your pet chameleon’s shedding.

Acknowledging the Chameleon Shedding Process from the Ground Up:

Chameleons shed their surface skin when they become relatively young, like all other reptiles. Older chameleons have also been witnessed peeling away their skin in order to activate their balances and accommodate weight changes in weight.


It seems to be an illness to those who have only recently begun keeping Chameleons as pets; even so, it is completely normal practice.

Chameleon skin shedding is a procedure in which this lizard isolates its outer layer to start taking out new skin beneath with the assistance of a liquid, which after evaporation tends to leave the flaking skin cracked off. 

When it comes to skin shedding, it is best not to increase the humidity for the Chameleons because it causes the skin to dry out and crack.

Shedding is a completely normal action, and a healthy shedding will indeed take a couple of hours to produce new skin. The unhealthful skin removal of a Chameleon, however, can last for several days, and usually causes the skin to start coming off one by one.

There’s no need to worry if your chameleon lizard is rubbing its skin against a piece of wood or a wall.

This procedure aids the Chameleon in removing the skin. Chameleons also try to remove their surface with their feet to reveal brightly colored new skin.

The Reasons Chameleons Shed Their Skin


The primary reason for chameleons trying to shed their skin, particularly when they are young, is to handle growth and development. Chameleons develop quickly when they are infants. The upper surface of chameleon skin is slender and clear, and it plays an important role in the animal’s color-changing abilities.

Skin shedding

To Remove Dead Skin:

Shedding for chameleons is motivated by the desire to rejuvenate old skin cells and maintain themselves neat and tidy. Take into account your human skin and how dead skin is removed whenever you try certain spots when you clean it. Shedding in chameleons serves a similar purpose.

After a wash, you look brand relatively clean, and the same is true for chameleons. The Chameleon’s hues and colors only become more brilliant as it progresses through the shedding system. When chameleons enter maturity, they shed their skin to accommodate body weight rather than development.

What Can Go Wrong With Bad Sheds?

Sad to say, chameleon shedding does not go nicely. A chameleon could encounter himself being unable to release all pieces of its skin that is shedding on occasions, and pieces – occasionally a large number of pieces may become trapped on the body. This can have serious consequences for your lizard’s standard of living and daily movement.

Chameleon shedding skin
Credit: photobucket

For instance, if the skin remains enclosed all over your lizard’s feet, blood circulation to the affected area may be restricted. If not handled, this can lead to necrosis and the destruction of the toe.

If this happens across several toes at the same time, it could result in the loss of multiple digits.

This might cause severe anxiety, irritation, and, possibly, the lizard’s failure to perch and live normally.

Skin that becomes trapped in the eyes or mouth can cause vision loss or mouth rot. If large amounts of skin adhere to the lizard’s body, this might affect the lizard’s opportunity to walk like usual.

Reasons for a Troubling Shed

There are several factors that contribute to a troublesome shed in your chameleon lizard, all of which must be addressed to prevent health problems in your pet.

Inadequate Humidity:

A sufficient liquid layer can be hauled from expanding between the Chameleon’s skin layers by low humidity which may result in poor shedding. Besides that, it can cause chameleons to become dehydrated or suffer from breathing issues.


Stress has the potential to cause a wide range of health problems, from chest diseases to inappetence. It can also end up causing chameleons to shed improperly, so it is critical that you keep your pet in a healthy, calm, and reduced stress environment.


 Illness can occasionally result in poor sheds. But even so, once the illness has passed, your lizard will generally resume normal shedding but it is suggested that you avoid such instances altogether and try to keep your pet chameleon as healthy as you can.   


One of the most common causes of a troublesome shed in a Chameleon is dehydration. A well-hydrated Chameleon that has been supplied with water on a routine basis by its caretaker is much more likely to shed effectively than a parched one.


Insects and other external parasites frequently cause shedding issues, so it is critical to investigate your pet chameleon on a regular basis for any indications of biting insects.


Injuries, especially those involving your pet’s skin, can make it extremely difficult for your reptile to shed appropriately. They also might involve skin cuts and bruises, which will cause your lizard to shed a great amount of very tiny chunks instead of fewer, bigger ones.

Helpful Tips & Tricks for Trouble-Free Sheds in Chameleon

Understanding why chameleons shed is a good starting point if you are seeking to avoid these problems, but you’ll need to enforce a few methods to help lessen the chances that you’ll see skin adhering to your pet’s skin in any way.

  • Test with ventilation in your pet’s environment. Chameleons do not thrive in stagnant environments, so proper ventilation is essential for their care. Extreme ventilation, on the other hand, will significantly impair proper moisture levels.As a result, you’ll frequently need to explore to identify the perfect amount of ventilation for your chameleon’s habitat.
  • Buy and use a hygrometer. Inexperienced keepers frequently have difficulty determining the humidity level in their pet’s terrarium. Considering the significance of having consistent humidity and temperature for chameleons, all owners – especially new ones – should buy and insert a hygrometer.
  • Focus on providing drinking water in a variety of ways. You may provide water in a variety of ways in addition to tracking your pet to make sure it drinks enough water. You may need to insert a sprinkler system and mist the habitat on regular basis, for instance. If your pet is a participant of a plant-eating species, you can spray the veggies you give it.
  • Keep an eye out for signs of illness in your chameleon. As previously stated, the disease can cause chameleons to shed. As a result, you’ll want to keep an eye on your chameleon for the smallest signs of disease and act quickly if you suspect it is ill.
  • Inspect the enclosure temperatures regularly. Heat stress in the cage may hasten the percentage at which your chameleon ends up losing water. This will result in dehydration, which will make shedding complicated. Therefore it is imperative that you use a high-quality thermometer.
  • To reduce excess handling, you’ll want to make absolutely sure your pet’s enclosures always have more than enough hiding spots and visual barriers . Moreover, including plants – regardless of whether live or artificial – in the enclosure is the ideal way to do so.
  • Take precautions to keep parasites away from your pet. If you begin with a captive-bred animal from a reputable source, your lizard should be free of parasites from the beginning. But even so, if you do not take strict hygiene and quarantine precautions, you may unintentionally bring mites back home to your reptile.
  • Investigate your pet’s environment to ensure that there are no safety hazards. Injury problems can inhibit your lizard from shedding appropriately, so develop a habit of examining your pet’s habitat on a regular basis for anything that could cause injuries and addressing these issues as soon as possible.

What Happens to a Chameleon’s Surface Skin When it Sheds?

When a chameleon is ready to shed, it will show a few signs and changes in behavior. You shouldn’t be concerned about these changes; nevertheless, they will help you realize to pay special attention to when your Chameleon begins to shed.

Consuming Fewer Calories:

This is not true for all Chameleons, but some may stray from their normal eating habits a few days before shedding. Chameleons can go without food for a few days at a time, and it’s usually nothing to worry about.

Skin Appears Drier: 

This is related to the white spots. When your pet Chameleon is about to shed, its skin may appear drier, but this can also be due to lower moisture and hydration levels.

Trying to Act Restless:

Chameleons can act agitated for a variety of reasons; even so, if they’re trying to move around a lot, it could be a sign that they’re about to shed their skin.

Shedding is a very stressful task for a chameleon, and it may become more hostile than usual while shedding. If you notice your Chameleon acting restless, keep an eye on them from a safe distance, and you’ll most likely notice them going to shed shortly enough.

White Spots: 

These are one of the primary conditions that a chameleon is starting to shed, and they are also the primary sign that is misinterpreted as something more severe. White spots will appear on your Chameleon’s body and will grow larger., If you look closely, you should be able to see that this is a surface that is attempting to loosen off your Chameleon’s body and will eventually fall off.

Rubs Body on Branches:

Chameleons will rub their bodies against branches to begin the process of removing their skin. This is why it’s critical to have gentle branches, as your Chameleon could injure itself if you don’t.

How Can You Make Sure That the Chameleons Shed their Skin Properly?

The path to a good shed is to make sure they have adequate supplementation levels, particularly calcium, and that they are well-cared for overall. Likewise, it is critical that they are well-hydrated and that their humidity levels are adequate.

Credit: chameleonacademy

When a chameleon is dehydrated and exposed to dry air, the skin can become trapped to them, starting to cause the chameleon to become more upset in shedding or not having parts of the skin shed at all.

Does Skin Shedding Hurt a Chameleon?

The shedding process does not harm a Chameleon; although, it is very aggravating and inconvenient for them, causing a lot of itching. Chameleons have been noted hissing and puckering their mouths wider in response to stress and irritation. Moreover, the annoyance and stress cause them to attempt to eliminate skin parts with their mouth at points of time.

To Sum Up

Shedding is an unavoidable part of owning a chameleon as a pet. Don’t be surprised if you notice their skin turning white and flaking off. No, your scaly buddy hasn’t decided to become a mother; they’re simply getting rid of skin cells they don’t need. Keep a close eye on them and allow the process to unfold. Your chameleon will emerge healthier and livelier than before.


Do Chameleons shed their skin when they are stressed?

Chameleons do not shed their skin as a result of stress; rather, it is a natural process that assists the Chameleon in cleaning up. The behavior of shedding is incredibly exhausting for the Chameleon, but it is not the response to a stressed Chameleon.

Chameleon stress symptoms include color change (dark tones), dropped eyes, hissing, listlessness, and so on.

What is the purpose of Chameleons eating their shed skin?

It appears strange and worrisome, but it is nothing to be concerned about. Chameleons consume their shed skin to replenish nutrients lost during shedding.
One other reason to eat shredded skin is to leave no trace of the predator in the wild. If there are indications of shed skin, animals will easily monitor the prey’s existence and ultimately hunt it down.

How long should it take a chameleon to shed?

In some cases, they can be independent of their undesired skin in as little as 15 minutes. But even if, as they get older, the time required to shed their skin elongates. An adult chameleon may shed in a few hours, a couple of days, or probably longer, depending on genus and length.

About The Author

Rimsha Rasheed is a Nutritionist by profession, a reptile lover and a researcher. Rimsha has joined our team as a diligent writer who reassesses all the facts through professional help to curate a perfect care guide for you and your pet.

Rimsha Rasheed

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