Shedding skin in chameleons

A chameleon will shed its skin to renew it. When it is young it will shed skin much more often (every 3 to 4 weeks) than when it is older (once every two months). When a chameleon sheds its skin, you will see flakes of white skin all over its body. It will generally just fall off by itself, sometimes the chameleon will scrape skin off using branches or its legs.

Sometimes a chameleon will refuse to eat around its shedding time. This is normal and you should not worry about it. Its skin could also start to look whitish or dull, this shows you that the skin is loosening up and will soon shed.

Shedding skin should take between a few hours and a day for veiled chameleons. After this time there shouldn’t be any more white flakes on its body. When young shedding is fast, when the chameleons gets older it will take a bit more time. If you notice that shedding skin takes longer than 2 – 3 days, it can be an indication that something is wrong.

The most common cause of slow shedding is low air humidity. It is very important that you keep the air humidity high enough for your chameleon. This will loosen the skin and makes shedding much easier. If shedding takes longer, up the amount of water spraying, add more live plants to the terrarium or close some ventilation.

When your chameleon is shedding but does not seem to progress for days, you should help it out. Do not pull the dead skin off, but rather give your chameleon a shower. You could spray him with lukewarm water to loosen the skin. Keep the air humidity in this terrarium higher than usual until its skin is off. Make sure it has enough rough surfaces to scrape its skin off with. When you notice an especially tight piece of skin on your chameleons legs or tail you should remove it carefully as it could reduce the blood flow to the extremities of your chameleon.

Do not worry if your chameleon has a few patches of white old skin on its body. Use this as an indication that you should keep its environment more humid than you did previously.

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