Reptile Function

Cyclura Shedding and Helpful Tips

Cyclura in shed.

Cyclura in shed.

Cyclura young babies seem to be always shedding in one area or another through the whole year. It is absolutely normal. But as they get older they shed less often and to a point that it is about once a year.

If you provide optimal living conditions for your Cyclura it will shed on it’s own without any extra help. You know your Cyclura is getting ready to shed when some skin starts looks too light or too dark and dry. Iguanas also get a bit itchy during that time and like to rub their bodies against hard surfaces or even flooring.

Once in a while you will see a patch of a very dry old skin area that may need a little help shedding. If this happens, don’t try to rip it or scratch it off with your fingers. You can damage growing skin underneath and create a permanent damage.

To help your Cyclura shed you can use these tips:

Make sure the cage has higher humidity to help with shedding. You can mist it once a day or so.

You can give your Cyclura a bath. Use water temperature 75-85F, fill the tub 1/4 way, so iguana can still stand  in it and let iguana soak for 10-20 min.

You can use fresh aloe juice from the plant and rub it in the problem area of the skin.

You can also use a coconut oil in the problem spot. But don’t use too much of it because it can also act as sunblock.

Unscented Baby lotion can be used as well.

Do cycluras eat their own shed skin? You may also have noticed that your Cyclura eats the shed skin. This is normal and can happen often.

Shed skin from Cyclura

Shed skin from Cyclura

Yasha, our oldest Cyclura female seems to act very aggressive towards her shed skin and will “attack” it and eat it  viciously. Rather funny and gross at the same time.

Two large skin pieces that came off Yasha's belly.

Two large skin pieces that came off Yasha’s belly.

The two large shed skin pieces came off Yasha and I was able to take them away before she decided to eat them. I guess she wasn’t that hungry that day.

Our Cyclura male Casanova likes to groom himself and will lick and eat shedding skin off his body if he can reach it with his snout.

And some other Cyclura we have will just shed and ignore the dead skin. I guess they all have different preferences and habits.

Photos are curtesy of Renata Carlseen.

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