Chameleon Shedding: Common Myths & Best Practices

In the simplest terms, shedding, or ‘ecdysis’ if we want to get scientific, is when a chameleon replaces its old skin with new skin. You see, our scaly friends don’t have the luxury of growing continuously like we do. As they mature and grow bigger, they need to shed their existing skin to make room for a fresh, new layer.

Think about it like this: Imagine you’re still wearing the clothes you had when you were ten. They’d be quite snug, wouldn’t they? A chameleon’s skin is like those clothes – as they grow, they need to ‘change’ into a new, larger outfit to accommodate their increasing size.

This process is completely natural and a vital part of a chameleon’s life cycle.

How Often Do Chameleons Shed Their Skin?

As an avid chameleon keeper, I’ve witnessed the shedding process firsthand many times. Every chameleon is unique, and the frequency of their shedding depends on several factors. In my own experience and from the experiences of other fellow keepers I’ve chatted with, there are a few general rules.

Young chameleons, especially those in their rapid growth phase, often shed their skin more frequently, as often as every 3 to 4 weeks! Can you imagine that? This is because they are growing at a brisk pace and their old skin can’t keep up with their increasing body size. So, like a child outgrowing their clothes, young chameleons constantly need to “change their outfit”.

Adult chameleons, however, don’t shed as frequently. Once they’ve reached their full size, their skin doesn’t need to make room for growth as often. So, they might shed every couple of months or so. Again, every chameleon is unique, so don’t worry if your chameleon’s shedding schedule doesn’t match these exactly.

How Long Does Chameleon Take to Shed?