Crested Gecko Skin Infection: Signs, Causes & Treatment

Crested gecko skin infection is basically any condition that affects the integrity of their skin, leading to symptoms such as redness, swelling, flaking, or even the presence of unusual spots or bumps.

Skin infection in crested geckos can be a result of various causes, like bacteria, fungi, parasites, or even an improper shed.

Common Crested Gecko Skin Infections

Below are some of the most common skin infections you might come across as a crested gecko parent:

1. Bacterial Dermatitis: This is a common skin issue caused by bacteria, often characterized by redness, swelling, and sometimes, open sores. My little buddy, Spots, once had this issue when his terrarium was a bit too humid. It was heartbreaking to see him uncomfortable, but with proper care and a visit to the vet, he bounced back quite fast.

2. Fungal Infections: Fungal infections can cause white, patchy areas on your crested gecko’s skin. Remember, it’s not the usual shedding we’re talking about. It’s an uneven, crusty layer that doesn’t go away after a good shed. That’s your cue to consult a vet.

3. Parasitic Infections: Parasites like mites can cause an array of skin issues, from irritation and redness to more severe infections. Keeping a clean environment is essential to prevent these pesky critters from bothering your gecko.

4. Dysecdysis (Improper Shedding): Improper shedding can lead to skin issues if not addressed promptly. In fact, my gecko, Luna, had a tough time shedding completely once. Some skin remained on her toes, which I knew could lead to problems if left unattended. With a little help from a damp q-tip, we managed to get her toes back to normal!

These are just some of the skin infections your crested gecko might encounter. Being aware of these common issues and knowing what to look for is the first step towards ensuring your pet’s health.

Signs of Skin Infection in Crested Geckos

Spotting a skin infection in crested geckos can sometimes be a bit of a challenge. But don’t worry, as a long-time keeper of these fascinating creatures and having navigated this issue myself, I’m here to help you understand what to look out for.

Remember, the earlier we can identify an issue, the better chances we have to get our geckos back to their healthy, happy selves. So, let’s get into it.

1: Skin Discoloration: Look for any areas of abnormal coloration on the gecko’s skin, such as redness, darkening, or unusual patterns. In some cases, the affected skin may appear pale or discolored compared to healthy skin.

2: Bumps, Pustules, or Lesions: Observe the gecko’s skin for the presence of raised bumps, pustules (pus-filled blisters), or open sores. These can indicate an infection or skin irritation.

3: Swelling or Edema: If the affected area appears swollen or puffy, it may be a sign of an infection.

4: Abnormal Shedding: Shedding issues can often lead to skin infections in crested geckos. If you notice your gecko is having trouble shedding or if there are pieces of old skin that haven’t been shed properly, it might indicate an underlying skin infection.

5: Itching or Rubbing: If you notice your gecko repeatedly scratching, rubbing against objects, or exhibiting excessive grooming behavior, it could indicate skin discomfort or irritation.

6: Loss of Appetite or Weight: In some cases, a skin infection may cause a decrease in appetite or weight loss in crested geckos. However, these symptoms can also be associated with other health issues, so it’s essential to consider them alongside other signs.

7: Abnormal Behavior: Geckos with skin infections may display changes in behavior, such as increased lethargy, hiding more than usual, or being less active overall. They may also exhibit signs of discomfort or pain.

8: Limping or Difficulty in Moving: If the skin infection is affecting a certain part of the body, your gecko might start limping or show difficulty in climbing or moving around.

Causes of Skin Infection in Crested Geckos


Crested gecko skin infections can be attributed to various factors. These may range from environmental conditions to diet and even stress.

It’s important to note that the exact cause might differ from one gecko to another, as each has its unique living conditions and health status. But let’s get into the specifics.

Environmental Factors

Temperature, humidity, and cleanliness are crucial factors in your gecko’s environment that can lead to skin infections.

Crested geckos thrive in environments with temperatures between 72-80 degrees Fahrenheit and humidity levels around 60-80%. If these conditions are not maintained, it can cause stress to your gecko’s skin and lead to infections.

Also, a dirty enclosure can harbor harmful bacteria and fungi that can infect your gecko’s skin. Remember the time we discussed the importance of regular cleaning? It’s not just for aesthetics but for their health too!

The Role of Diet

Just as we humans need a balanced diet for healthy skin, so do our gecko pals. A deficiency in essential nutrients can result in poor skin health and increase the likelihood of infections.

For instance, lack of calcium can lead to a condition called Metabolic Bone Disease, which indirectly affects the skin health of crested geckos. So, keep an eye on their diet! You know how I always say, “A healthy gecko is a happy gecko!”

Stress Factors

Stress in crested geckos can be a sneaky cause of skin infections. Improper handling or sudden changes in the environment can stress your gecko, leading to a weakened immune system and susceptibility to skin infections.

Take it from me, my little buddy Spike didn’t handle the move to our new apartment very well and ended up with a nasty skin infection. Let’s keep our gecko’s environment as stress-free as possible, shall we?

As pet owners, we hold a significant role in preventing skin infections in our crested geckos. Ensuring the enclosure’s cleanliness, maintaining the right temperature and humidity, providing a balanced diet, and minimizing stress are all part of responsible pet ownership.

Treatment for Skin Infection

I understand how disheartening it can be to spot signs of skin infection in your beloved pet. But don’t worry, I’m here to share my experiences and offer some guidance on how to navigate this challenging time.

Just remember, while my advice comes from personal experience and research, it’s crucial to consult with a professional vet for accurate diagnosis and treatment.

1. Topical Treatments

In many instances, topical treatments can be an effective first line of defense against mild skin infections in crested geckos. These usually come in the form of creams or ointments that contain antifungal or antibacterial properties.

When I encountered a skin infection with my crested gecko, Larry, I was advised to gently clean the affected area with warm water and a mild soap before applying the medication.

2. Oral Medications

In some cases, topical treatments may not be enough, and your vet might recommend oral medications. These are typically antibiotics or antifungal medications, depending on the cause of the infection.

Be prepared – administering oral medication to a small creature like a gecko can be a bit tricky, but with patience and gentle handling, you’ll get the hang of it!

3. Environmental Adjustments

Don’t forget the power of prevention! One crucial aspect of treatment involves adjusting your gecko’s environment to prevent future infections. This could mean tweaking the humidity levels, improving the cleanliness of the enclosure, or even changing the type of substrate you’re using.

For Larry, I found that reducing the humidity and switching to a paper towel substrate during his treatment period really helped his recovery.

4. Vet Intervention

In severe cases, or if the infection doesn’t improve with initial treatments, a visit to the vet might be necessary. They may need to physically remove dead tissue or drain abscesses.

This can sound scary, but it’s done under safe conditions and often with anesthesia to keep your little friend comfortable.

5. Time and Patience

Finally, remember that healing takes time. It can be hard to watch your pet go through this, but with the right care and treatment, they can bounce back. Patience is key during this time.

Prevention of Skin Infections in Crested Geckos


Now that we’ve covered the signs, causes, and treatment of crested gecko skin infections, let’s delve into what we all really want – to prevent these issues in the first place! Because who wouldn’t want their little crestie to stay happy and healthy, right?

1. Clean Habitat: The First Step to Prevention

Firstly, a clean habitat is a non-negotiable for our scaly buddies. Crested geckos are tidy creatures by nature and they thrive in a clean environment.

Regular spot cleaning is a must, and a full deep clean every month can work wonders. Personal tip? I like to use a mild reptile-safe disinfectant during deep cleans, ensuring all nooks and crannies are free from any potential bacteria that could harm my gecko.

2. Correct Temperature and Humidity

Next up, let’s talk about temperature and humidity – two crucial factors that play a huge role in your gecko’s skin health. Crested geckos hail from the tropical rainforests of New Caledonia, so they feel most at home in a warm and humid environment.

Aim for a temperature between 72-80°F and a humidity level of 60-80%. A reliable digital thermometer and hygrometer can be your best friends here! Maintaining these levels helps keep their skin moist and less prone to infections.

3. Nutrition: The Foundation of Good Health

Proper nutrition is another cornerstone of preventing skin infections. A balanced diet ensures your crested gecko gets all the nutrients they need for a healthy skin and a robust immune system.

The commercial crested gecko diet (CGD) is a good staple, but don’t forget to supplement it with a variety of insects and occasionally fresh fruit – think of it as their version of a treat!

4. Regular Health Check-ups: An Ounce of Prevention

Regular health check-ups, just like for us humans, can go a long way in catching any potential issues early. If you notice any changes in your gecko’s skin, behavior, or appetite, don’t hesitate to consult a vet. Remember, it’s always better to be safe than sorry.

5. Always Consult a Vet: Your Crestie’s Best Ally

Lastly, even though these tips can significantly reduce the risk of skin infections, nothing replaces professional medical advice.

Always consult with a vet if you suspect your crested gecko is unwell. After all, we’re all in this for one thing: ensuring our cresties live the best life possible!

There you have it, folks! Prevention is truly the best cure when it comes to skin infections. Let’s all strive to keep our crested geckos’ habitat clean, maintain the right temperature and humidity, provide them with a balanced diet, and always stay vigilant to their health. Here’s to happy and healthy cresties!


Skin infections in crested geckos can be caused by various factors, such as poor hygiene, mites, bacteria, fungi, and stress.

Some of the signs of skin infection are abscesses, blisters, sores, and changes in skin color.

If you notice any of these symptoms in your crested gecko, you should seek veterinary help as soon as possible. Treatment may involve antibiotics, antifungal medication, mite treatment, or other measures depending on the cause and severity of the infection.

You can prevent skin infections by providing your crested gecko with a clean and comfortable environment, a balanced diet, adequate humidity, and regular check-ups. By doing so, you can ensure your crested gecko stays healthy and happy for a long time.

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