Here’s Why Your Leopard Gecko is Pale But Not Shedding

By Frank Miller •  Updated: 09/17/23 • 

Like other reptiles, leopard geckos will periodically shed all their skin. As the shedding begins, the leopard gecko’s skin becomes paler until the new skin underneath is fully formed. However, if your Leo looks pale but not shedding, there might be other reasons behind its color change.

In this article, I’ll discuss possible reasons why your leopard gecko might look pale without shedding. Remember, this information should not be substituted for your veterinarian’s advice. If your leopard gecko is in bad shape, seek medical advice from your local veterinarian.

1. Problems Shedding

Before shedding, your leopard gecko usually turns pale or white in color. However, if your Leo fails to shed, it will look dull and pale. In this case, the old skin is still adhering to the body of the leopard gecko. Most of the time, a leopard gecko that has problems shedding will be listless, and if left unchecked, it can result in death.

Different factors contribute to shedding problems. Low temperatures, lack of or excess of vitamin A, injury, parasites, metabolic bone disease, bacterial infections, and low humidity can all contribute to problems as the leopard gecko is shedding.

Leopard Gecko Shedding

Leopard Gecko Shedding

Supplement your leos diet and provide a well-humidified enclosure to eliminate most of these problems. For parasites and bacteria, closely observe your leos poop, activity level, and weight gain or loss. Always contact a qualified veterinarian for proper diagnosis and treatment if you’re unsure.

2. Dehydration

A dehydrated leopard gecko will dull or become pale over time, depending on the severity of the water shortage. A healthy leopard gecko has shiny, soft, and elastic skin. However, the skin loses its flexibility and gets duller with time.

If you suspect your leopard gecko is dehydrated, check the water bowls and see if he can drink from them. Also, check for injury or any sign of sickness that may stop your leopard gecko from drinking.

A Rescued Leopard Gecko That is Skinny and Dehydrated

A Rescued Leopard Gecko That is Skinny and Dehydrated

Other signs of dehydration in a leopard gecko include wrinkled skin, sunken eyes, yellow urate, constipation, and impaction. If your Leo is pale and exhibits any of those signs, it is dehydrated. Check out my article on other signs to tell if your leopard gecko is dehydrated.

3. Watch Its Diet

A healthy diet is essential to the well-being of animals. If your leopard gecko is getting pale, its diet could cause the problem.

A leopard gecko’s diet should consist of different meals such as crickets, mealworms, dubia roaches, etc. You should also dust the insects or gut load them at least 24 hours before you feed your leopard gecko to improve their mineral and vitamin concentration.

If the diet is the problem, watch the frequency, quantity, and quality of your Leo’s meals. However, avoid overfeeding your leopard gecko, which can affect its liver function and cause Hepatic lipidosis or fatty liver disease.

According to a veterinary partner, Hepatic lipidosis can cause a reduction in appetite, activity, weight loss, and a change in fecal color, all of which can lead to a change in the color of a leopard gecko.

4. Sick or Stress

Sickness and stress can also affect the health of your leopard gecko and make its color appear pale. Stress from a leopard gecko can come from reforming and redesigning the vivarium, high temperature, and humidity. To avoid stressing your leopard gecko, always aim to keep it comfortable with abrupt changes.

Some health issues, such as Hepatic lipidosis, can cause your Leo to appear unhealthy and pale. Watch your diet and supplement your meals with minerals and vitamins. A dysecdysis, which is a problem in shedding skin, also causes the gecko’s skin to have pale patches.

If you notice the skin becoming pale around your leopard gecko’s tail, it prepares to drop its tail. This is usually a result of stress and fear, response to a threat, infection, shedding problems, and illness.


5. Breeding Season

During the breeding season, leopard gecko sometimes becomes so preoccupied with mating that they sometimes stop eating or drinking. During this time, your Leo gets unhealthy, and problems like a change of skin color might start to show.

Deficiencies that also occur to breeding females as they draw their body stories to produce eggs can also cause them to look pale or dull. Always try to ensure your leopard gecko is feeding and supply it with its favorite insect meals supplemented with calcium and multivitamins to keep it healthy during the breeding season, which might last up to five months.

Frank Miller

Frank Miller is the Founder of Lizard Advisor and owns several pet lizards, from leopard geckos, bearded dragons, crested geckos, chameleons, and others. The mission of this website is to make owning a pet lizard very easy for everyone, but mostly beginners. And each year, he continues to help more people learn more about lizard care and much more.