Taking Care of a Shedding Silkback Bearded Dragon

Updated on December 26, 2016
Blaze, my silkback bearded dragon, as a baby.
Blaze, my silkback bearded dragon, as a baby. | Source

Special Considerations

Silkback bearded dragons have the same space, lighting, heat and nutritional needs as other bearded dragons. When it comes to their skin, however, that is a whole different ball game. Silkbacks are born without scales, making their skin smooth to the touch and very similar to that of a leopard gecko. Due to this, silkbacks are notorious for having shedding problems. Since they do not have scales like other bearded dragons, not only do they have a harder time shedding, but they shed more often.

Help, What Do I Do

First thing that you should do when looking to purchase or having newly purchased a silkback is getting some sort of shedding helper from your local pet store. There are two main different types, ones that you put into a bath or have to mix with water before spraying or the spray kind. I have found that a mix of the two products really helps my silkback shed easily.

Using the spray shed ease we spray him once a day, rubbing the formula into his skin. This keeps his skin moist and flexible, so if he starts to shed while we are gone during the day, it will not hurt him as much. It will also keep him from scratching at the dead skin as much because it will reduce the dryness which causes the skin to itch.

When he is shedding a lot, he will need a bath. This is when we use the liquid shed ease. We put warm water in a plastic Tupperware container and add the shed ease to it. You should mix the shed ease into the water first before putting your silkback in. Some dragons will like bath time, others will not, so you may want to put a towel over your shirt to avoid from getting splashed. Once the dragon is in the water, you want to gently rub at the areas that are shedding. Do not pull on the dead skin. This can cause you to tear off skin that is not yet ready to shed, causing your dragon to hurt. If you do this, usually by accident, you will notice that the skin in that area is shiny and slightly sticky. That is the raw skin left behind. Try not to touch it. That is like touching a scrap on us, it hurts. Also, the bacteria and oils on our fingers can be detrimental to the exposed skin. You should bathe your silkback at least 2-3 times a week to insure that the water levels in their bodies stay up, since they need more humidity than regular bearded dragons.

Note: When your dragon’s face is about to shed, pay special attention to the eyes. Your silkback’s eyelids will shed, but they will not be able to get the skin off. This will render them blind and should be taken care of right away. If you can, gently peal the skin in that area off during bath time if it looks like it is going to get to that stage.

A New Routine

It may seem like a lot of work at first, but after a while it becomes very easy and routine. When giving your silkback a bath, make your hand into a cup so they can drink some of the water. Make sure they are shedding easily and that their eyes are ok. Besides that they are a caring, easy to care for pet just like other bearded dragons.


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    • profile image

      Marissa 8 months ago

      Very helpful. Thank you. I just got a silkback a few days ago. She is only 6 months old and looks just like your picture. I was told to spray her with water daily and do the warm bath (which she does not like) and to use cocoa butter. I did not know that there was a special spray to help with her shedding/ She has been shedding since I got her and I was worried about the skin shedding on her face/head. Thank you for the info.

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      matt 21 months ago

      my newborn silkback bearded dragon is not eating what do do?

    • fancifulashley profile image

      fancifulashley 4 years ago

      Lighting pretty much stays the same. Silkbacks have skin, so they are more prone to have their skin dry out if it is too hot. It really depends on the size and type of tank you will be keeping them in, but you may want to consider getting a dimer dome so you can monitor and adjust the heat as necessary for your pet. As with the heat, the UVA and UVB requirements stay the same.

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      Rileymona 4 years ago

      what about the lighting routine? and the UVA?

    • fancifulashley profile image

      fancifulashley 5 years ago

      I don't quite know based on gender, but if you breed a regular dragon with a silkback you get leatherbacks. If you breed a leatherback with a silkback you get half leather and half silk. But that is all I know on breeding for now.

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      Nic 5 years ago

      Hey how does their skin react to breeding ? (like if the male is regular and the female is a silk)

    • peramore20 profile image

      peramore20 6 years ago from Greensburg, PA

      Your welcome. It neat to learn about rare types of animals and what it entails to care for one.

    • fancifulashley profile image

      fancifulashley 6 years ago

      Thank you for the feedback. Silkbacks are born when two leatherbacks mate. 1/2 of the cluster will be leatherbacks and half will be silkbacks, usually. This is why they are so rare. But they can usually be found at reptile expos since many different reptile vendors are located there.

    • Donna Sundblad profile image

      Donna Sundblad 6 years ago from Georgia

      I'd never heard of the silkback. Very informative hub. I voted it interesting!

    • peramore20 profile image

      peramore20 6 years ago from Greensburg, PA

      That's a very interesting looking reptile. I don't personally have one, but your article would be very helpful if I did. Great hub!