Ashley owns a silkback bearded dragon and enjoys sharing her tips online.
What Do Shedding Bearded Dragons Need?
Silkback bearded dragons have the same space, lighting, heat, and nutritional needs as other bearded dragons.
Silkback Bearded Dragon Skin Issues
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.
How to Care for a Shedding Silkback Dragon
There are three main things your shedding silkback will need:
1. Shedding Helper
The first thing that you should do when looking to purchase (or having newly purchased) a silkback is to get some sort of shedding helper from your local pet store. There are two main types: the kind that you put into a bath or mix with water before spraying and the spray kind. I have found that a mix of the two products really helps my silkback shed easily.
2. A Daily Dose of Spray Shed Ease
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 that 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.
How to Bathe a Bearded Dragon
- Mix the shed ease into the water first before putting your silkback in.
- Some dragons will like bath time and others will not, so you may want to put a towel over your shirt to avoid 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. You might tear off skin that is not yet ready to shed, hurting your dragon. 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 scrape on your own skin; 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 peel off the skin in that area 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.
More About Bearded Dragons
- Bearded Dragon Care 101: A Beginner's Guide
Bearded dragons are arguably one of the easiest lizards to care for as a pet. This beginner's guide will educate you about how to choose a healthy dragon and about their traits and requirements—including habitat, food, and other needs.
- Bearded Dragon Care Guide
Learn to care for baby bearded dragons all the way into adulthood.
- 230+ Bearded Dragon Names for Your Rugged Reptile
If you've just adopted a bearded dragon or are considering it and need some great name ideas, here are 230+ names to help name your new buddy!
This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. It is not meant to substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, or formal and individualized advice from a veterinary medical professional. Animals exhibiting signs and symptoms of distress should be seen by a veterinarian immediately.
Marissa on May 26, 2017:
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.
matt on April 24, 2016:
my newborn silkback bearded dragon is not eating what do do?
fancifulashley (author) on February 15, 2013:
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.
Rileymona on February 14, 2013:
what about the lighting routine? and the UVA?
fancifulashley (author) on March 14, 2012:
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.
Nic on March 04, 2012:
Hey how does their skin react to breeding ? (like if the male is regular and the female is a silk)
peramore20 from Greensburg, PA on October 28, 2011:
Your welcome. It neat to learn about rare types of animals and what it entails to care for one.
fancifulashley (author) on October 28, 2011:
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 from Georgia on October 28, 2011:
I'd never heard of the silkback. Very informative hub. I voted it interesting!
peramore20 from Greensburg, PA on October 27, 2011:
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!