For seasoned iguana owners, iguana shedding off their skin is a natural process – where the iguana will shed off their old skin like other reptiles, but in pieces (rather than the whole skin), and perfect shedding is usually a sign of a healthy iguana.
A baby iguana usually shed every 4 – 6 weeks, but for adults, it can be once in a year. Usually, the adults don’t shed all of the skin like the baby iguana do. Iguana shedding their old skin needs to be taken care while in the process. Rarely, but it may cause an infection because it doesn’t completely shed its skin like other reptiles do.
The faster the growth of the iguana, it will shed even better. A gentle soaking, bathing routine and spraying the enclosure will help the shedding process of your iguana.
Make sure there is a wooden plank or tree bark for your iguana to climb, this can help in the process of shedding its skin. You can also help peel skin that has been loose, but be very cautious not to accidentally rip their healthy skin.
You may assist to peel those skins on spike, nail, mouth and tail end (easy reach). Just be careful not to make any open wound, otherwise, it can cause serious infection to your iguana.
Spike and nails should be avoided by iguana’s owner because this area is not fully exfoliated, the skin will harden and act as a tourniquet (blood will clot due to constriction). If this happens, it will become infected and swell, in the end, the claw will fall off by itself.
Focus on helping near the mouth area, because the iguana during shedding will try to rub its mouth to the periphery of the cage, this causes iguana thrush and lead to infection.
The whole shedding process also helps remove wounds from previous rubbing, mildew, or scratches. Though to completely remove the traces it might take 3-5 times of shedding.
Unsuccessful shedding could be a fatal consequence to the iguana, if the shedding fails to occur on the spikes, it becomes very dry, the tip will be irritated and cause fungus growth, so then the spike will break and fall off.
It might help to moisturize iguana skin during shedding, by using moisturizing oil – but just don’t use any oil. Check with the local pet store if there is any specific reptiles’ skin friendly cream or oil to help iguana shedding. There are some shedding aids on the market (like this one) to help your ig through the tough sheds (spray it on your reptile, starting from the tail, and wait until the shed is completely soaked before removing it)