Bearded dragon turning white

Why the bearded dragon turns weird colors? Should you be worried when your dragon turns white? Is it something normal? And how to respond to that symptom. Below, I will share with you some of the reasons why our pet dragon turns white.

Bearded dragons have a wide range of behaviors they use to communicate how they are feeling.  The dragons can communicate their mood, feelings, and health by expressing various behaviors. Some of these behaviors include body-color change, showing a black beard, arm-waving, head-bobbing, etc.

The most common behaviors bearded dragons use to communicate with changing body color.

  • When a bearded dragon turns black or darkens its body, the reptile lets you know it is cold. 
  • Bearded dragons darken their bodies to more readily absorbing heat from sunlight.

So if a bearded dragon turns white, does it indicate a serious condition?

Reason why Bearded dragon turning white

Below are some of the common reasons why your bearded dragon might turn white:

  1. Shedding problem
  2. Temperature
  3. Health issues
  4. Sleeping issue
  5.  Not Eating
  6.  Dying

Shedding problem

One of the most common reasons why a bearded dragon is turning their color into white is shedding. This often happens in young beardies as they grow. They shed once every few weeks.

The shedding process is a natural process that all reptiles go through. They always have to face the bearded dragon shedding problems, no matter how painful it is. Typically, a baby beardie might shed its skin more often than an adult because it grows at a rapid rate.

This process is faster or slower, which depends on several factors such as diet, growth, health, age, etc.

Your beardies have several so uncomfortable symptoms that you just want to do them a favor but don’t attempt to pull their skin off or peel their skin.

The actual shedding can take 1-2 weeks to finish. During the shedding period, your bearded dragon is likely to be irritated and can refuse food and not want you to handle it. Allow your bearded dragon to shed naturally, by misting it once a day and having the humidity of the tank at 30-40%.

Right before your bearded dragon starts shedding, its skin will turn slightly dull, and the top skin layer will look white and pale. Your bearded dragon will shed in patches and not in a single layer.

When shedding, a bearded dragon will usually turn white in patches. For instance, it might start turning white at its head, then the legs and tail.

It is best not to interfere with shedding, but you can bathe it or remove its skin using tweezers if it has any stuck skin. You can also apply an emollient shedding aid to promote healthy shedding and keep the skin moist.

Some Signs of The Bearded Dragon Shedding

  • Lethargy.
  • Loss of appetite.
  • Skittish behavior.
  • Not wanting to be handled.
  • Raised patches of skin.
  • Eye inflation – bearded dragons bulge out their eyes to loosen the surrounding skin, as this is often the first area to molt

Is shedding uncomfortable for bearded dragons?

Many first-time owners tend to freak out over their bearded dragon’s shedding, but in reality, this is just a part of nature and although a little unpleasant doesn’t pose a risk to your dragon. Just make sure to monitor the process and help them along with regular baths if need be.

Do bearded dragons feel pain during shedding?

Bearded dragons have a very undeveloped emotional system, and for this reason, they do not have the same emotions like us humans. They have three very basic emotions which include, Fear, Aggression, and Pleasure

Many recent scientific studies have shown that reptiles have all the necessary neurotransmitters and anatomy to feel pain. It is likely that they have simply evolved to hide their pain to avoid predation in the wild.

Why Are The Bearded Dragons Not Shedding At One Time?

Difficulty in shedding is also known as dysecdysis. Dysecdysis affects 25% of pet Bearded Dragons. Dysecdysis can be caused by underlying health issues such as parasites, tumors, ulcers, and blisters. They are often caused by skin infections from not keeping their enclosure clean.

In some cases, by all means, your beardie still doesn’t shed at one time, especially on the tail, nails, toes due to various reasons.

It might have been due to their growth. A baby beardie will take this process more easily than an adult because it goes through rapid growth.

What if My Bearded Dragon’s Shed Isn’t Coming Off?

  • Up bathing them to 3-4 times per week and use a gentle bristled toothbrush to gently brush them.
  • Massage aloe vera or 100% cocoa butter on the rough shed (but keep them away from basking light, so they don’t heat up the oils and burn themselves).

4 Tips for Solving Bearded Dragon Shedding Problems

  1. Keep Moist Frequently
  2. Increase The Frequency of Bathing
  3. Try to Use Shedding Aids
  4. Don’t Shed Their Skin off Yourself


It is usual for bearded dragons to turn white or black because of the variation in temperatures. It is normal for a bearded dragon to turn black or white when there is a temperature variation. In the cold, the lizard generally becomes darker so that it can absorb as much heat as it can within the shortest possible time.

On the other hand, the reptile turns white when it is very hot so that it can absorb less heat. If you notice your bearded dragon turning white and it is not almost shedding, check and adjust the temperature of its enclosure.

Bearded dragons must have warmth for them to digest food effectively and thrive. It would help if you kept the temperatures within the required range, depending on your beardie’s age. For the babies, the basking spot should be around 110℉ and the cool spot 85-90℉.

Adults require a warm basking spot of about 100-105℉, and the cool side should be between 80-85℉. To monitor the temperatures and ensure they are within the necessary range, you need to have a digital thermometer.

Very low environmental temperatures can kill your bearded dragon because, as a cold-blooded animal, it cannot produce heat to warm its body.

How do I know if my bearded dragon is overheated?

Common signs of overheating include severe panting, trying to escape the tank, and digging, hiding under a rock, or hiding and sitting in a corner. If you notice that your bearded dragon has overheated, take it out immediately to allow cooling down and review heating in the tank.

How do I know if my bearded dragon is warm enough?

A hot basking spot of the tank should have temperatures of 92-110 degrees Fahrenheit (33-43 Celsius). The cool side should be in the range of 75-85 F (23.8-29 C). The nighttime temperature shouldn’t be lower than 65 F (18.3 Celsius).

How do I keep my terrarium warm at night?

Heat pads and panels provide a warm area in the terrarium where reptiles can remain if they need to increase their body temperature. They should be placed on one end of the terrarium, which will allow the far opposite side of the terrarium to remain cooler.

What is the highest temperature for a bearded dragon?

The basking area can be slightly cooler, ranging from 95 to 105 degrees F.
Proper Temperatures for a Juvenile Bearded Dragon.

Temperature AreasIdeal Temperature Range
Basking Area95°F – 100°F
Cool-down Area80°F – 90°F
Night-time70-75°F (21-24°C)

Heath Issues

When your bearded dragon turns white and stops eating, this is often an indication of poor health, Common health conditions of pet bearded dragons include metabolic bone disease, infectious stomatitis (‘mouth rot’), parasites, respiratory infections, and adenovirus infection. “If they are well looked after, with a good diet and proper environment, bearded dragons are reasonably hardy animals.”

Signs That Your Bearded Dragon is Sick

  • Respiratory Issues. Healthy lizards should breathe quietly and smoothly. …
  • Secretion. Discharge from the eyes, ears, nose, or mouth can also be indications of sickness. …
  • Weight Loss. …
  • Eye Issues. …
  • Lethargy. …
  • Bathroom Issues. …
  • Discoloration. …
  • Strange Behavior

If the symptoms clear up after a day or so, it’s likely that poor beardie was just stressed or ate something bad. If it is ongoing, you should take your bearded dragon to the vet. When you notice that your bearded dragon’s eyes look a little puffy, sore, and swollen, then keep an eye on it and see how it develops.

Sleeping issue

It is completely normal for a bearded dragon to turn white when it is sleeping. Researchers have discovered the change in color to white has to do with a beardie’s circadian rhythm. Turning white while sleeping may also indicate the beardie is relaxed and comfortable.

The 9 Reasons Why Your Bearded Dragon Isn’t Sleeping

All animals need sleep, including bearded dragons. Therefore, it can be worrisome when our scaly friends aren’t sleeping as much as they should be. 

There are many reasons why your bearded dragon may not be sleeping. Some of them are relatively innocent, while others can be signs of serious illnesses. 

In this post, we will share the reasons why your bearded dragon might not be sleeping so you can understand what action needs to be taken.

So, why Isn’t your bearded dragon sleeping? Here are 9 reasons your bearded dragon isn’t sleeping:

  • Too Much Stimulation
  • Too Much Noise
  • Incorrect Temperature
  • Too Much Light
  • Incorrect Diet
  • Improper Lighting Cycle
  • Age
  • Stress
  • Illness

Not eating

If your bearded dragon is turning white or pale and not eating, this can be a bad sign. Turning white or very pale, not eating, and being lethargic can be a symptom of dying. Another symptom of a dying bearded dragon is when its beard turns black, but its limbs, face, and tail turn pale.

If your bearded dragon consistently won’t eat, one of the first things you should check is enclosure temperature. Dragons that are consistently exposed to temperatures that are too low can have trouble digesting food. They may also develop a weakened immune system. Bearded dragons need a basking spot of 95 to 105°F.

How long can a bearded dragon go without eating?

The answer to this question greatly depends on the age and health of your pet. For instance, adult beardies with extra weight to lose can go up to 2 months or longer without food, although this is far from optimal!

How do I force my bearded dragon to eat?

Fill a small syringe with a purée of dragon diet. The purée includes vegetables, fruit, worms for protein, and a liquid vitamin supplement. Apply pressure to the sides of the bearded dragon’s mouth to force it to open. Use your thumb and forefinger.


Bearded dragons like other lizards communicate to their owners through body language. One of these body languages is to turn white for specific reasons.

Except in the case of bearded dragons turning the whole body to white, and they have eyes closing problems, this color change has nothing to do with its health unless followed by other health-related symptoms. Some symptoms include:


Inactivity as a result of a small cage may not be as serious a thing of concern as that resulting from a poor cage setup. Lethargy as a result of poor heating is a serious issue to look into before it becomes serious.

Cloudy or filmy eyes

The eyes of a healthy bearded dragon are clear, bright, and alert. But during shedding, their eyes can appear dull or cloudy.

This is nothing to worry about. However, if the cloudy eyes give out discharges, then something is wrong with its health.

Soft, runny, or smelly poop. This may mean that your bearded dragon may be having internal parasites.

Swollen limbs or tail. This may be caused by a fractured or broken limb or tail.

Not eating (loss of appetite). Many factors can be responsible for this. Stress and the wrong cage setup can contribute to loss of appetite.

Gasping for air. One of the symptoms of Metabolic Bone Disease (MBD) in bearded dragons is a slack jaw. If your lizard is constantly keeping its mouth open and has difficulty holding on to food, your lizard likely has a slack jaw.

Discolored or black mouth.
  • Usually from the inside.
  • Bones or appearing malnourished.
  • Discolored stomach.
  • Sunken eyes.
  • Bloody or damaged snout.

Why Did My Bearded Dragon Turn White, Then Die?

if your bearded dragon turned pale or white then became lethargic, these are typical symptoms of dying. The other sign that your dragon is dying is its beard becoming black.

The most common causes of death in this lizard species are old age and impaction. Impaction follows the ingestion of large indigestible objects like substrate or gravel.

If your bearded dragon was above 7-8 years old, it was old enough. In captivity, the reptile will often live for 8-15 years.

Why Is My Bearded Dragon Turning White But Not Shedding?

There are many reasons why a bearded dragon might turn white. If it is not shedding, the color change might signify health issues or might follow a high temperature in the lizard’s environment.

If it is a health issue, the vet will order different tests to pick the condition, then determine how best to manage it. Some common tests for a bearded dragon that turn white include uric acid levels, calcium level tests, liver function tests, and a full blood count.

Why Is My Bearded Dragon Turned White and Back to Normal?

You will see this especially when a drastic change in temperature happens. But you don’t need to worry about this. It is pretty normal.

A bearded dragon normally turns to white when he/she is hot. But this will not take long. As soon as the temperature drops, he/she will turn to dark or to his/her normal color when the temperature backs to normal.

The noticeable changes in skin color are the result of body temperature regulation. This is because beardies are cold-blooded animals. Their body has no way of generating heat or sweat, unlike humans.


Getting a bearded dragon comes with a lot of things to learn. While it takes time to grasp everything you should, you are sure that your efforts at learning about this fascinating reptile will pay off in the heart-warming moments you will spend with it.

With the above information, you now understand what causes the white color in your bearded dragon. Therefore, you can now rest easy when you notice white spots in your pet bearded dragon or get a vet if you have reason to believe that the reptile might be sick.


Q1: Why is my bearded dragon turning white?

A: Your bearded dragon might be turning white because it’s shedding its skin.

Q2: What is shedding?

A: Shedding is when a bearded dragon gets rid of its old skin to make way for new skin.

Q3: Is white skin normal during shedding?

A: Yes, it’s normal! When they shed, their skin might look white or pale.

Q4: How can I help my bearded dragon during shedding?

A: You can help by keeping their home clean, giving them baths, and being gentle if you need to touch them.

Q5: How long does shedding last?

A: Shedding can take about 1-2 weeks, but it varies for each bearded dragon.

Q6: Should I worry if my bearded dragon turns white while shedding?

A: No need to worry! It’s a natural process, and they should be okay. Just keep an eye on them.

Q7: When should I be worried about white skin in my bearded dragon?

A: If the white skin doesn’t go away after shedding or if your bearded dragon shows other signs of illness, then it’s time to see a vet.

Q8: Can I still feed my bearded dragon when it’s shedding and white?

A: Yes, you can! Offer them food as usual, but they might eat a bit less during shedding.

Q9: How can I make my bearded dragon comfortable during shedding?

A: You can provide a humid hide (a cozy, damp place), and avoid handling them too much while they’re shedding.

Q10: Can bearded dragons change color for other reasons besides shedding?

A: Yes, sometimes they change color to show their emotions or if they’re too hot or cold. But usually, white skin during shedding is normal.

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