Why Is My Bearded Dragon Turning White: Reasons, Treatment, and Prevention When Your Bearded Dragon Is Turning White

One of the most common reasons why bearded dragons turn white is because of shedding. Like all reptiles, bearded dragons shed their skin periodically as they grow. Their skin may turn white, flaky, and sluggish during this process. This is a normal process; your bearded dragon will return to its normal color once the shedding is complete.

Reasons for White-Bearded Dragons

Bearded dragons are popular pets known for their unique appearance and friendly temperament. However, it is not uncommon for bearded dragons to turn white, which can cause concern for their owners. There are several reasons why a bearded dragon may turn white, and understanding these reasons can help owners take the necessary steps to keep their pets healthy and happy.


One of the most common reasons why bearded dragons turn white is shedding. Shedding is natural as bearded dragons grow and their skin becomes too tight. According to VCA Animal Hospital, they may sometimes shed in patches. 

The outer layer of skin is shed during shedding to make way for new skin growth. This process can cause bearded dragons to turn white, especially where shedding occurs. However, it is important to note that shedding is normal and should not cause concern.


Another reason why bearded dragons may turn white is stress. Bearded dragons can become stressed for various reasons, such as environmental changes or inadequate care. When a bearded dragon is stressed, it may turn white to express its discomfort. If a bearded dragon is turning white due to stress, it is important to identify and address the source of the stress to prevent further health problems.

Illness or Disease

Sometimes, a bearded dragon may turn white due to illness or disease. Certain illnesses or diseases can cause a bearded dragon’s skin to become discolored or pale. If a bearded dragon turns white and exhibits other symptoms, such as lethargy or loss of appetite, it may indicate a more serious health problem. In these cases, seeking veterinary care as soon as possible is important.


Genetics can also play a role in why bearded dragons turn white. Based on observation, some bearded dragons may be genetically predisposed to certain color changes, including turning white. This is more common in certain breeds of bearded dragons and is not necessarily a cause for concern.

Environmental Factors

Environmental factors can also contribute to why bearded dragons turn white. For example, if a bearded dragon is too hot or cold, it may turn white to regulate its body temperature. Similarly, if a bearded dragon is not receiving adequate nutrition or hydration, it may turn white as a sign of distress. In these cases, ensuring the bearded dragon’s environment is properly set up and receives the necessary care and attention is important.

Treatment Options for Bearded Dragon Turning White

Veterinarian Care

If your bearded dragon is turning white due to a health issue, it is important to seek veterinary care immediately. A veterinarian can diagnose the underlying cause and provide appropriate treatment. Some common health issues that cause bearded dragons to turn white include impaction, respiratory infections, and parasites.

Veterinarians may administer antibiotics, antifungals, or dewormers to treat underlying infections or parasites. Surgery may sometimes be necessary to remove impacted material from your bearded dragon’s digestive tract. Regular check-ups with a veterinarian can help prevent health issues from developing in the first place.

Improving Husbandry

Bearded dragons often turn white due to poor husbandry, so keeping your dragon healthy is important by providing a proper enclosure, lighting, and diet. Ensure that the enclosure is the appropriate size and temperature, with a basking spot that reaches 100-110°F (37-43°C) and a cool side that stays around 80°F (27°C).

Use a substrate safe for your bearded dragons, such as reptile carpet or newspaper. Provide a variety of appropriate foods, such as crickets, dubia roaches, and leafy greens. Calcium and vitamin supplements can also be added to your bearded dragon’s food to ensure they get all the necessary nutrients.

Supplements or Medications

If your bearded dragon is turning white due to shedding, you can help them by providing a humid hide or misting their enclosure to increase humidity. This can help soften the skin and make shedding easier. You can also use a shedding aid, such as an emollient lotion, to help the skin slough off more easily.

Supplements or medications are sometimes necessary to treat specific health issues. For example, a bearded dragon with the metabolic bone disease may require calcium or vitamin D3 supplements to improve bone health.

SupplementRecommended Dosage
Calcium2-3 times per week, dusted on food
Vitamin D31-2 times per month, dusted on food
Probiotics1-2 times per week, mixed in food

It is important to follow dosage instructions carefully and consult a veterinarian before administering any supplements or medications to your bearded dragon.

Proper Husbandry

One of the most important things you can do to prevent your bearded dragon from turning white is to provide proper husbandry. This includes:

  • Keeping the temperature in your beardie’s enclosure at the appropriate level. A temperature gradient should be provided, with a basking spot of 95-110°F and a cooler side of 75-85°F.
  • Providing adequate UVB lighting. Use a UVB bulb that is appropriate for the size of your enclosure and replace it every 6-12 months.
  • Using an appropriate substrate. Avoid sand or small particles that can be ingested and cause impaction.
  • Keeping the enclosure clean and well-maintained. Regularly clean and disinfect the enclosure, dishes, and decor to prevent the growth of harmful bacteria.