Why Is My Bearded Dragon Turning White?

Most people think that pets are a nuisance because they cannot communicate. This is a wrong notion because animals communicate in different ways. When you have a bearded dragon, for instance, you might think that the reptile is dumb and cold.

The truth is that the lizard communicates its moods, health, and feelings through body color changes, head-bobbing, or arm-waving. A bearded dragon might turn its tail, head, legs, mouth, or nose white and sometimes its entire body.

The color change is understandably something that worries most pet owners. Read on to understand why your bearded dragon might turn white.

Reasons Why Bearded Dragons Turn White

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

– Shedding

The most common reason why your bearded dragon will turn white is shedding. Young lizards that are still actively growing will shed every few weeks, but adults will not shed as much; typically just a few times annually.

Even so, an adult bearded dragon might shed many times within a short period if it has a skin infection or its skin is damaged. Shedding takes about 1-2 weeks. During this time, your pet will often be irritated and refuse feeds or handling.

You can set the humidity levels in its tank to 30-40% and mist the animal once daily to aid its natural shedding process.

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.

– Hot Temperature

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.

Remember that a bearded dragon needs heat for it to effectively digest food and thrive. As such, it is advisable to have the right temperature range based on the lizard’s age. For babies, their basking spots should be about 110 degrees Fahrenheit, while the cool section should be 85-90 degrees Fahrenheit.

Adult bearded dragons thrive in basking temperatures of 100-105 degrees Fahrenheit and cool side temperatures of 80-85 degrees Fahrenheit.

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

– Health Problems

When your bearded dragon turns white and stops eating, this is often an indication of poor health. The common health issues that affect these lizards include impaction and parasitic infections.

Impaction causes a sudden color and behavior change. It can follow the consumption of large objects, indigestible chitin, typically from insect feeders, and substrate.

A white tongue and throat might be pointers to anemia or parasitic infections. When sick, a bearded dragon might also have its mouth hanging open, discoloration of the inner parts of its mouth, foul, soft, or smelly stool, shaky limbs, swollen limbs, sunken eyes, and a bloody snout.

It is essential to get a vet to check your bearded dragon if it turns white when the temperature of its surroundings is neither too hot nor too cold, and it is not shedding.

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 of the common tests for a bearded dragon that turns white include uric acid levels, calcium level tests, liver function tests, and a full blood count.

Why Is The Tail Of My Bearded Dragon Turning White?

One remarkable fact about shedding in a bearded dragon is that it happens in patches, unlike in other lizards. This might be the reason why your bearded dragon’s tail is turning white while the rest of its body is not.

Sometimes, shedding happens in one body part at a time. The body part remains white until shedding is complete, after which another body part might start turning white until the whole body has shed.

You might worry if the tail stays white for what seems like too long a time. This is nothing that should stress you because shedding will often take longer as your bearded dragon grows older.

Why is My Bearded Dragon Face and Head Turning White?

If the face or the head of your bearded dragon starts turning white, most likely is a sign of shedding. As mentioned before, bearded dragons can shed in stages, so they don’t always shed their entire body at once.

They can shed their head, legs and tail, without shedding their body. They might shed their legs and tail more often than other parts of their body.

For a younger bearded dragon, it is absolutely normal to shed more often than adults.


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.

avatar William
William is a respected pet enthusiast with expertise in reptiles and birds. With extensive experience caring for these animals, he shares his knowledge through engaging and informative articles in various publications. He is an active member of pet-related organizations, volunteering regularly at shelters and promoting animal welfare and conservation. read more...

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