My Leopard Gecko Is Turning White? Find Causes and Taking Care

Leopard geckos are fascinating reptiles known for their unique color patterns. If you’ve noticed that your leopard gecko is turning white, it can be a cause for concern. In this article, we will explore the reasons behind this color change and provide guidance on how to care for your gecko during this process.

Leopard geckos (Eublepharis macularius) are native to the arid regions of Afghanistan, Pakistan, and India. They are popular pets due to their docile nature and captivating appearance. Understanding their natural coloration and the factors that can influence their color change is crucial for responsible pet ownership.

1. Understanding Leopard Geckos

Leopard geckos have a variety of colors and patterns, including shades of yellow, orange, and brown, with dark spots or bands across their bodies. This natural coloration helps them blend into their desert environment, providing camouflage and protection from predators.

2. Normal Coloration of Leopard Geckos

Leopard geckos typically exhibit consistent and vibrant colors when healthy and well-cared for. Their skin is often smooth and glossy, with a clear distinction between the different colors and patterns. However, it’s important to note that leopard geckos undergo regular shedding, which can temporarily affect their appearance.

3. Causes of White Coloration in Leopard Geckos

Shedding Process

One common reason for a leopard gecko to turn white is the shedding process. Similar to snakes, geckos shed their skin periodically to accommodate their growth. During shedding, their skin may appear dull and whitish. This is a natural and temporary color change that indicates the gecko is preparing to shed its old skin.

Stress and Illness

Stress and illness can also contribute to a gecko turning white. When leopard geckos experience stress or are unwell, their coloration can become pale or faded. Stressors such as improper handling, loud noises, changes in environment, or inadequate temperature and humidity levels can impact their overall well-being and coloration.

Genetic Factors

Certain genetic factors can result in leopard geckos having a predominantly white or pale appearance. Albino and leucistic morphs are two well-known examples. Albino geckos lack melanin production, which gives rise to their white or pale yellow appearance. Other genetic variations can also affect the coloration of leopard geckos.

4. Shedding Process in Leopard Geckos

Signs of Shedding

Before shedding, leopard geckos may display some specific signs. These include a decrease in appetite, restlessness, and increased time spent in moist hideouts. You may also notice their eyes becoming cloudy or bluish. These signs indicate that the shedding process is about to occur.

Supporting the Shedding Process

To assist your leopard gecko during shedding, it’s important to provide a humid hideout. This can be achieved by placing a small container filled with damp moss or paper towels in their enclosure. The increased humidity helps soften the old skin, making it easier for the gecko to shed. Avoid peeling or pulling the skin, as this can cause harm.

5. Stress and Illness in Leopard Geckos

Common Stressors

Leopard geckos can experience stress from various sources. Loud noises, frequent handling, sudden changes in their enclosure, overcrowding, and improper temperature or lighting conditions can all contribute to stress. It’s crucial to create a calm and secure environment to minimize stress levels and maintain their natural coloration.

Health Issues

If your leopard gecko is consistently turning white or displaying other concerning symptoms, it’s essential to consider potential health issues. Parasites, infections, metabolic disorders, or nutritional deficiencies can impact their overall appearance and well-being. Regular veterinary check-ups are recommended to identify and address any health concerns.

6. Genetic Factors Affecting Coloration

Albino and Leucistic Morphs

Albino leopard geckos lack the ability to produce melanin, resulting in their white or pale yellow coloration. Their eyes often appear red or pink due to the absence of pigmentation. Leucistic morphs, on the other hand, have reduced melanin production, leading to a predominantly white appearance with faint patterns.

Other Genetic Variations

Apart from albinos and leucistics, there are various genetic variations that can influence a leopard gecko’s coloration. These include patternless morphs, high contrast morphs, and combinations of different colors. These genetic variations make each leopard gecko unique and contribute to the beauty and diversity of the species.

My Leopard Gecko Is Turning White

7. Taking Care of a Leopard Gecko Turning White

Providing a Proper Habitat

To ensure the well-being of your leopard gecko, it’s crucial to create a suitable habitat. This includes providing the right temperature gradient, sufficient hiding spots, and a balanced diet consisting of live insects and proper supplementation. Maintaining a clean and stress-free environment promotes their overall health and vibrant coloration.

Monitoring Health and Behavior

Regularly monitoring your gecko’s health and behavior is essential. Keep track of their eating habits, hydration levels, activity levels, and any changes in appearance. If you notice consistent or severe whitening, loss of appetite, or other concerning symptoms, consult a reptile veterinarian experienced in treating leopard geckos.

Consulting a Veterinarian

If you have any doubts or concerns about your leopard gecko’s color change, it’s always recommended to seek professional advice from a reptile veterinarian. They can assess your gecko’s overall health, diagnose any underlying issues, and provide appropriate treatment or guidance to ensure the well-being of your pet.

8. Conclusion

If your leopard gecko is turning white, it’s important to understand the underlying causes and take appropriate measures. Shedding, stress, illness, and genetic factors can all contribute to this color change. By providing a suitable habitat, monitoring their health, and consulting a veterinarian when needed, you can ensure your gecko remains healthy and vibrant.


1. Can stress alone cause a leopard gecko to turn white? Stress can contribute to a gecko’s color change, but it is usually accompanied by other symptoms. It’s important to consider other factors and monitor their behavior and overall health.

2. How often do leopard geckos shed their skin? Leopard geckos shed their skin approximately once every four to six weeks. The shedding frequency may vary depending on factors such as age, growth rate, and environmental conditions.

3. Are albino leopard geckos more prone to health issues? Albino leopard geckos are not inherently more prone to health issues. However, due to their lack of pigmentation, they may be more sensitive to direct sunlight and require extra care to avoid sunburn.

4. Can I help my gecko with shedding by pulling off the old skin? No, it’s crucial to let the gecko shed its skin naturally. Peeling or pulling off the old skin can cause injury and pain. Providing a humid hideout is the best way to support the shedding process.

5. What should I feed my leopard gecko during shedding? During shedding, continue to offer a balanced diet of live insects. However, you may want to avoid feeding insects that have hard exoskeletons, such as mealworms, as they can be difficult for the gecko to digest during this time.

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