Crested Gecko Skin Infection: Symptoms, Causes & Care

Crested geckos can be easily taken care of if bought healthy in the first place which is why you need to keep signs of a healthy gecko in mind especially when it comes to their body build that should be stocky in appearance.

Even though nocturnal, they should show signs of being alert when you try to handle them or pick them up. Lastly, you should have a look at the cleanliness of their skin. Healthy geckos are rarely affected by skin parasites. Some of them have colored scales or spots that shouldn’t be mistaken for parasites or injuries.

Skin infections in geckos are still a possibility and can cause permanent damage to the skin if left without proper treatment. These may even spread to the blood vessels and prove to be deadly to your gecko’s health.

A healthy crested gecko has smooth skin, bright and clear eyes. If you suspect that your crested gecko is suffering from a skin infection, then he may be lethargic and have wrinkled skin and sunken eyes.  To get a detailed perspective on your crested gecko’s skin infection, read the article below:

Symptoms of crested gecko skin infections:

Signs that easily show your crested gecko is suffering from a skin infection are:

  • Ruptured blisters in the skin that are red and raw
  • A large portion of the body that has blisters in the skin
  • Abscess under the skin that is filled with pus

Pockets filled with fluids are a sign of blister disease.

Causes of skin infection in crested geckos:

Skin infections are mostly caused by fungus or bacteria. These are found in reptiles that live in humid environments. These infections are also caused due to dirty living conditions that may affect the skin of your crested gecko.

Another cause is bacterial dermatitis, which is a deep skin infection that is often referred to as a blistering disease or septicemic cutaneous ulcerative disease. Sometimes people may get confused among burn lesions and fungal infections because they look similar and can easily be misdiagnosed by people. That’s why an accurate diagnosis is required for skin infections.

There is a wide range of bacteria that may cause skin infections. A majority of crested gecko skin infections are bacterial and are not contagious for humans. A scratch or cut on the skin can also increase the risk of skin infections.

Try to maintain good hygiene to reduce the risk of catching skin infections as some organisms may be transferred to humans. If you have any reptiles in the surroundings, they may also get skin infections if contagious. Therefore you will want to diagnose and treat them as quickly as possible.

Read more on crested gecko care.

Treatment of skin infections in crested geckos:

Some crested gecko owners try to treat minor skin infections at home by gently rubbing the infected area with a dilution of chlorhexidine solution povidone-iodine. It is an antibiotic ointment that may be applied to the infected area twice daily. But this is not a proven method and must be done with proper care.

The other way is to cut away the infected areas and drain the blistered ulcers of the skin. Your vet will recommend a course of antibiotics after minor surgery. This minor surgery is based on the severity of the skin infection that your reptile has.

If the skin infection is too severe and might lead to fungal infections, then your vet will recommend a major surgery. The dead tissues of the skin will be removed in this surgery. This is done under an anesthetic and an antibiotic will be prescribed by your vet.

Some bacteria are so strong that they cause fungal infections in your crested gecko’s skin and by touching you may catch a fungal infection on your hands too. It is always best to get an accurate diagnosis of your reptile to ensure the best treatment.

Prevention:

While your gecko is recovering, you need to take preventive measures to save your gecko’s health in the future.

  • Try to provide a very clean environment for your gecko. Improper sanitation may cause skin infections.
  • Use paper towels or paper as a substrate for your gecko’s habitat. Other substrates made up of coconut fibers and cedar wood shaving should be avoided as they may cause skin cuts or skin infections.
  • Try to maintain an optimum temperature for your crested gecko. This may also cause infections if the temperature goes above or below the optimum temperature (72 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit).
  • Try to remove rough objects from your gecko’s habitat. The constant rubbing of the nose and head on these rough objects may damage the skin.

Conclusion:

Skin infection is a common disease among reptiles. Try to immediately contact your vet if you notice any signs of infection among your crested gecko. 

Ensure a clean and suitable habitat for your crested gecko with the correct level of humidity and temperature. Provide daily spot cleaning of your gecko’s enclosure to reduce the risk of bacterial and fungal infections.

If your gecko is recovering, there is always a risk of the infection returning which is why you need to adopt effective preventive measures to save your gecko’s health on time.

Edward Jones is Editor-in-Chief at AZ Reptiles. He is a true reptile lover. He has a lot of experience in keeping and breeding most reptile pets.

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