I just adopted a leopard gecko about a week ago, and she had some stuck shed. I gave her a moist hide box to see if it would help, this morning I soaked her in water and the shed started to peel off.

The stuck shed on her toes came off pretty easy, but the tip of her tail was horrible, 5 layers of stuck shed came off! I noticed she had a red band around where the stuck shed was. It looked like an open cut so I cleaned it up and let her be.

It's been a few hours now and I noticed the whole tip of her tail looks dead.

  1. What do I do?
  2. Will it fall off on its own?
  3. If so, will it grow back?
  • 1
    It would be really nice if you posted a picture of the tail to improve your question :) Commented Nov 22, 2017 at 15:05

2 Answers 2


What do I do?

Leave it be, use a layer of paper towel as substrate to prevent dirt from getting into the area causing infection.

Keep her moist hide always fresh, dampen it daily. Tupperware container (hole cut in for an entrance) with soaked paper towel or peat moss works great.

If you see her in process of shedding again increase the humidity in her terrarium until all shed is removed.

Will it fall off on its own?

Multiple layers of retained shed causes the ring you described, this is because at the ends it tightens, restricting blood circulation. The lack of blood circulation turns the area black (dead tissue), in time it will fall off.

If so will it grow back?

Yep! Though it won't look the same as it originally did and will not be the same length either.

Check out this wonderful answer on tail drop, that case is the extreme version of your situation.


My gecko's tail recently did this. Her shedding process didn’t go as planned and her shedding skin stayed on half her tail for two days. I noticed an open flesh wound, so I grabbed her tail and she just looked up at me. I didn’t know how it was going to turn out, but I started to bend it and it came off. Alza seemed very happy that I did this. She was in much less of a crabby mood afterwards. I’m surprised it went so well.

Nonetheless, it seemed like the better option. I have never had this happen before - she’s only ten weeks old and was too skittish to let me wrap her tail in damp paper towels.

Hopefully this could help anybody who finds oneself in the same situation as me.


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