I have an 18 year old leopard gecko. Due to improper care in the past years, he has lost both of his eyes. I have not had any issue removing the dead skin from his eyes until recently, and I just can't get it off. Since he does not have his eyes anymore, do I still need to remove the dead skin that is stuck in his empty eye sockets?

Thank you for help!


2 Answers 2


Even though he no longer has eyes it is still ideal that all shed be removed. Retained shed can cause avascular necrosis which can lead to sloughing of the skin and osteomyelitis of the underlying bone (mainly with digits). There is a chance that the retained shed may come off during his next shed cycle.

In the meantime provide a humidity box with peat moss and a Tupperware container as well as some rough surfaces for him to rub his face on.

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A few ways to remove shed from eyes

  1. Use saline to flush the eye - the constant pressure of the water rinsing the eye can loosen the retained cap.

  2. Apply mineral oil to the eye and gently roll a q-tip to the surface.

Never pull off retained shed as you can damage the skin.

A visit to the vet!

Some shedding problems can be caused from medical reasons as well (i.e systemic disease, fungal), if you notice a pattern of him always having problems shedding it would be worth going to an exotics vet for a work-up.

Related question:

(Source 1) (Source 2)


You should still remove the shed no matter what. Put the gecko in some thing really moist to loosen the shed and then take tweezers and peel the skin off slowly don’t pul down super hard pull down nice and easy

  • 2
    Welcome to Pets Stack Exchange :) Have you got any evidence to support your answer. The other answer on this question seems to claim the opposite that you shouldn't pull off the shed.
    – Henders
    Commented Oct 24, 2018 at 13:54

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