Corn Snakes

Corn Snake Shedding Too Often – The Reasons And Recommendations

Why Is My Corn Snake Shedding Too Often?

Abnormal shedding is sometimes common, but this isn’t a good thing. There are a number of reason why a corn snake may be shedding more than usual. In most cases it’s an environmental issue. So your vivarium may not be set up correctly.

Let me take you through the most common causes of abnormal shedding, that are linked with incorrect vivarium set ups.

(Please scroll down to the bottom of the page to find ‘Other related articles you might like’, once you are done reading).

Low Humidity

During the process of shedding, the skin of a corn snake is very susceptible to loss of water. If the humidity is too low then patches of the old outer layer of skin may stick to the new inner layer. This causes some health problems and a lot of irritation for your corn snake. Purchase an electronic hydrometer to keep track of humidity levels effectively.

Vivarium furniture

The lack of furniture or acceptable furniture may be the cause of abnormal shedding. Corn snakes need surfaces they can rub up against to aid the process of shedding dead skin. Be careful though, as you don’t want to have any sharp edges in the enclosure, as this can also harm your snake. Exo Terra furniture is great for snakes when shedding.

Health Issues

Diseases, mites, cuts and open wounds can also affect the shedding process. Your snake may be experiencing some unease as a result of this. Similar to what they may feel before the shedding process begins, tricking them into believing they need to shed again.

How To Manage Abnormal Shedding

Managing the problem of abnormal shedding will involve improvement to the environment inside the vivarium. Make sure you provide a shedding box. This will provide a safe location with high humidity to aid the shedding process. Be sure to include a branch or stone for your snake to rub up against. Regularly misting the inside of the vivarium will help keep the humidity high.

There are some product available online that will help aid the loosening of retained sheds of skin. If there are patches of shedded skin still attached to your snake, try pouring some lukewarm water over the affected area throughout the day. Having a water bowl with lukewarm water in also will allow your snake to bathe at its leisure.

If you see any very loose bits of skin, you can try to gently peel them off. Let the skin come off naturally though, never force it. If it seems to be stuck on still, leave it alone and do not continue this process. Shedded skin which is still attached can cause your corn snake a lot of discomfort. So if you see any signs of this, whether that is bruising or any damage, then please contact your veterinarian for assistance.

If a spectacle (the eye) is retained, this is best to be removed via a damp cotton bud. Again with lukewarm water. Gently rubbing in a circular motion, applying the lightest of pressure. This will usually work, but if not, then please seek veterinarian advise. 

DO NOT, under any circumstances use a pair of tweezers to remove the skin. This can cause serious permanent damage to the cornea, which can consequently cause loss of sight in that eye.

How Often Should A Corn Snake Shed Its Skin?

As your corn snake grows it will shed its skin at different rates and times. A baby corn snake which is still growing will usually shed its skin roughly very few weeks. The time between shed will increase as your snake gets older. As an adult, your corn snake may only shed every few months. As long as your corn snake as a place to bathe in water, it will do so when it is ready, so there is no need to force this cycle.

When shedding, a corn snakes skin will not come off all at once. Nor will it even get “stuck”. You should never peel off a snakes skin, as this will damage the new formed skin below. The reason the skin has not fallen off yet, it because the new skin layer isn’t fully ready for exposure yet. The skin will naturally fall off in its own time. Providing clean cage accessories such as wood or rocks, to help your corn snake rub off the dead skin is ideal. Just make sure they are relatively smooth all over and have no sharp edges, as this main cause irritation to the new new skin, causing external damage to your corn snake.

Handling your corn snake when it is shedding tis skin should be avoided as much as possible. The skin becomes very tender, and is some cases painful for the snake if skin is torn off before it is ready. If you do need to handle your snake for any reason, then please do so very carefully.

If you have any worries about dead skin which haven’t fallen off yet, please seek advice from a trained professional.

Correct vivarium requirements to check

Substrate – The material you put in the Botton of the cage. Newspaper, Aspen shavings and Cypress mulch is most recommended.

Heating – Your corn snakes enclosure needs some form of heating, Ideally a warm and cool side to the enclosure. Heating mats are the best recommenced for this, placed only one side of the enclosure. 75 – 80 degrees Fahrenheit is the optimal heating level.

Lighting – In the wild, corn snakes obviously have a natural cycle of day/night lighting. So this should be replicated in your enclosure too. You can provide light by positioning your enclosure near to a window, or a UVB light placed on the cage with a timer.

When Do Corn Snakes Shed?

When do corn snakes shed their skin? There are a few reasons corn snakes shed their skin throughout their lives. As your corn snake grows it will very quickly out grow its skin. This will happen roughly once every few weeks when they are juveniles. The time in-between shed will increase as they get older. 

(Please scroll down to the bottom of the page to find ‘Other related articles you might like’, once you are done reading).

Similar to humans corn snakes also have many layers of skin. Human skin dries out and flakes off, all year round, in tiny little pieces. For humans, scrubbing in the shower will remove all of the loose skin on a daily basis. So we never really see our skin shedding. Unfortunately for corn snakes, they have no means to scrub. Therefore they have to let nature do its work. Corn snakes will bathe in water to loosen their skin, then bask in the sun to dry it out. This process will be repeated until a full layer on skin has shedded.

A female corn snaked will also shed just before she’s about to lay her eggs. This is so she is at maximum comfort when they time comes. The new skin will more durable, and will cause much less discomfort than older, drier, more robust skin would.

Most Recommended For Corn Snakes

Bathing Water Bowl – Click Here

Heat Lamp and Guard – Click Here

Reliable Thermometer – Click Here

Vivarium/Enclosure – Click Here

Climbing Branches – Click Here

Hydrometer – Click Here

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