How to get rid of bearded dragon stress marks

How to get rid of bearded dragon stress marks?

Bearded dragons are popular pets, and while they are generally hardy and easy to keep, they can sometimes develop stress marks. Stress marks are dark patches on the skin caused by stress or underlying illness.

These marks can indicate a variety of problems including improper environmental conditions, a poor diet, or a lack of mental stimulation. As a Reptile Health Expert, I understand the importance of identifying and addressing the causes of stress marks in order to keep your bearded dragon healthy and happy.

In this article, I will explain the common causes of stress marks in bearded dragons and provide tips on how to get rid of them. I will also discuss the importance of establishing a healthy routine to prevent stress marks from recurring.

Identifying the Causes of Bearded Dragon Stress Marks

Under the microscope - bearded dragon
Credit: Laura May Goodwin

Bearded dragons are known for being hardy creatures, but they are not invincible. Identifying the causes of stress marks is critical to ensuring the long-term health and happiness of your pet. A few common reasons why bearded dragons may experience stress include improper lighting, temperature, or diet.

Improper Lighting

Bearded dragons require a specific type and intensity of light to maintain their health. UV-B lighting helps them synthesize vitamin D3, which is crucial for bone growth and overall health.

Without enough UV-B exposure, bearded dragons can develop metabolic bone disease, which can lead to weakened bones and deformities. If your pet’s enclosure does not provide adequate UV-B lighting or if the bulbs need replacing, he or she may become stressed.

Temperature Issues

Bearded dragons are cold-blooded animals that need heat to regulate their body temperature properly. If their enclosure is too cold or too hot, they may become stressed or sick.

Ideally, the basking area should be between 95-105 degrees Fahrenheit with a cooler area around 75-85 degrees Fahrenheit. Providing a gradient allows your pet to regulate its body temperature better.

Dietary Concerns

A balanced diet is critical for maintaining your bearded dragon’s overall health and reducing potential stressors in their environment. Feeding them poor quality food or failing to offer variety in their diet can lead to malnutrition or illnesses that manifest as stress marks on their bodies.

Environmental Factors

Environmental factors such as loud noises from household appliances, too much activity around their enclosure by family members or pets can all cause stress in your bearded dragon leading to stress marks on their bodies.

It’s essential you consider every aspect of your pet’s living space to ensure they are not overstimulated, which can lead to stress and the appearance of stress marks.

Tips for Reducing Stress in Bearded Dragons

Bearded Dragon
Credit: Veronica Burke

Creating a Comfortable and Safe Living Space

The first step in reducing stress in your bearded dragon is to create a comfortable and safe living space. Bearded dragons are creatures of habit, so it’s important to establish a routine for feeding, lighting, temperature, and socialization. Ensure that your pet has ample space to move around and climb on rocks or other objects.

Make sure the enclosure is properly cleaned and disinfected regularly. When selecting an enclosure for your bearded dragon, prioritize size over aesthetics.

The ideal enclosure should be at least 40 gallons for one adult or juvenile bearded dragon. Avoid glass aquariums as they do not retain heat very well and can cause stress in your pet.

Reducing External Stimuli

Bearded dragons are sensitive creatures that can easily become stressed by external stimuli such as noise or vibrations. To reduce external stimuli consider the following:

  • Place the enclosure in a quiet room away from loud noises.
  • Cover the sides of the enclosure with paper or fabric to reduce visual stimulation.
  • Use blinds or curtains to block out sunlight during nap times.
  • Add natural hiding spots such as rocks or branches where your pet can retreat if they need privacy.

It’s also important to avoid handling your bearded dragon excessively which could lead to stress build-up over time.

If you do need to handle them, start slowly with short sessions until they become comfortable with you.

Natural Remedies for Bearded Dragon Stress Marks

While medication may be necessary in some cases, there are many natural remedies that can help reduce your bearded dragon’s stress levels. Here are a few ideas:

Adding Hiding Spots

One of the most effective ways to reduce stress in bearded dragons is to create hiding spots where they can retreat when they feel scared or threatened.

This could include adding rocks, logs, or other objects to their enclosure that provide cover and a sense of security. It’s important to choose hiding spots that are appropriately sized for your pet and won’t pose a risk of injury.

Using Calming Scents

You can also use calming scents to help soothe your pet’s nerves. Some good options include lavender, chamomile, and vanilla.

You can either use essential oils or add these scents to your pet’s enclosure in other ways. For example, you could place fresh lavender sprigs around the enclosure or add a few drops of vanilla extract to their water bowl.

The Benefits of Natural Remedies

There are several benefits to using natural remedies over medication when it comes to treating bearded dragon stress marks. First and foremost, natural remedies tend to have fewer side effects than prescription drugs. They’re also often less expensive and easier to administer since they don’t require a trip to the vet.

In addition, natural remedies address the root cause of the problem rather than just masking symptoms. For example, while medication may temporarily relieve stress-related symptoms like lethargy or loss of appetite, it won’t do anything to address the underlying cause of those symptoms – namely, an overly stressful environment.

Note: While natural remedies can be effective in many cases, it’s important to consult with a veterinarian before administering any treatment to your pet. They can help you determine the best course of action based on your pet’s specific needs and circumstances.

Medical Treatment Options

When to Seek Medical Treatment for Bearded Dragon Stress Marks

If you have taken steps to reduce stress in your bearded dragon and their stress marks persist, it may be time to consult with a veterinarian. They will be able to assess the situation and determine if medical intervention is necessary.

Some additional signs that medical treatment may be needed include lethargy, loss of appetite, difficulty breathing, or other physical symptoms.

Potential Medical Treatments

If your veterinarian determines that medical treatment is necessary, there are several potential options. The first step will likely be a thorough physical examination to rule out any underlying health concerns that could be contributing to your pet’s stress.

From there, medication may be recommended. Common options include anti-inflammatory drugs or antibiotics to treat any infections or underlying health issues.

In some cases, topical creams or ointments may also be prescribed to help alleviate stress marks. In rare cases where the stress marks are severe and causing significant distress for your pet, surgery may also be considered as an option.


While seeing stress marks on your beloved pet can certainly be concerning, it’s important not to panic. By taking proactive steps to reduce environmental stressors and consulting with a veterinarian if needed, you can help ensure that your pet stays happy and healthy.

Remember that every animal is different and what works for one might not work for another; patience and persistence are key when it comes to managing these types of issues in pets. With proper care and attention, you can help keep your bearded dragon calm and comfortable for years to come!