Bearded dragons are still the most commonly kept pet reptile in the western world and their reputation just continues to increase with each year that goes by.
With the popularity of bearded dragons constantly increasing, we commonly see people reaching out to ask about various problems that their are having with their pet bearded dragons.
More recently, there have been a number of people noticing dark spots on their bearded dragon causing them to worry and reach out for advice but for the most part, there is usually nothing to worry about.
This is why we have decided to publish this article to try and help as many of our readers as possible who are worrying about dark spots developing on their pet bearded dragon.
Is It Normal For A Bearded Dragon To Have Dark Spots On Its Skin?
In some cases, it can be normal for dark spots to form on your bearded dragon and even some of the unnatural reasons that your bearded dragon may have dark spots on it can be very easy to treat.
For the most part, a bearded dragon with dark spots forming on it will be able to be quickly treat and not have any long term health problems.
If you do want professional advice about treating dark spots forming on your pet bearded dragon then be sure to book a video call with a veterinarian so a fully qualified vet can check your bearded dragon over and offer you their professional advice.
Why Is My Bearded Dragons Skin Turning Black?
There are a number of different reasons tat your pet bearded dragons skin may be turning back with some being more serious than others.
We will cover the more common causes below to try and help you get a better idea of what may be wrong with your pet bearded dragon but some of these conditions can be surprisingly difficult to diagnose, even for experienced bearded dragon keepers.
A Fungal Infection
A fungal infection is one of the most common reasons for a bearded dragon to develop black spots on their skin and if you do not treat it quickly then it can lead to your bearded dragon becoming very ill.
Fungal infections are usually caused by poor hygiene or a dirty environment and can be treated with a course of antifungal medication from your veterinarian.
We have a dedicated article going over how to treat black fungus on a bearded dragon that may be helpful but in some cases, specialist medications will be required.
If you think that your bearded dragon may have a fungal infection then it is important to take them to see a vet as soon as possible so they can start treatment and get your pet back to good health.
Natural Color Pigments
One of the reasons that your bearded dragon may have black spots on their skin is because they are starting to develop their natural color pigments.
As your bearded dragon gets older, they will start to develop the various color patterns that are characteristic of their species and in some cases, this can result in black spots appearing on their skin.
This is very common when a bearded dragon starts to reach adulthood and can cause many people who are new to keeping bearded dragons to worry.
Thankfully, this is totally normal and natural and there is nothing to worry about if this is the cause of the black spots on your bearded dragon.
Another common reason for black spots to form on a bearded dragons skin is due to light burns.
Light burns usually happen when a bearded dragon is exposed to too much direct sunlight or UVB light and can cause the skin to become black and dry.
If you think that your beardie has got light burns then it is important to offer them a shaded area in their vivarium.
You may also want to reduce the amount of UVB light that they are being exposed to as this will help to heal the light burns and stop them from getting worse.
If the light burns are severe then it is important to take your bearded dragon to see a vet as they may need treatment with a course of antibiotics.
Dehydration is another common cause of black spots forming on a bearded dragons skin and can happen if they are not getting enough water.
Bearded dragons are very reliant on their water intake to stay healthy and hydrated and if they do not drink enough water then it can lead to dehydration which can cause black spots to form on their skin.
If you think that your bearded dragon is dehydrated then it is important to offer them more water and check their vivarium to make sure that they have a water bowl that they can access easily.
You may also want to mist their vivarium with water to help increase the humidity levels and encourage them to drink.
If your bearded dragon is showing other signs of dehydration such as lethargy or a sunken belly then it is important to take them to see a vet as they may need to be given fluids intravenously.
Problems With Nutrition
Another common cause of black spots on a bearded dragons skin is problems with their nutrition.
So many people new to keeping bearded dragons have problems with providing the correct diet but it really is very easy.
Most commercial bearded dragon food are able to offer everything that your bearded dragon needs as far as nutrition goes but some common treats really should be avoided such as processed foods.
In some cases, black spots on a bearded dragons skin can be a sign of kidney disease.
Kidney disease is relatively common in bearded dragons and can be caused by a number of different things such as a lack of water, a poor diet, or a viral infection.
If you think that your bearded dragon may have kidney disease then you really should take them to a vet to have the diagnosis confirmed and any potential treatments provided.
Although rare, scale rot is another condition that can cause black spots to form on a bearded dragons skin and is usually caused by a fungal or bacterial infection.
Scale rot usually starts out as small, white spots on the skin but if left untreated can quickly spread and turn the skin black.
If you think that your bearded dragon has scale rot then it is important to take them to see a vet as they will be able to prescribe the correct course of treatment as scale rot can quickly end up being a serious problem.
Another cause of black spots on a bearded dragons skin is simply scabs that are in the process of healing.
Bearded dragons can get injured quite easily and when they do, it is not uncommon for them to develop scabs.
These scabs will usually be black in color and may eventually fall off as the injury heals.
Stress and Anxiety
Finally, it is worth noting that stress and anxiety can also cause black spots to form on a bearded dragons skin.
Bearded dragons can get stressed quite easily and when they do, it is not uncommon for them to develop black spots on their skin.
If you think that your bearded dragon is stressed then it is important to try and reduce their stress levels as much as possible.
This can be done by providing them with a hiding place, keeping their vivarium clean and tidy, and avoiding handling them too much.
Necrotic flesh is another condition that can cause black spots on a bearded dragons skin and is usually the result of an injury.
When a bearded dragon is injured, it is not uncommon for the tissue to die and this can cause black spots to form on the skin.
Necrotic flesh in a bearded dragon has to be closely monitors as it will often heal by itself with the necrotic flesh drying up and falling off but it can end up spreading and becoming a serious issue.
Another common cause of black spots on a bearded dragons skin is parasites.
Bearded dragons can get parasites quite easily and when they do, it is not uncommon for them to develop black spots on their skin.
The black spots are usually due to the color of the parasites, the waste of the parasites, or due to the scabs forming where the parasites are biting your bearded dragon.
There are a number of commercial treatments that can quickly and easily deal with parasites on a bearded dragon. In most cases, if you look closely, you will often be able to see the parasites on your pet.
Dried Dirt or Sand
It is also not uncommon for black spots to form on a bearded dragons skin due to dried dirt or sand.
Bearded dragons are often kept on substrates made from sand or dirt and it is not uncommon for this to dry out and form small, black spots on the skin.
This is nothing to worry about as it is usually just dirt or sand that has become stuck to the skin but can be easily removed by bathing your bearded dragon.
Freckles are another common cause of black spots on a bearded dragons skin and are caused by an excess of melanin in the skin.
Freckles are usually harmless and will often disappear on their own but in some cases, they can be a sign of a more serious condition such as melanoma and need to be monitored
Summary of Dark Spots On Your Bearded Dragon
Here is a quick summary of the more common reasons that your bearded dragon may have dark spots on its skin.
- A Fungal Infection
- Natural Color Pigments
- Light Burns
- Scale Rot
- Scabs Healing
- Stress And Anxiety
- Problems With Nutrition
- Necrotic Flesh
- Dried Dirt Or Sand
As you can see, there are a number of different things that can cause black spots to form on a bearded dragons skin. In most cases, the black spots are nothing to worry about and will eventually go away on their own.