Inside: Tattoo Peeling Tips – Are Tattoos Supposed to Peel? 

Whether you’re covered in tattoos or you just got your first one, going through the peeling and flaking phase of tattoo healing can be highly unpleasant. Seeing large, colorful flakes of your tattoo peeling off may lead you to believe that your tattoo is losing color and ink or that something is wrong with it.

However, tattoo peeling and flaking is a natural part of the healing process and is seldom something to worry about. But still — the more you can prevent it, the better.

Tattoo Peeling

Today we’re going to explore the process of tattoo healing, scabbing, flaking, and peeling in detail. We’ll also give some helpful tips for tattoo peeling and potentially avoiding the worst parts of scabbing. But most importantly, we’ll cover some critical DO’s and DO NOT’s for avoiding scabbing and flaking, as well as taking care of a peeling tattoo.

Is it Normal for a Tattoo Peeling?

Your tattoo causes trauma (even if minor) to the body — the peeling is a response to that. Although your tattoo ink doesn’t live in the top layer of skin (it’s actually underneath, in the dermis), it does trigger the body to shed as a response to what your body thinks is an injury. Essentially, it’s trying to heal itself by sloughing away the epidermis.

Why Do Tattoos Peel?

Essentially, tattoo peeling is the epidermis layer of your skin going through extreme exfoliation. Exfoliation is something your skin does naturally on a daily basis, disposing of millions of dead skin cells. You don’t normally notice that your body is doing this because the exfoliation level is very minor.

However, when you get a tattoo it becomes almost impossible to ignore. Unlike normal exfoliation, the skin flakes will be significantly larger in size and contain tattoo ink. This can certainly be alarming, but it is usually nothing to stress about. Luckily, the bulk of your tattoo ink will be safely embedded deep under the dermis.

Some tattoo peeling is inevitable, but you still want to mitigate the peeling as much as possible to avoid distortions in your tattoo. Less peeling means a much lower chance of scabs forming and less itchy unpleasantness.

Tattoo healing

How Long Does it Take for a Tattoo to Peel?

On average, new tattoos begin peeling around day 4 or 5. This will vary from person to person. Some may experience peeling as early as day 2 and others may not experience it until about a week later. Once the peeling begins, it usually subsides within a week or two.

There is a myriad of reasons why some tattoos peel before others. And there are many reasons some tattoos peel more than others. These include the location of the tattoo, size, color, saturation, and how rough deep the needles penetrated the skin.

Is the Ink of my Tattoo Falling Off?

If this is your first tattoo, you. might be thinking my tattoo is peeling and the ink is coming off! Luckily, it’s not. In fact, after your tattoo has finished peeling completely, it should make your tattoo appear even brighter and more vibrant. “After the skin has shed, the underlying skin will reveal the sharp and true colors of the initial tattoo,” Dr. Lin says.

“This is because the tattoo ink is placed in the dermis, and it’s only the epidermis which peels.”

Tattoo peeling

Do’s + Don’ts of Tattoo Peeling

Here are some Do’s

  1. Wear loose clothing.
  2. Give your body time to heal through its own natural processes.
  3. Keep the freshly tattooed area clean.
  4. Keep your tattoo moisturized.
  5. Most importantly, do not pick your tattoo. It may itch, but picking it could lead to an infection or scarring.

Here are some Don’ts

  1. Pick or pull on the scabs/flakes.
  2. Itch, scratch, or rub your peeling tattoo.
  3. Submerge your tattoo in water for extended peeling

Find the Perfect Tattoo Design Inspiration

  • Cute Cloud Tattoos – Because of their symbolic meanings, as well as infinite design possibilities, the tattoos of clouds are becoming increasingly popular in the world. Whether used on their own or as parts of some larger designs or scenes, clouds have the ability to connote a variety of meanings. At the same time, design-wise, there are several variations, as well as styles which you and your favorite tattoo artist can work with, to create the perfect cloud tattoo for you.
  • Embroidery Tattoo Ideas – If you love tattoos as well as embroidery, you are going to go wild for these embroidery tattoos! These designs are some of the coolest tattoo ideas around. They look like you have actual embroidery stitches in your skin! They do take some time for the tattoo artist to make them so detailed, but it’s worth every second! Don’t miss these awesome embroidery tattoo designs.
  • Eye Catching Aesthetic Tattoo – Aesthetic is concerned with beauty or the appreciation of beauty, and what better way to show off what you think is beautiful than some stunning tattoos. From ocean waves, soaring butterflies, to pretty flowers, and colorful designs these eye-catching aesthetic tattoo ideas are perfect for your next ink session. Some of our favorite tattooed areas for these are small but fun places like behind the ear, forearm, collarbone, or finger. You can create a beautiful story with these simple works of art, let us know in the comments your favorite.