When Do Tattoos Stop Peeling?

Getting your first tattoo is a very important decision, and you’ve finally gone through with it. You’ve gone through the trials of choosing your tattoo, choosing your artist, and getting the tattoo done. After a couple of days, you’ll notice your tattoo starts to appear a little flaky. You might also notice that your skin has risen slightly.

Well, don’t worry, this is completely normal. It’s all part of the healing process. Read on to find out why your body does this, and to answer your question — when do tattoos stop peeling?

Why Do Tattoos Peel?

Fresh floral tattoo.

When you get a tattoo, the needle breaks the barrier of your skin. After your tattoo session has finished, your body naturally starts to heal the tattooed area. This is because it treats your tattoo as an injury.

During the process of getting your tattoo, the ink has to go deep into your skin to ensure that your body doesn’t naturally shed it away. As your body begins to heal the tattooed area, it will peel away the “damaged” layer of the skin on top. You might be concerned about parts of your tattoo peeling away, but you can rest easy knowing that your tattoo sits deep in a layer of the skin called the dermis, so it won’t peel away that easily.

When Will My Tattoo Start To Peel?

Black floral tattoo.

Not everyone’s tattoo will start to peel at the same time, though, peeling is to be expected at some point. The degree of peeling will also vary, with some people experiencing only slight peeling, and others experiencing a lot more. Generally, the smaller your tattoo is, the less peeling that will occur.

In most cases, your tattoo will start to peel at least a week after you got it, most of the time just three to four days after you got the tattoo. Peeling will start gradually, and may increase over the next week. However, at some point, the peeling will start to reduce, until it completely subsides.

How To Deal With Peeling.

Henna tattoos on hand.

While peeling is to be expected, there are a handful of things you can do to make sure you’re treating your tattoo right.

Shower with warm water

Your skin will be sensitive for the next week or so. Even though your skin is sensitive, it’s important that you’re having warm showers. Warm showers (paired with a scent-free soap) keep your tattoo clean during its healing process. The warm water also cleans the peeling skin away easier. It’s critical that a scent-free soap is used for the entire healing process, as scented soaps have been known to over-dry the skin, which could have an adverse effect on the tattoos healing.

Moisturize your tattoo

You will want to follow your tattoo artists suggestions for when you need to start moisturizing. Once you have the all clear to moisturize your tattoo, you want to moisturize at least two to three times each day. You can keep this up for as long as you want, but generally you want to keep at it until the skin no longer peels, and no longer feels tight.

Don’t itch

No matter what you do, you should never itch your healing tattoo. Your tattoo is a wound in its healing process. The more you touch your tattoo, the higher chance there is of getting an infection. Itching could also have an impact on the appearance of your tattoo, and could cause unnecessary scarring.

If you’re planning to get a tattoo in summer, we recommend taking a look at this article to know what to expect. Summer can cause you to sweat more, and excess sweat could impact your tattoos healing timeframe.

When Do Tattoos Stop Peeling? When To Expect Your First Tattoo To Stop Peeling.

Peeling tattoos aren’t a good look or feel. It sucks, but it’s all part of the experience. You might be asking yourself “when do tattoos stop peeling?” in an effort to figure out when you’ll be free of it. Although this is different for everyone, you can expect your tattoo to stop peeling within a week or two of when it started.

Can Old Tattoos Peel?

While it’s not impossible, your tattoo, especially if old, should not continue to peel. If you are noticing that old tattoos are peeling, it could be in relation to an allergic reaction to the ink used. It is definitely possible to have an adverse reaction to the ink used in your tattoo, and this most commonly occurs with colored inks.

Conclusion

Woman with upper arm tattoo holding noodles.

At the end of the day, peeling is unavoidable, and you should go into your first tattoo with that realization. It may not look the best during it’s peeling phase, but remind yourself that the peeling is only temporary. Your tattoo will heal with time, and once it has, you’ll be left with a beautiful piece of ink.

It’s important to heed the advice of your tattoo artist, as each tattoo artists has a different style, different ink, and different tools. If you’re concerned that your tattoo is peeling too much, reach out to your artist.

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Inked and Faded is a website focused on the world of tattoos. From created to curated, Inked and Faded is your leading source for tattoo related content.

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