What To Do When Tattoo Peels – The Peeling And Healing Process
You’ve gotten a new tattoo and now it is starting to peel. A peeling tattoo doesn’t feel or look good, but it is a normal, essential part of the healing process.
Fortunately, there are several things you can do to relieve the discomfort of a peeling tattoo and help it heal during the completion of the aftercare process.
In the guide below you’ll find the essential information that you need to know on what to do long after your is finished, when the develops to the point your moves past being an and reaches the .
When Does the Peeling Stage Begin?
Everyone’s body is unique when healing from getting a tattoo, but after is an inevitable and important part of the process. The and . can scare many people – particularly those new to getting ink – however it’s important to remember that is a normal part of the
For some, the begins a mere two days after getting a . Others don’t start peeling until four days have passed. And yet the for some collectors won’t start until the week after getting a .
You shed millions of cells from every day without you noticing it. When your begins to , you’ll notice it because the you shed come off in larger, colored chunks containing .
You may believe that your is going to fade because you’re seeing colored chunks of and come off of your body. When your , your epidermis, the top layer of your , is shedding.
Don’t worry, your will remain intact. Because the is under your dermis, it remains protected from the of the top layer.
The Tattoo Looks and Feels Bad
During the and your is , the can look awful. Just remember that this is your body’s natural way of itself after an . Your will feel like a bad sunburn; there will be itchy and .
While the whitish flakes and cracking skin appear unsightly, you should be thinking of them as a good thing. In reality, this is exactly how the skin naturally repairs itself after significant trauma. Think how a stitched wound knits together, or the peeling phase after a nasty sunburn – a tattoo peel is the same sort of experience, if a little more unique.
Tattoo peeling means your skin epidermis is exfoliating
You are literally shedding off your skin during this part of the healing stage.
You do this daily in the form of millions of skin cells regnerating, often without even realizing it. Only this time the flakes are noticeable in size and they’re being carried away with some of the left over colored ink too.
It’s hard to miss, and truth be told the experience freaks a lot of people out the first time they go through this part of tattoo healing.
However, not to worry. All of your tattoo ink is resting safely deep under the dermis (the second layer of tissue), so it won’t fall out or flake off provided you don’t do anything silly. It’s just that messy top coat that fools our eyes into believing something is wrong, when in reality it’s really not.
Moisturizing is Essential
During the peeling process, unless you’ve decided to take on the dry healing method it’s essential that you keep your tattoo moisturized.
For the first three days after you get your tattoo, you should be cleaning your tattoo and washing, drying, and putting ointment on it regularly.
On the fourth day, you can begin to use a recommended lotion for tattoos to keep your fresh ink moist and your healing skin hydrated while it continues to repair.
One of the most popular products for moisturizing tattoos is Hustle Butter Deluxe. It could be a good choice since it uses a gentle formula made from natural ingredients, doesn’t contain petroleum, and can be incorporated into your aftercare regimen from start to finish
Putting lotion on your tattoo regularly will help relieve the itchiness you feel as well as improve your tattoo’s appearance.
Apply the lotion two to three times each day for the next 25 days or until it no longer peels or feels tight and taut on your skin.
When you apply lotion to your tattoo, apply a thin layer over your skin. There is no need to put a thick coat of lotion on your tattoo, in fact it can be counter productive. Doing so will clog your pores and may cause other problems for your skin.
Dealing with Intense Itching
If you are experiencing intense itching, there are a few things you can do to relieve it. Try gently slapping your tattoo. It sounds quite silly, but it often works. You can also take an antihistamine such as GoodSense All Day Allergy to relieve the itching.
As a last resort, apply some hydrocortisone cream like this 1% cream from Basic Care to your tattoo. Hydrocortisone shouldn’t be used frequently or on a long-term basis. Limit your use of it, only using it when the itchiness is unbearable.
If your itchiness is mildly annoying, try one of the other suggestions mentioned above instead.
My tattoo is also scabbing
Source: Sarah-Rose via Flickr License: CC BY ND 2.0
Relax, tattoo scabbing and peeling go hand in hand. If you’re scabbing and you’ve followed the proper tattoo aftercare process it doesn’t always mean you did something wrong.
For some people their bodies will scab regardless of what they do; it’s can be just as unavoidable as peeling.
Some factors that contribute to differing speeds in tattoo scabbing include:
- Your skin type and sensitivity
- Your personal healing rate
- The steps you’ve taken during the aftercare process
- The size, placement, color and type of ink
- Other factors such as weather, diet, general fitness, and hydration levels
When this happens, just remember to keep your scabs moisturized, and never under any circumstances pick at them!
Within 2 weeks you’ll see most if not all of the scabs start to come off naturally. If you try to rush this part of the process you’ll damage your ink, creating light spots of discoloration or ink fallout all over your new tattoo.
Regardless of how tempting it is, don’t pick, rub, or fondle your tattoo!
You might also enjoy knowing that more than often, the last scabs that fall off are usually in spots where the heaviest ink has been laid.
Scabbing goes hand in hand with the tattoo peeling process. Generally speaking, you’ll have both happen during the middle part of your heal.
After Your Tattoo is Done Peeling
You’re flake free, finally!
At this point, you’re new tattoo will have changed from a peeling flaky mess into a shiny, waxy, almost healed piece of body art.
However, this doesn’t mean the healing process is over, you still have a good two to four weeks left to go before it completes the top layer of healing.
During this time period you’ll want to keep applying your lotion. How often you apply it really depends on your how dry your skin becomes or how often you moisturize as part of your daily skincare regimen.
Just ensure that you’re nourishing your skin with plenty of moisture to hydrate when it needs it.
Remember, even thought it looks sort of healed, your skin still has no UV ray protection. That means no sun exposure; it will fade your tattoo and leave it vulnerable.
If you have any colors like yellow, white, orange, etc they will dramatically lose their vibrancy if you don’t care for your ink properly. Even black ink will fade if you spend enough time out in the sun.
Some believe they can apply sun block and sort of bypass the healing process. It just doesn’t work like that! Your skin is no longer abraded or exposed, yet it’s still going to be incredibly sensitive to the sunlight, regardless if you use sun bock or not.
You may still have what feels like overly tight or even tense skin. For some it’s really uncomfortable, but there’s a surefire way to care for it. Instead of applying lotion try a little cocoa butter or coconut oil, it will often do wonders for your skin’s suppleness and tension.
After you have gotten a tattoo, you want to protect your ink while it heals. A natural part of the healing process is peeling.
While peeling may make your tattoo look and feel bad, it’s a normal part of the healing process.
Following the aftercare instructions in this article will help you relieve the discomfort of your peeling tattoo and protect your ink.
At any stage during the healing process, if you have concerns about the ink, your skin, or infection and drop out, make sure that you get in touch with your tattoo artist to see what they think. They’re also invested in your tattoo so will help allay fears that you might have or recommend to get in touch with a medical professional should an issue arise.
Tattoo Peeling FAQs
How long does your tattoo take to heal?
After getting freshly tattooed it generally takes three to four weeks for the top layer of skin to heal so that you can start showing it off to friends and family in its finished state, and six weeks at the outside.
The dermis can take up to six months to heal in full.
As is the case with most things, the time it takes your tattooed skin to heals and recover may be entirely different to other people, and that’s okay. Just make sure you follow the process of aftercare that best suits your skin.
How do you know when your tattoo is healed?
You will know that your tattoo is completely healed when there are no scabs, the texture of your skin where the tattoo was placed is the same as a similar surface of skin, and the colors on your tattoo are no longer faded, irritated, or feel tight.
Once your tattoo is healed, you will be able to enjoy the activities you did before you got it, without fear of infection or further damage to your new body art.
Can I use neosporin on my new tattoo?
Some medicated ointment’s properties have an adverse effect on tattoos. The patch of skin that has been ‘traumatized’ by several needles pricking it over and over needs oxygen with a thin layer of moisturization in order to heal the best way possible.
Using some medicated products, like Neosporin and Bacitracin could cause the body to reject it or heal too quickly, creating an allergic reaction that could involve a significant rash or series of tiny red dots.
Can I work out during the healing and peeling stage?
For all intents and purposes it’s best to avoid strenuous working out for 3-4 weeks while your new tattoo ink heals and the aftercare process runs it’s course.
Avoid participating in heavy sweating activities or intensive gym workout and lifting sessions until at least the second round of layered tattoo peeling is complete.
If you do light exercise after getting a new piece of body art, be aware. Note whether the movement of your muscles and limbs pulls or tightens your tattoo. If it does, take it out of your workout plan until later on in the process.
Can I go swimming after getting a new tattoo?
You can get your tattoo wet during the tattoo aftercare process, but make sure you don’t swim or soak in water of any type for at least 3-4 weeks or until the tattoo heals in full.
Natural water systems and chlorinated water can interfere with the healing process itself or cause infection to the tattooed area. This would increase the time the tattoo needs for healing – or necessitate the ink being fixed or treated – and can punish the ink and tissue underneath.
What else should I avoid after getting a new tattoo?
The following behaviors or products are not recommended during the initial tattoo healing and aftercare period:
- Doing nothing after getting a tattoo
- Exposure to direct sunlight
- Touching, picking, scratching, and rubbing
- Shaving the body
- Neosporin and medicated ointment
- Excess exposure to water
- Avoid tight fitting clothes that don’t breathe well
- Pick one: wrap healing, wet healing, or dry method
- Over treating the tattooed area
- Excess sweating
- Avoid excess drugs, cigarettes and alcohol
- No fondling
- Re-bandaging the new ink
Did you enjoy these insights into treatment for a ? For more information on the for a click on the links below: care and