why do tattoos peel

Why Do Tattoos Peel? 8 Dumbest Reasons Due To Which Your Tattoo Start Peeling Quickly

Getting a favorite tattoo on the body is a dream for many people. That’s why they go through such a painful process to get their tattoo. However, a lot of times, after getting a tattoo, it starts peeling. Why is that? Why do tattoos peel?

There are questions like these that come to mind. So, let me tell you, there are two types of peeling: one is normal, and the other is a problem.

This article will explain the difference between the two and how you should handle peeling tattoos.

Why Do Tattoos Peel?

Tattooing is an invasive procedure. The epidermal layer of your skin is punched with needles and other objects.

This thing isn’t normal for the body at all. Skin cells are damaged when needles penetrate your body. Our body has some natural responses to heal from such types of issues and peeling is one of them.

During the healing process, dead skin cells rise to the surface, giving the tattoo a flaky appearance. 

This is how your tattoos are healed.  After the injured tissues have sufficiently healed, your body sheds the dead skin cells to reveal healthy-looking, healed skin.

That type of peeling is completely normal for you.

How long do tattoos peel?

The skin may take longer to heal completely after a tattoo, but tattoos typically heal within two weeks. The skin starts peeling several days after getting a tattoo as it heals and repairs itself.

Does Peeling Damage Tattoos?

As long as you’re doing proper aftercare on your tattoo and following the expert’s guidelines as well, peeling won’t damage it. However, if you’re not following the perfect guidelines and keep touching and picking at the tattoo, you might break and damage it that way.

So, make sure you do proper aftercare for your tattoo, which will be discussed later on in this piece of writing.

Which Peeling Is Not Normal?

This is another question that might get into your head: if the above-mentioned peeling is normal, which one isn’t? So, let me tell you: Tattoos don’t always peel just because your skin is repairing itself; sometimes it may be a sign of an infection.

You heard it right. Tattoo flaking or peeling caused by ingredients in the ink may be a sign of delayed infection. In addition to the tattooed area, you may also feel feverish and unwell throughout your body.

An infection can also be caused by inadequate parlour health regulations, such as using unsterilized equipment. If you are concerned, seek medical attention right away.

You Might Be Having An Allergic Reaction.

You may have this problem if your tattoo is peeling excessively. If the chemicals in the ink particles cause an adverse reaction in your skin, this could happen.

Your tattoo might have developed contact dermatitis if it is excessively peeling and exhibiting symptoms of an allergic reaction. This reaction is frequently caused by red ink.

What Are Other Symptoms of Allergy? (Unnormal Peeling of Tattoo)

There are some other symptoms that you might face when you have any type of infection or allergy. So, feed them in your mind, and if you’re facing them, get medical help immediately.

  • Excessive scarring
  • Excretion of substances from the area
  • Severe rashes
  • Consistent itching urges
  • Inflammation and swelling

What are the other Reasons for your tattoo Peeling?

Aftercare of your tattoo?

Doing proper aftercare on your tattoo boosts its healing speed. Also, it prevents you from having any sort of infection or allergy. So, the following are the things that you have to do to take care of your skin after getting tattooed:

1) Creams based on the water should be used:

In case the tattoo and the skin around it feel dry, apply a water-based moisturizer or cream. You should avoid petroleum-based products because they can fade your ink.

2) Keep the tattoo out of the sun:

Tattoos can fade from UV rays from the sun. When exposed to the sun, people should use sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher to protect their tattoos. Make sure you reapply sunscreen every two hours and don’t forget to do it 15 minutes before you leave.

3) Do not use tanning beds:

Besides making tattoos fade faster, sunlamps and tanning beds also increase the risk of skin cancer. In some cases, tattooed skin reacts painfully to UV light.

4) Avoid moles at all costs:

A person who is considering getting a tattoo should choose a spot on their body where there are no moles. Symptoms of early skin cancer may be concealed by tattoos. It is associated with higher success rates when skin cancer is detected early and treated.

5) Cleaning the tattoo:

How to wash your tattoo? Regularly washing the tattoo with fragrance-free, hypoallergenic, and antibacterial soap is essential. Paper towels should also be used to pat the skin dry before using cream.

6) Don’t pick:

When you pick and disturb the area excessively, the healing process will be slowed down, resulting in permanent scarring.

7) Be hydrated

Drink plenty of water while recovering to keep your body hydrated and maintain elasticity in your skin.

8) Get Medical Help:

As stated earlier, if there are changes and reactions in your skin, then it’d be good for you to seek the help of a professional. Any dermatologist can help you. A diagnosis will be made and the problem will be treated accordingly.

When Is the Best Time to See a Doctor?

You must be thinking about this question. So, I’m going to tell you about some skin conditions that, if you have them, it’s time to consult a doctor and get medical help.

1) Rash:

Skin that is flushed or blotchy may be due to an allergic reaction to the ink. As a result of tattoos, people with eczema or psoriasis may experience flare-ups and subsequent rashes.

2) Inflammation:

A tattoo and its surrounding area may become heated and puffy if inflammation occurs. It is normal for inflammation to occur during the healing process, but it shouldn’t last too long or be excessive.

3) Excessive itchiness:

A tattoo that itches a lot could be caused by an allergy, infection, or inflammation. It is typical to scratch from time to time.

4) Discharge:

Fluids oozing from a tattoo may indicate an infection. In addition to a fever, the patient should see a doctor immediately.

5) Scars:

Tattoos that do not heal properly may leave scars. It is possible to reduce scars with the help of a dermatologist.

If you face any of these symptoms, then immediately get medical help. The time has come for me to answer your questions.


1) While my tattoo is peeling, should I moisturize it?

It is best to avoid lotions during the first couple of days following a tattoo. The next day, however, you should start applying thin layers of lotion after washing your face to prevent tightening, dryness, and peeling.

2) When does a tattoo peel off?

The skin can peel off a smaller tattoo after up to a week if it is less inked. Larger tattoos with more ink may take up to two weeks to completely peel.

3) Is it possible to over-moisturize a tattoo?

It is well known that the more moisturizer you apply to your tattoo, the better. Nevertheless, excessive moisturizing can lead to acne breakouts and clogged pores.

4) Can I apply Vaseline to a peeling tattoo?

Vaseline is typically not needed on a fresh tattoo. Vaseline should not be used during the healing process after bandages have been removed.

5) Can You Rub a Peeling Tattoo?

Now, you shouldn’t rub a peeling tattoo. Peeling is natural, so let that be completed. It’s a part of your tattoo’s healing process. Just make sure you take good care of your tattoo.

Final Words!

Why do tattoos peel? Tattoos peel for two reasons. One is natural, which is when your skin heals itself. And the second reason is when you have an infection. Make sure you also take care of your tattoo. That helps your tattoo heal better.

If you have any questions related to the topic, please let me know in the comment section below. I’d love to help you out.

Adrein Martin

Who’s Adrien Martin

I’m Adrien Martin, a dedicated enthusiast of tattoo artistry. I delve into the captivating world of tattoo meanings and offer in-depth product reviews. My passion lies in unraveling the symbolic significance behind these captivating designs, revealing the profound stories and cultural relevance they hold. Join me on this artistic journey.

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