If you recently got your first tattoo and you do not have much experience with its healing process, it is sure that you must be freaking out to see your tattoo peel off from the skin in form of flakes. The good news is that tattoo peeling or tattoo flaking is very natural and happens for sure, and thus you need not be worried about it.
It is very rare that tattoo peeling turns out to be something serious but you cannot be completely carefree about it. You must know how to deal with tattoo peeling. To know everything about why do tattoos peel, and what all you need to do to safely heal your tattoo, continue reading this article.
Reason for Tattoo Peeling
Tattoo peeling is something which will happen for sure and the reason behind this is the way your skin is inked. When you are getting a tattoo, the needle with the ink pierces your skin around 3000 times in a minute, and thus a tattoo is basically a wound. The skin naturally forms a dry crust or a scab over the wound which will eventually come out as flakes of dead skin or peel as the skin starts healing itself.
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The Amount of Tattoo Peeling You Can Expect
The tattoo peeling will depend on your skin type, the size of the tattoo and also on the quality of the work that was done by your artist. If the artist is too rough because of less experience, then you will have a harsher wound and thus more amount of scab formation. The amount of scab formed on the inked portion will come out as the skin heals. It is known as shedding and it is a natural process of the skin.
Detailed Information on Tattoo Peeling
When your tattoo is healing, the peeling is natural. When you get inked, you have an open wound and you need to take care of it very carefully till it has healed completely.
The people getting a tattoo for the first time should understand that the way skin will peel will be dependent on many things. The size of the tattoo plays a major role here. If you have a bigger tattoo with a lot of detailing there will be more amount of peeling but it will be negligible in a small tattoo. Peeling also depends on where the tattoo is on your body. If the tattoo is in an area with less muscle and more bone, then the peeling would be less as there will be lesser skin to shed. Areas of your body which are more often used and are more exposed to the foreign elements, take more time to heal. It is because the skin here is tough and will not shed easily and thus need more time to heal completely.
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When you get a new tattoo it will start shedding the skin after a week. Even if the shedding starts at the 5th day, it is completely normal. The time period also depends on factors like skin type, tattoo type, and the area where the tattoo is done, but it must start by the end of the 7th day. If you have a small tattoo the peeling would be very less and sometimes it is also unnoticeable. So if you see no peeling in case of a small tattoo even after the 7th day, do not be worried. Just see if your tattoo is coming out smooth or not.
The Stages of Tattoo Healing
A tattoo peels mostly for a week’s time and there are 3 stages of tattoo peeling and these also vary from person to person. If the tattoo is done in areas like elbows, wrist, etc. which are more exposed and also used, take a long time to finish the peeling, so if you have a tattoo on any such area, let the peeling process finish naturally and try not to fidget.
Tattoos can also peel off in two stages, one being the stage of heavy peeling and after this comes the phase of light peeling.
All tattoos will peel for varying lengths of time depending on individual circumstances. However, most tattoos will continue to peel for roughly a week. In the light tattoo peeling stage, even small specs of skin might come out. you need not be worried about it if you are paying proper attention to the moisturization of the tattoo.
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The Right Way of Going Through The Tattoo Peeling Process
If you want your tattoo to look great and also prevent the infections during the healing process, the aftercare is very important. You must follow these do’s and don’ts to get the best results, especially during the peeling stages.
1. Strictly Avoid Peeling The Tattoo on Your Own
When your skin starts peeling off, it will come out slowly and if the peel is attached to your body, you must not pull it out forcefully but let it fall off naturally. Pulling out the partial peeled out scab might look tempting and also harmless, but the scab which is still attached to the body has unsettled ink and if you pull that out, the ink will also come out or fade away. The tattoo will look untidy later.
2. Try To Resist The Itchiness
As the skin starts healing you will also feel itchy but if you start scratching, then again the unhealed scabs will come out forcefully and leave behind patches with no ink. This can also cause some infection as there is a number of bacteria present on our nails and fingertips. To prevent the itchiness you must keep the tattoo moisturized and even if you want to cure the itch, just tap the particular area with your palm instead of scratching.
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3. Keep The Tattoo Moisturized
Keeping your tattoo moisturized will prevent the itching for sure and also help in healing faster. The moisturizers have minerals and vitamins to repair damaged skin and thus they can help in fast healing. If you use a good moisturizer, you can also expect your tattoo to look better even while scabbing. The dried scabs look very ugly and this is one of the reasons people have the urge to pull them out on their own. But if you keep it moisturized, the dry skin will not poke out. It will remain soft and keep intact to the skin and will smoothly move out when it has completely come out from all the ends. If the scabs are moisturized, then you also reduce the risk of them being brushed off because of the clothes you are wearing.
4. Maintain The Hygiene of Your Tattoo
It is very important to maintain the hygiene when your tattoo is fresh or you will have high chances of getting your tattoo infected. A clean skin also heals more easily as the pores are open and thus the healing process acts fast.
5. Keep Your Patience
When you get a tattoo, and it starts peeling, it is definitely going to look horrible. The dry scab and flakes make it look like you have a skin infection. You have to keep calm and wait for the tattoo to heal and there is no other way out. If you do not keep patient, and keep fidgeting with the dry scabs, you will not get the exact tattoo you had expected. Just keep using a moisturizer to avoid the ugly looking scabs.
Few Questions About Tattoo Peeling
Many people are passionate about tattoos and take them very seriously. The passion an individual has for tattoos does not depend on the number of tattoos he or she has. The person who really loves this art form will take perfect care of their first tattoo and they do a proper research before getting inked and have various questions regarding the tattoo peeling. Below are some of the FAQs
1. Are tattoos supposed to peel from the very first day?
No, the tattoo cannot start peeling after the very first day as the skin needs to form the scab over the wound. Peeling will start mostly after 5 to 7 days.
2. Are new tattoos meant to peel even after moisturization?
Well, the tattoo will not peel before the 5th day for sure but since peeling is the process of healing, no matter what moisturizer you are using, the tattoo will peel for sure. If it is a big tattoo and does not peel even after a week, then you need to consult your tattoo artist.
3. What do you do when your tattoo is peeling?
When your tattoo is peeling, you stay calm, keep using moisturizers and never pluck the flakes forcefully. You also need to keep the tattoo and skin near it very clean in order to prevent infections and also to pace up the healing process.
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4. Why is my tattoo peeling off?
The peeling off of your tattoo is nothing to be worried about and it is completely natural. It is happening because that is how the mechanism of the skin works. The tattoo is basically a wound and to prevent any infections to the body, the skin forms a hard layer over the wound. As the new skin comes under the scab, it starts peeling off like flakes, so you need be worried about the tattoo peeling but do take care of hygiene and moisture.
5. Do tattoos fade after they peel?
If the scabs peel away naturally, there is no chance of the tattoo to fade, but if someone peels the scab even when it is not ready to come out, there will be blank patches left behind. Generally, the tattoos do not fade, but overexposure to the sun may fade the colored tattoos.