Why Is My Tattoo Flaking?
– Peeling is a normal and expected part of tattoo healing. Tattoo needles penetrate the epidermis , or the outer layer of skin, and the dermis, which lies beneath. This process creates thousands of small wounds that damage skin cells. Tattoos usually take about 2 weeks to heal, but it can take longer for the skin to fully recover.
Peeling usually occurs a few days after getting the tattoo, as the skin begins to heal and regenerate itself. The regeneration process involves the skin removing dead and damaged cells. As the skin exfoliates itself, a layer of dead skin cells and ink pigment peels off, allowing new cells to grow.
Although some peeling is normal, excessive peeling could indicate a problem, especially if there are symptoms of infection and inflammation.
- 1 How long does flaking on a tattoo last?
Do you wash your tattoo when it’s peeling?
It can be alarming to see your new tattoo peeling, but don’t worry, it’s perfectly normal, and you should care for it as usual! Peeling tends to start on day 3 or 4. It’s the top layer of the skin which peels, not the deep layers where the ink has been deposited, so any ink that comes off with peeling skin is not going to affect the brightness and intensity of your tattoo.
How long does flaking on a tattoo last?
A peeling tattoo might concern you, but worry not – it’s all a part of the process. We get many messages asking about this, so we hope this guide will solve most of those questions. How long will your tattoo peel? The tattoo peeling process can take from 1 week (smaller tattoos) to up to 2 weeks (larger tattoos). Read also: Tattoo Ideas for Women The tattoo peeling process takes place when your epidermis (outermost layer of skin) regenerates. When you get a tattoo, the top and middle layers of your skin are penetrated, causing a sort of shock factor within your skin cells. Around the end of the first week, the new skin cells have finally pushed their way to the top outer layer of your skin, causing your old dead skin cells to shed or peel off.
Let’s check out the whole process of tattoo peeling and how to properly take care of your skin during this period. Each body is different, as is every tattoo. Generally speaking, smaller tattoos with less ink peel off up to 1 week.
For larger tattoos with more ink, it might take up to 2 weeks to fully finish peeling. Don’t worry if your tattoo hasn’t started peeling within five days or is taking longer than two weeks to peel. Read also: Where Does it Hurt Most and Least to Get Tattooed?.
What to do if tattoo is flaking?
How to ‘Fix’ Tattoo Peeling – Tattoo peeling isn’t a problem for your body, it’s a solution! Your skin is peeling because your body is healing the area that was damaged to get a tattoo. The only way to ‘fix’ tattoo peeling is to go through it. Don’t try to speed up the process by pulling off the skin, as this could be painful, cause damage, and maybe even lead to an infection. You may need to vacuum your home frequently as you shed skin! Here are some other tips to help you get through the peeling process as comfortably as possible:
- Apply small amounts of lotion and pat them onto the tattoo – don’t rub or scrub. The gently patting motion will naturally dislodge some of the peeling skin. Furthermore, the lotion will keep your skin soft and supple rather than brittle, thus making the peeling a little more comfortable.
- Keep the tattoo open to the air, but also clean. Don’t be tempted to bandage up the tattoo again. The only way to get through the peeling process is to let the skin come off, not bandage it tightly back on.
- Don’t expose the tattoo to sunlight during this stage. Instead, wear light and moisture-wicking clothes. Sports clothes, bamboo, and breathable cotton are all good, so long as they aren’t tightly pressed to the tattoo. No skinny jeans, for example.
Keep the tattoo clean, moisturized, and protected from sunlight when you are out and about is the best way to go. You can’t really avoid the skin peeling, so just be prepared to clean up lots of dead skin throughout this week of your tattoo healing!.
Is it okay if my tattoo flakes?
– When you get fresh ink, the last thing you want to see is the new art seemingly peeling away from your skin. However, some peeling in the early stages of healing is completely normal. The tattoo process creates a wound in your skin, and peeling is your body’s way of getting rid of dry skin cells that have been affected as your skin heals.
How often should you moisturize a peeling tattoo?
How Often Should You Moisturize Your Tattoo? – Professional tattoo artists always recommended one moisturizes their tattoo(s) once or twice a day. The best way to moisturize a tattoo is by doing it in the morning and in the evening. It is also important to apply lotion or ointment after taking a shower, to protect the tattoo from drying out.
Note : Make sure to wait between 10 and 20 minutes to apply lotion/ointment onto the tattoo after a shower. In that time, the tattoo will dry naturally, so when you do apply a moisturizer, it will soak into the skin nicely.
By applying lotion onto a wet tattoo, you’re risking overdoing it.
Can you over moisturize a tattoo?
Can You Over Moisturize a Tattoo? – Moisturizing your tattoo is a great way to improve the healing process and give you a vibrant, long-lasting tattoo. However, if you use too much moisturizer on your tattoo or don’t dry it thoroughly after washing, it could hinder the healing process.
You can over-moisturize your tattoo, and this can lead to all kinds of issues. It can prolong the healing process and could even cause an infection. All of this can damage your tattoo and leave you with a less than perfect tattoo on your body that you have to live with for many years.
Your tattoo artist will discuss the tattoo aftercare regime with you before you leave the tattoo studio after getting your tattoo. They know what they’re talking about, so it’s best to listen and make sure that you understand what’s needed before leaving. This is FAR too much lotion and some should be blotted off with a paper towel.
When can I switch to lotion on my tattoo?
– There will come a point during your washing-drying-ointment routine when you’ll have to switch from using ointment to using lotion. This is usually after several days to a week or so after you first received your tattoo. There’s a difference between ointment and lotion.
Ointments like Aquaphor do a more heavy-duty job of moisturizing the skin than do lotions. That’s because ointments have an oil base, while lotions have a water base. Lotions are more spreadable and breathable than ointments.
Aquaphor has the added benefit of anti-inflammatory effects, which can make the tattoo healing process speedier and more comfortable. After a given number of days of using ointment (your tattoo artist will specify how many), you’ll switch to lotion. This is because you need to keep your tattoo moist for several weeks until it’s completely healed.
- During your aftercare routine, instead of adding ointment, apply a thin layer of lotion at least twice a day;
- However, you might need to apply lotion as much as up to four times a day to keep your healing tattoo hydrated;
Be sure to use unscented lotion. Perfumed lotions typically contain alcohol, which can dry out the skin.
Should you moisturize tattoo scabs?
Tattoo Scabbing | Aftercare & Healing – A new tattoo will flake and peel during the healing process and may even scab a little bit. To prevent a new tattoo from overly scabbing and thus possibly losing color and clarity, the first two weeks is the most critical time to carefully follow aftercare tips.
- Whether you use an aftercare product suggested by the tattoo artist, an over-the-counter ointment or an unscented hand lotion or moisturizer, you must keep your tattoo moist;
- If it dries out and starts cracking, where it splits is where you are going to see scabbing;
While keeping it moist is vitally important, you can overdo it and keep it too moist or what you’d call saturated. Avoid using petroleum or lanolin based product that clogs your pores. These products can not only pull out color, but they actually hamper the healing process.
- A slow healing tattoo has the potential to scab just as much as one that doesn’t get enough moisture during healing;
- Wear loose clothing while your tattoo is healing;
- Tight clothes that rub on a new tattoo can irritate and scrape the area to the point of pulling off flakes and scabs that aren’t ready to come off;
It’s also wise to wear clothing made of breathable materials such as cotton. Avoid nylons and polyesters. Keep it clean Gently wash your tattoo with a mild, antibacterial soap and your fingers. Never use a wash cloth, sponge, bath puff or any other material while washing the area.
Then, thoroughly rinse all of the soap off. It’s important to carefully remove this debris to prevent a new tattoo from scabbing. Don’t rub Rubbing your tattoo can pull off the thin layer that is also referred to as a scab which forms a protective layer over the fresh ink.
This scab is necessary and you don’t want to pull it off before it’s ready or you will end up with larger scabs that are harmful. Re-apply ointment, lotion or moisturizer Avoid Sweating Sports, gum etc can irritate a new tattoo, so try to avoid extremely physical activity.
Also avoid contact sports, where the protective scab can be knocked off. Don’t soak in any kind of water including bathtubs, oceans, lakes, swimming pools or hot tubs. Not only can the water seep under the skin and draw the ink out, any germs found in the water source can potentially cause infection, which can lead to scabbing and scarring.
Tattoo Scabbing – Healing Scabs can be unsightly, painful and itchy. Scabs are the encrusted formation that forms atop a wound during the healing process. Designed to keep germs and bacteria from invading the wound and leading the infection, they can be unsightly.
Improper caring of scabs can lead to permanent scarring. Reasons for Scabs: The tattoo starts to scab over, similar to a scab that may occur if you’ve been badly sun burned. This is a natural reaction, as the top layer of skin becomes a little crusty, protecting the open wound (tattoo) underneath.
After a few days, the natural healing process of the tattoo causes the skin to form a complete scab over the entire image. This scab should be very thin and flaky if you’ve taken care of your tattoo correctly. Once the tattoo finishes healing, the scab begins to peel, eventually falling off completely on its own.
During this time, it’s important not to pick the scab or it could pull the ink out of the fresh tattoo underneath. What to avoid: Don’t pick at the scab; give it time to heal undisturbed. Picking scabs open not only exposes the cut to bacteria, but keeps it from healing properly and will eventually lead to scarring.
Clean the scab with warm, soapy water. Don’t rub on it or you risk having it fall off. Dry it immediately after washing. Keep the scab moist by applying a warm, wet compress one to two times a day. This will help promote healing by allowing the skin beneath the scab to regenerate.
- Apply lotion to the scab to keep it healthier and less likely to fall off or become cracked;
- Apply an antibiotic ointment to the scab between soakings to help keep it from hardening;
- Avoid soaking the scab in excess water;
This can cause the scab to fall off, which will restart the healing process, making it so another scab has to form. Allow the scab to get as much air as possible to promote healing. If you cover the scab, make sure it still has airflow. Talk to your doctor about chemical peeling for scabs and scars.
When should you moisturize a tattoo?
Week one – Some tattoo artists recommend waiting between 24-48 hours before applying moisturizer, though others recommend doing so as soon as the first wash. A person with a fresh tattoo should follow their tattoo artist’s instructions on when to start using moisturizer.
For the first couple of days, the tattooed skin may feel warm to the touch and have a reddish appearance. The colors may also appear very bright against the rest of the skin. The tattoo will become less vibrant as the healing process continues.
A person should avoid submerging the tattoo in water or getting the tattoo wet during the first 3–6 weeks, except for when washing it. A person can continue using the washing technique above throughout the first week when needed. How often washing is necessary will vary depending on a person’s activity levels and environment.
Someone who is sitting in an air-conditioned office all day may only need to wash the tattoo once a day. However, someone who is working in a hot or dirty environment and sweating may need to wash the tattoo every few hours.
It is best to wash the tattoo with clean fingers only and not a cloth or towel, which may irritate the skin and prematurely remove any scabs that may have formed. Scabs will often form in the first few days, and ink may still come up through the skin and need to be washed away.
- It is important not to pick the scabs or scratch the skin;
- In general, Scabbing is not a sign of improper wound care;
- Scabs will form anytime the skin is injured, and can be a sign of healthy tissue forming underneath the wound;
Keeping some form of antibiotic ointment or moisturizer under occlusion (as long as there is no known allergy) on the wound can help it heal better and the sooner this is done the better healing will happen with less chances of scarring. Any redness or mild swelling usually goes away near the end of the first week.