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Why Isn’t My Tattoo Peeling: 6 Things You MUST Know

One of the best feelings in the world is going through all the pain and discomfort, and finally leaving the tattoo shop with a fresh new piece of ink. However, this incredible feeling is always followed by one of the worst; go through aftercare.

The follow-up and the very consequences of the tattoo are a real roller coaster. You are in pain, your tattoo is bleeding, oozing and everything is super red, sore and swollen. But, even when the pain finally subsides, you end up with an itchy, crusty tattoo that begins to peel. And, at this stage, you need to gather all your strength and patience so as not to peel off the tattoo.

But what happens when the tattoo does NOT peel off? Well, in most cases, one would probably start to worry about that. But how do you know if your tattoo isn’t peeling is a problem and should you call your tattoo artist?

In the following paragraphs, we will try to inform you about the situations where the tattoo does not peel off and whether or not you should be concerned. So, without further ado, let’s get started!

Tattoo peeling: 6 things you need to know

Tattoo peeling - explained
Instagram: @faithfrisco

1. Why do new tattoos peel?

Tattoo peeling is a sign that your tattoo is going through a proper healing process. Once the tattoo has stopped bleeding and oozing, and is dry, new skin will begin to form to replace the old treated and damaged skin. So, to make room for a new layer of skin, the old tattoo skin will begin to peel off.

The key is to let the tattoo flake off on its own. It is essential to resist the urge to peel the tattoo! You should never peel, tear or scratch your tattoo. This can cause problems with the appearance of the tattoo, or you can transfer germs to the tattoo from your fingers and cause infection.

2. How long does it take for tattoos to start peeling?

For the first 24 hours, your tattoo will still bleed and ooze, so it’s important to keep it covered with a bandage. After the first 24 hours the bleeding should stop, so you can remove the bandage and wash the tattoo with unscented soap. It is important to wash your hands each time before handling the tattoo.

After washing the tattoo for the first time, be sure to pat it dry with a paper towel and leave it uncovered. The tattoo must breathe or be exposed to air to begin to dry. During the third day, you may begin to experience itching, crusting, and general discomfort. This is a sign that new skin is forming.

Thus, between the 4th and 7th day you should see the tattoo begin to peel off, gradually. At first, there will be a few small parts of the skin flaking off. Later, larger areas will begin to peel, depending on the size of the tattoo. This means that the tattoo is healing properly and will become shiny and vivid once the new skin has fully formed.

3. Does every tattoo peel off the same?

Shoulder Tattoo Peel

Tattoo peeling, when it occurs and how, varies from person to person. Some people’s tattoos start to peel after 3 or 4 days, while others only peel after a week, up to 10 days.

Some people’s tattoos don’t peel at all, ever. Tattoos that peel off late or don’t peel off at all don’t have to be a sign that something is wrong. It could simply mean that your skin has held up better to the trauma of the tattoo or that your immune system has been able to fight off the trauma and continue to heal without replacing layers of skin. All in all, not all tattoos come off the same way, and that’s a completely normal phenomenon.

4. But why isn’t my tattoo flaking off at all?

As we mentioned, some people’s tattoos never peel off. That doesn’t mean you should worry about anything. The tattoo probably heals very well, without the need to peel it off. But, if you’re worried and need some specific explanation, here are some reasons why your tattoo isn’t peeling.

  • Your skin was able to heal quickly with little to no peeling
  • Your new tattoo is small and includes lines and little to no detail
  • Your tattoo artist was very thorough and proper with the tattoo needle
  • Your tattoo artist used high quality ink
  • Your tattoo is not dense and has no colors

The truth is that tattoos that are mostly line art without much color tend to heal with little or no peeling. Smaller tattoos also don’t tend to chip, especially if they are delicate and only have lines. So if your tattoo is small, doesn’t have solid colors, and is done in line, you shouldn’t worry about it peeling off.

5. When should I be worried about the tattoo not peeling off?

If your tattoo isn’t chipping, but everything else looks fine, then there’s no need to worry. However, if your tattoo does not peel off along with other adverse events, such as rash, itching, pain, continuous swelling, increased temperature of the tattooed area, redness and oozing, you should see a doctor. You are probably suffering from an infection that needs to be treated as soon as possible. So here are the most common causes and signs of a tattoo infection to watch out for;

Causes of a tattoo infection;

  • Touching the tattoo with dirty, unwashed hands
  • Needle and tattoo equipment were not sterile
  • The tattoo artist used expired, contaminated or poor quality ink
  • You did not follow the tracking instructions
  • You are allergic to ink
  • You put lotion on a new tattoo

Signs of a tattoo infection;

  • Rash around the tattoo
  • Swelling and redness
  • Continuous bleeding and drainage
  • Fever, chills and chills
  • Increase in pain
  • Cat Filled Crusts
  • Unusual and unpleasant odor

6. How can I make sure the tattoo is healing properly?

As far as tattoo healing goes, this is a proper aftercare routine. You need to keep your skin healthy, as well as your body in general. So here’s how you can make sure your tattoo heals properly, even if it doesn’t start to flake off;

  • Do NOT touch your tattoo with dirty hands; always wash your hands before handling the tattoo!
  • Be sure to wash your tattoo once in the morning and once in the evening.
  • Moisturize the tattoo after washing it.
  • Wash your tattoo with unscented soap.
  • Do NOT put lotion on a fresh tattoo; wait 3 or 4 days before starting to moisturize it.
  • Be sure to wear loose clothing and avoid friction in the tattoo area.
  • Do NOT deliberately touch, pick, peel or scratch the tattoo!
  • Don’t swim and when you shower, cover the tattoo with a thin layer of petroleum jelly (which you will wear for a few minutes and wash off immediately after you are done).
  • Be sure to eat healthy foods, such as healthy, fatty foods, healthy carbs, and generally foods that will give you energy.
  • Stop smoking and do NOT drink alcohol for a week after getting a tattoo.
  • Wear sunscreen and avoid sun exposure!

Final Thoughts

As we mentioned earlier, many factors are involved in tattoo peeling. But, if your tattoo isn’t flaking off, that’s nothing to worry about. Unless the tattoo is swollen, red, sore, bleeding, and painful for more than a week, you have an infection. In this case, see a doctor as soon as possible. However, if your tattoo looks fine and shows signs of good healing, the fact that it is not peeling is not a problem.

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