So, you just had a tattoo the other day and now it’s peeling? Well, there are enough reasons why you shouldn’t worry. Tattoo peeling happen not only first-timers but also to repeat tattoo clients.
Actually, that should give you some hope, right?
There isn’t a thing as scary as the imagination of an intrusive skin process going wrong. Actually, that would give you long sleepless nights regretting the idea to ever getting a tattoo.
First, you need to understand that skin flaking after tattooing most times doesn’t have any adverse indication. Actually, it is almost synonymous to healing.
But what causes tattoo peelings and what are you supposed to do when it happens? Please read ahead for a comprehensive answer to these questions.
What Causes of Tattoo Peeling?
Did I hear you say, “My tattoo is peeling and looks faded?” Don’t panic; there is nothing wrong with your tattoo.
Before we look at what causes tattoo peeling, we must understand what it is. Well, a few days after getting a tattoo, you might realise that the skin around the tattoo starts to flake. This is what is known as tattoo peeling.
Indeed, for beginners, the flakes can fleek you out. Just relax; it’s not a tattoo blowout.
Maybe you thought its only snakes that shed their skin. I’m sorry you have been wrong all this time. Your body renews itself every day only that you don’t notice.
So, is tattoo peeling normal?
Generally, tattoo scabbing is a normal part of healing. In fact, tattooing involves making wounds into the skin. Fortunately, the body has a natural ability to repair itself.
When an injury occurs, there is an increased production of new cells to replace the damaged ones.
This process takes place at all times without your notice. But since there is a rapid cells turnover, then you see the skin peeling off.
With exfoliation, your skin gets new healthier and firmer cells due to the rapid production of new skin cells.
Since tattoo peeling is a natural process, you should refrain from interfering with it. We shall look at the at the reason why in a moment. All the same, some people do not experience flaking of the skin even after getting a tattoo.
If you are of them, then, don’t try to induce peeling by scrubbing or any other method.
Although we are saying that peeling is a normal experience, some a few scenarios should get you worried.
You should get worried if you realise that your skin is showing signs of inflammation, scarring, or some irritation. Also, if the skin becomes overly itchy, or it produces a liquid discharge, then you need to seek medical care immediately.
How Long Does a Tattoo Peeling Take?
To answer this question comprehensively, then we should have two approaches. First, how long does a tattoo take for the flakes to start appearing?
Due to differences from one individual to another, tattoo peeling starts at different times. All the same, most tattoos will start flaking towards the end of the first week after tattooing.
Notably, it isn’t abnormal to see your tattoo start peeling after about three days. The duration is different as you move from one individual to another.
Generally, the peeling should resolve in two weeks. That is to say; you may realise some flaking after the second week, depending on how fast your skin heals.
How to care for a peeling tattoo?
Tattoo needles inflict wounds to your skin. Therefore, you will need to take good care of the tattoo after the treatment. So, here are some points to guide you on the Dos and the Don’ts.
i. Keep the tattoo moisturised
To ease the itch on the tattoo; you should keep the tattooed area moisturised with petroleum-based tattoo aftercare products. This comes after removing the first bandage and thoroughly cleaning your piece of art.
Applying lotion on the tattoo will definitely help your tattoo to look radiant within a short time. Actually, tattoos shouldn’t dull with peeling since the ink is deep in the skin.
Notably, you should pat the skin dry with a paper towel before applying a thin layer of ointment. You can switch to fragrance-free moisturising lotions after the first week.
ii. Keep the tattooed area clean
To clean the tattooed area, use water and a gentle fragrance-free soap. Actually, it is advisable to clean the surface three times a day. Most importantly, you need to wash the tattoo every night. Indeed this practice should go on for the whole healing duration.
iii. Wear loose clothing
The other thing you need to note is how your clothes fit. Actually, you need to wear loose clothing over a tattoo to avoid sweating and possible irritation on the healing skin. If this happens, you are most likely to get tempted to scratch on the tattoo.
iv. Do not pick the flakes
When your skin is flaking, and you don’t like the sight, the most natural reaction would be to pick the flakes. Unfortunately, that can lead to unforeseen complications.
First picking can lead to infection or a possible tattoo blowout because the ink may move to unintended areas.
v. Do not soak the tattooed areas
Finally, you need to keep away from swimming, using the sauna, or the bathtub. Actually, avoid any situation that would keep the tattooed skin wet for extended periods. Soaking tattoos prevent them from healing as fast as they should. All the same, you can you a shower without worries.
Final Words on Tattoo Peeling
So, it is evident that tattoo peeling in the first two weeks is normal. Unfortunately, it may be quite scary. It gets worse if you decide to pick on the flakes since this could lead to infection and possible tattoo blowout.
To take proper care of your peeling tattoo, you need to follow your artist’s instructions keenly. Most importantly, you should keep the first bandage on for the prescribed duration by your artist.
Also, you need to keep the tattoo clean and moisturised using petroleum-based ointments. This would prevent your skin from picking infections. At the same time, you can make use of the best sunscreen for tattoos after the first week to avoid the effects of direct sunlight.
In case you experience peeling after the tattoo has healed, you should seek medical attention. Also, if you suspect that your skin has picked some infection, you need to see a physician immediately.