How Long Does Tattoo Peeling Last?

Got your first tattoo? We know it’s a scary time! Everyone who gets their first tattoo grows paranoid by the minute over how to take care of it. Just make sure to take deep breaths and relax as today we answer the soaring question on everyone’s mind; How long does tattoo peeling last?

Tattoo peeling can be a scary and nerve-racking experience. But it is what’s supposed to happen, and hence, there is nothing to worry about.

Before we get to the main question, let’s answer a few preceding questions that would help you ease into the peeling process.

tattoo peling x2

Why is my tattoo peeling?

The time and patience you invest into getting a tattoo should not end in a state of panic when you see your tattoo start to peel. A lot of people have the same question of why. Why is my tattoo peeling? The reason for your tattoo peeling is that when you get a tattoo, your skin gets wounded as the tattoo gun needle penetrates it to lay the ink underneath the layers. This results in a lot of skin cells dying which then dry off and start to peel. Now, it may look like your tattoo is peeling away and all that pain you went through was for nothing, but that is not the case.

Your skin peeling is your skin healing. Let it peel! However, too much of anything is a bad thing. Hence, if you spot your skin peeling excessively, it’s time to have a word with your tattoo artist and your dermatologist because it could be a sign of inflammation or an infection.

To help you watch out for such a situation, we have a list of signs you can check off your list to make sure your tattoo is healing fine:

  • – Soft itching
  • – Skin peel
  • – Little inflammation is the normal response of your immune system
  • – Light pinkish and sometimes red skin surrounding the tattoo

The aforementioned signs are of normal tattoo healing. If you experience them, you are good to go. If anything drastic or out of the ordinary happens, you should seek professional help.

To help you with this, here are some signs of your tattoo not healing correctly:

  • – Scars
  • – Eczema and rashes
  • – Inflammation and itchiness
  • – Discharge or oozing

When does a tattoo start peeling, and how long does tattoo peeling last?

You will see your tattoo start to peel after the first week. Some can even start peeling within 3 to 4 days, and that is normal as well. The important thing to be noted here is that this part comes after wrapping the tattoo you have been through right after getting it. In the second week, your skin will start to get rid of the scabs that had developed as a result of your wound’s healing. Let them peel off on their own and do not aid the process in any way. We know you would love to peel those scabs on your own; the temptation is real! But it would help if you were patient for the best results.

The peeling will come to an end after a week or two. During the process, you will notice a white translucent layer over your tattoo, and the normal thought that comes to every person’s mind is that the ink didn’t sit well. That is not the case at all. It is simply the layer of dead skin cells that will come off with time, and your tattoo will look as good as new.

My tattoo is not peeling!

To everyone who gets paranoid over this, we say it’s a blessing, if anything. Everyone has different biology, and therefore, their bodies react differently. Your friend’s tattoo may or may not peel at the same time as you, and that is totally normal. Sometimes the skin may start peeling after a long time, and sometimes, it may not develop scabs.

What you need to really understand is that there is no need to self-induce anything. Do not peel your skin by scratching it. It can develop infections and leave you with scars over the tattoo. No one would want a scarred tattoo unless that were your idea of a good time!

Taking care of your skin:

It goes without saying that good aftercare is crucial for your tattoo and your skin’s wellbeing. Here are a few tips to make sure you have a great tattoo experience!

  • – Make sure you wrap the tattoo according to the recommendation of your artist
  • – Make sure you change the wrap at least three times a day with 3 hours gap in between and one last chance before going to sleep
  • – Softly clean your tattoo with mild soap and water at least 3 times a day
  • – Start applying lotions and creams with no scent by the end of the first week

Following these routines will help your tattoo heal faster and show promising results.

However, there are a few things you need to prevent as well in the aftercare:

  • – Do not scratch your tattoo or pick at it to remove any scabs
  • – Do not use any scented ointments
  • – Make sure all the creams you use have natural ingredients in them to avoid allergies and infections
  • – Showers are fine but do not go swimming with the tattoo (Hot tubs are out of the question as well)
  • – Do not use sunscreen on your tattoo and avoid wearing tight clothes as they can irritate the skin

You have come a long way. The pain and patience while getting the tattoo to take care of it properly ensure a great outcome. Pat yourself on the back; you deserve it! Getting a tattoo is equivalent to creating a wound in your skin. And naturally, the body will try its best to heal it. It’s only natural so take it easy on yourself.


What is the takeaway? The biggest takeaway would be having confidence in every decision you make. And making the right decision of course. The latter is way more important than making the wrong decision and regretting it later on.

Your tattoo represents who you are and what you have been through. So, let them shine!