My Tattoo is Peeling

Is it Normal?

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).

Let’s check out the whole process of tattoo peeling and how to properly take care of your skin during this period.

Read also: Tattoo Ideas for Women 

peeling tattoo closeup

Tattoo Peeling Process


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.

How Long Will My Tattoo Peel?


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 When Your tattoo is Peeling?


1. Allow your skin to peel off naturally

Trust the process, they will come off in due time.

2. Moisturize your skin

Moisturizing your skin will speed up the healing process, helping your epidermis regenerate. It will also help transform the look of your skin from flakey to healthy.

3. Clean your tattoo gently

Everything in this phase of the tattoo healing process should be done very gently, as you don’t want to force the scab off.

Do you have questions about your next tattoo? Contact us and we will professionally guide you and answer them 🙂

What NOT to Do When Your tattoo is Peeling:


1. Don’t pick your peel / Don’t scratch your tattoo

Pulling attached skin could cause unsettled ink to pop out, leading to scarring, patchiness, and sometimes distortion within your tattoo.

itchy tattoo

2. Don’t shave nor wax the tattooed area.

This one should be obvious.

3. Don’t use towels

To avoid bacteria and excessive rubbing, try to use a paper towel instead of a rough bath towel after cleaning your tattoo.

4. Avoid swimming

Water, including sweat, can seep into your tattoo and pull out ink from a tattoo still healing.

* Get a commitment-free estimate of your new tattoo from one of our talented artists. Click the contact us button, send us your idea and we will get back to you shortly.

dragon ball tattoo peeling

Sunburn and Tattoo Peeling


Exposure to sunlight during the peeling process could cause a shock to your skin cells and prolong or even restart the healing process. Your skin may start to blister and could potentially lead to an infection.

We strongly recommend to avoid the sun the first 2 weeks after getting tattooed.

Once your tattoo is healed, wear sunscreen and loose clothing to cover your tattoo if you are going out in the sun.

Tattoo Peeling and Fading


Throughout the peeling process, and especially as it comes to an end, you might notice the tattoo color looks different from when you left the shop. Don’t worry – that’s completely usual, and it will return to normal.

The reason your tattoo might look dull and cloudy is due to a dead layer of skin that is still present.

It takes a while for that new skin to reach the surface, though, so be patient with your skin. Allow it to do its thing naturally and effortlessly.



When it comes to tattoo peeling, it’s best to keep it clean and moisturized. The last thing your tattoo needs is you poking and prodding all over it.

Maintain the aftercare, but let the skin heal on its own time.

Before you know it, you’ll have a whole new array of skin cells with a beautiful and healthy tattoo.