Tattoo peeling from your skin can be an alarming sight. This should not worry you though since it is a normal thing during the tattoo healing process. Every single skin tattoo that is inked into an area of skin might cause an open wound that your body will need to protect until it heals.
Here is an insight of what might cause your tattoo to peel, what to do to stop the peeling, and what you need to do before and after getting a tattoo.
New tattoos will generally peel towards the end of the first week of healing, normally between 5 to 7 days. Again, this will be slightly different for everyone, but you should be seeing at least the start of the peeling phase beginning by the end of the week.
It should not worry you that your tattoo hasn’t started peeling by this point. As mentioned, all tattoos heal and peel differently, so yours may just be taking slightly longer. On smaller tattoos, the peeling can be extremely light, and the area may have already begun peeling without you even noticing. This could be because you might be keeping the area well moisturized. This is because if your skin is often dry, or flaky, the characteristics of peeling skin look much less noticeable.
During the tattoo healing process, your tattoo aftercare routine is very important in order to ensure your tattoo peels and heals as well as possible.
The following are some dos and don’ts when your tattoo is peeling;
Don’t pick or pull your peeling tattoo
This is the worst thing you could do to your peeling tattoo. Even if the peeling tattoo may look like it’s ready to come off, it might still be attached to your skin. If you pick or pull the skin before it’s completely ready, you take the risk of pulling unsettled ink out along with the peeling skin, leading to patches within your tattoo.
Do not re-bandage once you have removed a bandage completely
Do not shave or wax the area until tattoo is completely healed
Keep your tattoo well moisturized
Moisturizing your new tattoo will not only help soothe any itching caused by the tattoo but also potentially help your tattoo heal faster thanks to the many useful vitamins and minerals that the majority of moisturizing lotions and ointments contain.
Moisturizing will also change the dried, flaky pieces of skin to more appealing and healthy skin. It also stops the scabs from the peeling tattoos from drying out and cracking too much. Some extra moisture will also help stick the flaky pieces of skin flush against the body and hence prevents it from getting accidentally ripped off.
All tattoos peel for varying lengths of time depending on individual circumstances. Most tattoos, however, will peel for roughly a week or so. Tattoos on more overused areas of the skin (like the wrists and elbows) will take a little longer to completely peel, but tattoos on more soft and supple areas may peel completely in just a few days.
Sometimes tattoos may peel twice. If this happens, there is one relatively heavy peeling phase, followed by some very light peeling that may look like barely-noticeable specs of skin coming away from the area.
There are some things you should do to ensure the longevity of your tattoo. If your tattoo is peeling, here is what you need to know about caring for it;
Gently wash your tattoo with a mild, antibacterial soap. Never use a washcloth, sponge, or bath puff material while washing the area. You should then thoroughly rinse all of the soap off. It’s important to carefully remove this debris to prevent the peeling tattoo from more scabbing.
Rubbing your tattoo can pull off the thin layer that is also referred to as a scab, which forms a protective layer over your tattoo. This scab is necessary and you don’t want to pull it off before its ready or you may end up with larger scabs that are harmful. You should, therefore, apply ointment, lotion or moisturizer.
Sports or any other physical activity that leads to sweating may irritate your tattoo. You can also avoid sports where the scab from peeling can be knocked off. You should also avoid soaking in any kind of water including bathtubs, oceans, lakes, swimming pools, or hot tubs. Not only can the water seep under the peeling tattoo and draw it out, but also the germs found in water sources can potentially cause an infection, which can cause scabbing and scarring.
Wipe a thin layer of ointment over your peeling tattoo using clean fingers or a clean paper towel. Blot away excess oil with a clean paper towel.
We recommend Intensive Care Body Lotion from Vaseline (Check price on Amazon)
Tattoo peeling can involve some forms of scabbing that may emerge after several days or weeks. It is however normal to experience scabbing, but very heavy scabs should be closely examined. You should note that picking the scabs may scar your tattoo and this could interfere with the perfect appearance. This could lead to eventual peeling off the scabs.
even if your skin feels raw or sensitive, you should not apply a new bandage or wrapping to your skin. You should, however, be exposed to the air in order to heal properly.
Sun will always remain an enemy to your tattoo. It is therefore important that you stay away from strong ultraviolet rays since they can accelerate the peeling of your tattoo. You can also apply sunscreen to the area every time you plan to go outside.
A tattoo will appear different before and after peeling. Some might get infected and even start to swell or peel.
Nearly 30% of people living in the US have got at least one tattoo. According to research, 25% of that population regret having it and therefore choose to have it removed. Tattoo removal is usually performed by a dermatologist, but you could still do it at home. If you are thinking of having a tattoo removed, you should be prepared for the potential discomfort and the limitations.
The following are some of the procedures you can consider in order to remove a peeling tattoo;
TCA is one of those inexpensive old school remedies that just works and works well. It is also used to soften fine stretch marks, remove moles, warts, skin tags, corns, freckles, brown spots, and even remove homemade tattoos. This solution works by generating an inflammation on the surface of the skin above the tattoo, which after around a week peels and sheds. The TCA causes the ink in the peeling tattoo to break down and move towards the surface of the skin as new skin replaces that which has been shed. This product has to be applied at intervals of 6 weeks until the tattoo is completely cleared. The cost of TCA tattoo removal is cheap and highly depends on the length of your treatment.
Tattoo removal cream is one of the most popular methods you could use to remove to a peeling tattoo at home. These creams are generally chemical exfoliates which work by removing top layers of skin and breaking down the inks from the peeling tattoo. They contain a certain type of acid that could cause a certain degree of discomfort but not compared to pain and scarring that could be associated with laser treatments. The use of a soothing balm along with the cream is highly recommended. This form of removal is not as effective as professional procedures and effects could take several months to become apparent. Success is not guaranteed but it is worth trying if undergoing a surgery is quite difficult.
Significant reports from research suggest that creams mostly fade the tattoos and only a few report total removal of the tattoo. You should, therefore, be aware before you choose this procedure that it could take 9 to 12 months.
Peeling tattoo can be removed gradually over a series of sessions using a laser. Laser tattoo removal techniques can eliminate your tattoo with minimal side effects. The energy from the laser breaks down the tattoo ink into tiny fragments, which are eventually absorbed into the bloodstream and safely passed out of the body.
Black tattoo pigment absorbs all laser wavelengths, making it the easiest to treat. Other colors can only be treated by selected lasers based upon the pigment color. You should make sure that you find a reputable dermatologist or a cosmetic surgeon to ensure proper treatment and care. Treatments with laser vary from patient to patient depending on the age, size, and type of tattoo. The color of the patient’s skin, as well as the depth to which the tattoo pigment extends, will influence the removal technique.
What to expect during a laser tattoo removal session;
Immediately following the treatment;
Laser treatment is often safer than many other tattoo removal methods
Tattoo excision is a common treatment, especially after failed laser treatment. It is the procedure of removing a tattoo by actually cutting it out. This method positively removes the unwanted tattoo and must be done by a skilled surgeon.
The surgeon will usually do an excision when the tattoo is small, but if it is a bigger tattoo then the doctor will most likely have to do the removal in two or more sessions. The surgeon would remove the inside of the tattoo first and then when you go back, they would perform an excision on the outside of the tattoo. You don’t have to worry even if you are afraid of surgeries, this procedure is pretty simple.
Safety of the excision procedure;
Surgical excision of the tattoo is a safe procedure, however, there are factors that may affect the outcome; these factors depend on the patient, the environment under which the procedure has been carried out and the skill of the surgeon. Your general health, well-being, and your tissues power of repair and healing play an important part in recovery.
The environment and conditions under which the operation has been carried out are important because of the risk of infection. The skills of the surgeon play a crucial role in the overall outcome of your tattoo surgical removal because apart from the operation, the surgeon can influence the selection and preparation of the patient for operation, and making sure the operation is carried out under sterile, aseptic and optimal conditions.
This procedure is less commonly followed nowadays. This process involves scraping away the top layers of the skin in order to remove the pigments in the tattoo. This can be very painful and could cause scarring although it can be effective for removing all kinds of tattoos.
It usually takes a couple of weeks for the treated area to heal, but the reddened appearance may take up to three months.
Risks and side effects of dermabrasion