Curious Why Your Tattoo Is Peeling? Don't Panic - It's Normal

Danielle Jackson

Getting a tattoo can be a thrilling process (especially if it's your first). From finalizing what design you want to setting up an appointment with an artist you trust to actually getting the ink, there's a lot to look forward to. But while all of that is fun, it's the healing and aftercare process that tends to be confusing for some - like when your tattoo starts to peel a few days after you get it.

It makes sense to get spooked when your new tattoo starts to peel, but the good news is that it's perfectly normal. Tattoos are technically open wounds, and when they peel, it's a sign that your body is just getting rid of dry skin cells, much like what happens when you have a scab. That said, in the same way that you wouldn't pick a scab, you should also avoid picking at your tattoo while it's peeling.

"Some of the biggest mistakes people make while healing tattoos is picking and scratching them," tattoo artist Michelle Santana of New York City's Bang Bang Tattoo previously told POPSUGAR. "This can cause ink to come out of the skin, leaving negative space, which means you'll require a touch up." Alternatively, if you notice that your tattoo isn't peeling, it's still no reason to panic, as not everyone's skin reacts to being tattooed the same way.

After two to three weeks, you can expect the peeling to stop as the ink begins to settle into your skin. "Your tattoo is fully healed when all scabs are completely gone and it looks a little shiny," said Santana. The shine will eventually fade away as the new skin starts to grow in the dead skin's place. If your tattoo isn't fully healed after about three weeks and/or if you notice that it's peeling excessively, the best thing to do is consult a doctor or physician.

Read ahead to shop a few products you can use during your tattoo's healing process.