How Long Does It Take For A Tattoo To Peel (And Why)?

How Long Does It Take For A Tattoo To Peel (And Why)?

Exact Answer: Up to 4 days

The tattoo peeling would occur for around 4 to 7 days. The tattoo would cause trauma to the skin, just like piercing. In return, the body would respond to the trauma, and this would cause tattoo peeling. The tattoo ink never stays in the top layer of the skin. The tattoo ink settles underneath, but the body may take this as a sign of injury.

In order to injury, the body would respond back which would cause tattoo peeling. In simple terms, everyone can say the body is trying to slough the epidermis or outer layer of the skin. The peeling would start after 3 to 4 days of getting the tattoo. The time of tattoo peeling would be different for everyone. As not everyone has a similar body response and skin type.

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How Long Does It Take For A Tattoo To Peel?

Tattoo PeelingHow Long Does It Take For A Tattoo To Peel
Minimum time4 days
Maximum time14 days

After the sloughing of the epidermis is over, then the peeling would stop in 7 to 14 days. The peeling process is very common for all people who got a tattoo. Many people think that peeling would affect the appearance of the tattoo. The color of the tattoo would not get affected by the tattoo peeling. The tattoo would look more vibrant after the peeling process is over.

The peeling of the tattoo would help in bringing the brighter looks of the tattoo. After the epidermis or outer layer of the skin would start peeling, then the tattoo’s actual color would be revealed by the underlying skin. The tattoo inks are put in the dermis and not in the epidermis.

After the epidermis is peeled, the tattoo ink would look more eye-catchy as the dermis would become more revealed. The peeling of a tattoo is mainly observed in a new tattoo. Old tattoos don’t peel, but if someone observes peeling of an old tattoo, then try to contact the dermatologist at the earliest.

The peeling of an old tattoo may happen due to allergic reactions or any hidden skin problems.

Tattoo care plays a vital for avoiding any issues related to the tattoo. Moisturising the tattoo is vital for not letting the tattoo peel for a long time. There are many other post-care that the person is supposed to do to prevent any problems with the tattoo. The dermatologist would help in giving the best suggestion about what all care is supposed to be done after getting a tattoo.

Why Does It Take This Long For A Tattoo To Peel?

The peeling of tattoos is a natural process. There is no such specific time for how long the tattoo would peel. The tattoo peeling for the smaller tattoo would stop in just 7 days. For the bigger tattoo, the peeling process may stop after 14 days. The tattoo peeling time would depend on the amount of ink, shape, color, and size of the tattoo.

Never stop washing the tattoo, even if the ink flakes are coming out. It’s vital to wash the tattoo even if the peeling process is happening as this would maintain the health of the tattoo. Sometimes, the tattoo can host many pathogens that may invade the skin’s protective layer. This can be prevented by washing the tattoo as the experts suggest.

The tattoo peeling is a healing process. Therefore, don’t worry about how weird the tattoo looks. Always make sure to use lotions that are fragrance-free as chemicals may react with the tattoo during the initial days. The dermatologist may recommend some ointment that will help in healing the tattoo.

If someone faces that the peeling of the tattoo is continuing for around 3 to 4 weeks, then check with the doctor.


The tattoo may itch sometimes when the peeling process is going on. Don’t pick the tattoo as it would cause infections. Maintaining the hygiene of the area where the tattoo is done is extremely important. As during the initial days, the tattoo can catch many infections easily, which can enter by your own hands too.

Therefore stop touching the tattoo with dirty hands and never try to rub the tattoo, if the peeling process is in progress.


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Hi! I'm Nidhi.

Here at the EHL, it's all about delicious, easy recipes for casual entertaining. So come and join me at the beach, relax and enjoy the food.

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