A tattoo is a beautiful piece of body art. When you actually get it done on your body, you feel very special about it as it adds a new dimension to your personality. However, after a few days, when you see the colored top layer of the tattoo scabbing and peeling, you feel upset that it may badly damage the tattoo. Though, the fact is it is an integral part of the healing process and does not cause any harm to the tattoo.
Basically, the characteristics of a freshly done tattoo are the same as that of an open wound. In the first three days, the area is sore and tender to touch and occasional bleeding may occur. Usually, the tattoo peeling process starts after three or four days. Initially, a thin scab is formed when the skin in that area turns dry and is a normal sign of healing. Soon the skin starts peeling off. In the second week, the scabbing is accompanied by a constant itchy sensation. However, you must control your urge of itching or else it can aggravate peeling resulting in lifting of the tattooed ink in some areas. If the skin is not moisturized properly, then the skin dries up further and the scab tends to become thicker and can cause damage to the tattoo. On the other hand, too much of moisturizing of the skin can saturate the skin and increase the chances of scabbing. During the tattoo making process, if the tattoo artist goes deeper into the skin, then also thick scabbing is likely to occur. Use of alcohol based skin care products can also increase the chances of excessive scabbing of tattoos. By the end of the third week, the healing process is complete and the scabbing and peeling should stop.
For a new tattoo, proper care is important to ensure its quick healing. Here are a few helpful aftercare tips that can minimize scabbing and peeling of tattoos:
Keep the tattooed area in a well moisturized condition. For this, you have to apply moisturizer lotion several times to keep the skin soft and hydrated. However, excessive moisturizing often promotes scabbing and should be avoided.
Tattoo artists often recommend a specific aftercare lotion or ointment for faster healing. You should not use any other product like petroleum jelly or over the counter lotions because they may not heal it fast. When it heals slowly, the chances of scabbing is even more.
You have to ensure that the tattoo does not get rubbed against any cloth or any such surface. While washing the tattoo, do not use washcloth or sponge. Rather, clean it up properly with your hands. It is advisable to air dry the tattoo after washing or just pat dry with soft clean towel. During this time, you should wear loose clothes made of natural fabrics to prevent any skin irritation.
Too much of water exposure is not good for the tattoo. This can lead to infection in the area resulting in thicker scabs. Therefore, for the first three weeks, do not let the tattoo soak in water for long time.
When peeling has started, do not try to pull off the tattoo scabs prematurely. You will feel the urge to do so but you have to control it. Or else, bigger scabs will form and cause damage to the tattoo.
The tattoo peeling stage is quite different in every individual case. The speed of the healing process depends on a number of factors including the skin type, location of the tattoo, methods used for creating the tattoo, etc. Therefore, the best way to prevent scabbing and peeling to a great extent is by following the instructions on tattoo care and advice provided by the artist.