Entertainment Fashion & Style Why Is My Tattoo Peeling and Flaking Off? Share PINTEREST Email Print Jan Tong / EyeEm/Getty Images Fashion & Style Tattoos and Body Piercings Accessories Tops & Sweaters Dresses Skirts Jeans Pants Outerwear Lingerie & Swimwear Do It Yourself Shoes Skincare Advice Makeup Hair Fragrance Kids and Teens Bumps & Babies Learn More By Karen L. Hudson Contributing Writer Karen L. Hudson is a tattoo artist and contributing writer for Byrdie. our editorial process Karen L. Hudson Updated May 07, 2019 Peeling and flaking of a new tattoo is perfectly normal. Before it actually begins to peel, the tattoo will look like it's covered with a whitish, cracking film. Then you'll see white or translucent flakes of old, dead skin start to peel off and some of the flakes may even contain some ink. Sometimes you can actually see a duplicate image of part of your tattoo peeling off—it's rather disconcerting, but it is also perfectly normal and there is no need to panic. It's a lot like a snake shedding its skin. Just add a little lotion to the tattoo to help keep it moist and encourage those flakes to come off. Do not scratch, pick or peel them. It will all be done in a few days and the color of your tattoo will start to return to normal.