Wrinkly Tattoos – This May Be the Reason Why


There’s nothing like the excitement of leaving a tattoo shop near you with fresh ink. Once you get home and finally wash it according to your tattoo artist’s instructions, you can let the irritation subside after several days. Then, you can go ahead and show your brand new tattoo off to the world! However, you notice throughout the healing process that your freshly tattooed skin is looking oddly wrinkly. This is strange because you expected itching, flakiness, and peeling, not old-looking skin. If you’re experiencing this, then it’s time to look at some reasons why this could be happening.

How Tattoos Heal

To find out why your brand new ink might be wrinkling like that, it’s important to understand how tattooing works. A tattoo is essentially an open wound that’s formed by the penetration of needles into your skin to deposit ink. The healing process can seem strange and rather disgusting with pieces of peeling skin all over the place, but it’s a good sign that your skin is on the right track to recovery. After a few weeks, your tattooed skin will have been replaced with a layer of brand new skin cells.

Skin that regenerates too quickly will look non-uniform, especially when compared to the surrounding areas with normal skin. It will also be especially delicate, supple, and sensitive. The formation of this new skin is what gives your tattoo a sort of wrinkled look, a stark contrast from the completely smooth surface you had upon first getting your ink done.

How Long Will Wrinkled Tattoo Skin Last?

The best tattoo artists will advise you on what to do if you’re concerned about the affected area, but generally, most tattoos will heal within six to eight weeks. Fresh tattoos can appear wrinkly, shiny, flaky, and others might look normal with minimal effects. The best thing you can do to avoid the wrinkly look is to take care of your skin as much as possible. Keeping it clean and bacteria-free is the first order of business, followed by hydration and nourishment. Your tattoo artist should have given you a tattoo healing lotion to use on the area twice a day or more, especially when it’s feeling dry and flaky.

No matter what you do, refrain from scratching your tattoo! It will likely feel dry, tight, and itchy, and the urge to scratch at it while the scabs are forming to heal the skin can be great. If you do so, then you’ll risk severely damaging your fresh new ink while it’s healing. You may end up ruining your tattoo or, worse: causing an infection.

Here are some ways you can look after your tattooed skin during the healing process.

  • Do not take baths and fully submerge your tattoo underwater. Take showers only and avoid swimming pools, hot tubs, or the beach.
  • Do not use petroleum-based products to apply onto your tattoo as these are too heavy and will hinder the healing process.
  • Keep your tattoo uncovered but avoid direct sunlight.
  • Wear light, loose-fitting clothing.
  • Avoid strenuous physical activities like working out or other forms of labor that will cause you to sweat excessively.


Whether you already have a collection of tattoos or are new to getting inked, having a new tattoo done is always an exciting experience. Aftercare is the single most important thing you can do to keep your tattoo and skin looking healthy, fresh, and vibrant. When in doubt, as is usually the case when wrinkly or flaky skin pops up, ask your tattoo artist for help to ensure that you’re taking the right steps to heal your skin. Lastly, it’s important to remember that caring for your tattoo is a lifelong commitment, so keep it away from direct sunlight, wear sunscreen, and keep your skin hydrated so you can show off your art! Lucky Deville Tattoo is one of the best tattoo shops in Buffalo and home to the finest artists in the area. We specialize in state-of-the-art tools and techniques for amazing tattoos of all types. Set an appointment with us today!