Why Does My Tattoo Look Shiny?


A tattoo healing process might show you different phases. But why does your tattoo look shiny?

Well, the situation is also known as ‘onion skin’ and is a completely normal step in the tattoo healing procedure. The shininess comes from the new skin generated by your body. The new skin gives your tattoo a shiny and vibrant look. Usually, it goes away in 2-8 weeks. You may experience dryness, and itchiness during this time. Follow proper aftercare for your tattoo during this period. 

Let’s get to know how to deal with the situation as a tattoo owner.

Why Does My Tattoo Look Shiny? Is It Normal?

Yes, it’s normal to look your tattoo shiny after 3-5 days of getting the tattoo. As your body produces new tissues, the new skin layer looks shiny for a couple of days. This is a completely normal step in tattoo healing.

A tattoo is like an open wound in the body. The body treats a tattoo spot like any other wounded spot and repairs the affected skin. The new skin is produced by your body to replace lost skin.

The temporary shine goes away after some time. Generally, the average healing span is between 2 to 8 weeks. But, the healing period and time vary from person to person. Once the shininess fades away, you will get a new layer of inked skin.

This shininess is often accompanied by dryness, itchiness, and redness. You must not worry about all these points to the simple fact that your tattoo is still healing. Take appropriate care of your tattoo during this time. Use moisturizers and keep the area clean from dirt.

How Long Will the Tattoo be Shiny?

Well, it depends on how long it takes your body to heal. Generally, it takes 2-8 weeks to go away. But, sometimes it can take up to a month. Your tattooed skin takes time to properly heal from the countless holes made by the tattoo needle. Until your tattoo and skin heal properly, the shine might not go away.

Generally, the shine goes away after 2-3 weeks. For some, it may take up to 8 weeks. But, the time depends on your body’s healing faculties. People whose healing faculties have become weaker may take up to 1 month to heal properly. The healing procedure cannot be rushed. If rushed, the tattoo might fade away or become bacteria infested. 

What Happens To Your Skin After Getting a Tattoo?

Although tattoos look great, they will always take a toll on your skin.

A tattoo is a big injury or wound on your skin. The needle of an ink pen creates deep holes in your outer skin. Then, it injects the ink into your inner skin to set the tattoo. So, you can picture that your body’s skin went through a lot to heal.

After getting the tattoo, you will notice dryness and cracked skin. Sometimes, you can see the skin peeling off. Don’t Panic! This is a completely normal step in skin healing. Then, comes the shiny part.

The shiny part is the new layer of skin that grows underneath. After a couple of weeks, the shine goes away. Your tattoo will gain a smooth and matte finish. Your skin will also naturally exfoliate after some time.

What To Do When The Tattoo Is Shiny?

The shine indicates that your tattoo is going through a delicate stage. So, proper steps are needed to protect the tattoo.

  • Wash your skin with warm water and avoid using cold water.
  • Use a soap with a natural/neutral pH level.
  • Always use your hands to apply the soap. Never use a fabric, scrubber, bath sponge, or loofah. 
  • Don’t put your tattoo under running water. The water pressure might wash away the ink. The pressure has to be subtle, not direct.
  • Wash the ointment used by your tattoo artist. It will help your tattoo to breathe a little
  • Pat away the remaining moisture. Ensure that the spot is dry and squeaky clean.

How to Know That Your Tattoo Is Completely Healed?

You have to look at some signs to make sure that your tattoo is healed. The top 3 signs are:

  • The shine has faded away.
  • The color of the tattoo is intact.
  • No scabs.

No redness, swelling, or bleeding should be experienced with a healed tattoo. You’ll also notice that the tattoo doesn’t look shiny anymore when it’s completely healed.

Aftercare Mistakes You Should Avoid with A Shiny Tattoo

A shiny tattoo means it’s going through the healing process. Tattoos usually get ruined due to some aftercare mistakes. If proper steps are not taken, the tattoo fades away or gets deformed.

Here’s what you should avoid:

  • Exposing it to the sun
  • Bandaging the tattoo frequently
  • Using moisturizers frequently causes over-moisturization
  • Exposing the tattoo to chemical-infused waters in pools and saunas.
  • Practicing high-intense exercises,
  • Scrubbing and itching the tattoo.
  • Wearing tight-fitting clothes.
  • Wearing clothes from harsh fibers.
  • Using scrubbers instead of hands.


How Do I Know If My Tattoo Is Overworked?

The signs of an overworked tattoo are:
• Faded or Blurry color
• Excessive excursion of liquid and ink.
• Abnormal appearance and physicality
• Scarring  

Why My Tattoo Is Shiny After 1 Month?

The shiny tattoo is a normal phase in tattoo healing. It happens due to the new skin that your body produces. People who have weak immune systems can take up to 1 month to heal.
A tattoo is an open wound to your body. It produces new skin to heal wounds and to ensure that microbes don’t enter your body. This new skin gives the tattoo a vibrant and shiny look. usually, it takes 2-8 weeks for the tattoo to heal. But, people who have slow healing faculties take longer than usual. For them, 1 month is needed to ensure healing.

Why Does My Tattoo Looks Milky?

A filmy-looking tattoo is a normal step in a tattoo healing procedure. When the itchy scabs fall away, your tattoo will look milky.
After the scab falls away, your tattoo might appear milky. Don’t worry! It is the last phase in your tattoo healing procedure. The milkiness fades away with time. So, Don’t worry and use appropriate moisturizer or ointment.


You may breathe a sigh of relief now. Your quest for ‘Why does my tattoo look shiny’ has ended. 

Shiny skin or Onion skin is a natural phenomenon in tattoo healing procedures. New skin, generated by your body gives the tattoo a shiny look. It takes 2-8 weeks to heal properly. Itchiness and dryness often come with it.

We hope that this article helped you. Now, get tatted up!

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