Why Does My Tattoo Look Wrinkly? How to Fix It?

Nothing compares to the thrill of getting a new tattoo. But this excitement can soon become a nightmare if your tattoo doesn’t heal properly or shows any signs of wrinkling. In this situation, you might question yourself, “why is my tattoo wrinkly?

The healing process often leaves tattoos looking glossy or wrinkled. It becomes overly moist or dry throughout the healing process, which leads to this problem. For a few weeks, they will feel elevated to the touch as scabs form. To lessen this impact, it is helpful to routinely clean the artwork and keep it out of the shower.

Read on to know what makes your tattoo wrinkly, how you can fix and prevent this situation, and other information related to the topic.

Why Does My Tattoo Look Wrinkly

What Does It Mean When Your Tattoo Is Wrinkly?

What Does It Mean When Your Tattoo Is Wrinkly - Tattoo Strategies
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A wrinkly tattooed skin does not look good on the eyes. This situation is very typical. Therefore, there is no reason to be concerned.

Fresh tattoos are big wounds. The tattoo needle punctures your skin hundreds of times in one session, causing enough trauma for your body to gradually eliminate all of the broken skin over a week or two and replace it with a new tissue layer that has completed regeneration.

Compared to the skin around it, the freshly created skin will be relatively soft, stretchy, and irregular. Because of the nature of this new skin, the area’s surface is wrinkled. As a result, tattoos start out looking smooth before starting to peel and getting wrinkled more and more as the process of healing goes on.

4 Reasons Why Your Tattoo Looks Wrinkly

4 Reasons Why Your Tattoo Looks Wrinkly - Tattoo Strategies
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So if the question you want to resolve is, “why does my tattoo look wrinkly?” then you need to understand all the reasons that cause wrinkled skin. Let’s examine a few of the causes listed below.

1. The Healing Process

Fresh tattoos might take many weeks to heal fully. Because of this, it is normal for the affected skin region to change in various ways.

Among them is the surface layer of dead skin becoming glossy and wrinkled like a scab covering a wound. Be patient and diligently adhere to the tattoo artist’s recommendations to prevent more issues. As the days pass, this wrinkled feature should fade until it vanishes.

2. Hydration Issues

The skin may become dry and wrinkly due to a lack of moisture. Another possibility is that you overhydrated the tattoo while it was healing. In this instance, it is more possible that you will notice that tiny bumps or pimples begin to appear on the tattoo.

This is among the most noticeable indications of overhydration. Find out in this other post why and how to prevent tattoo pimples.

3. Type of Skin

The wrinkled and shiny appearance of the tattoo may last longer in some circumstances since some skin types heal more slowly than others. This may also vary depending on the location of the tattoo.

It may also wrinkle during the first 3–4 weeks if they are done on sections of the body where the skin is more fragile or where it is already slightly wrinkled (hands, feet, etc.).

4. Lack of care

The skin with tattoos might wrinkle from a lack of regular care. Don’t ignore the advice of your tattoo artist for even one day because getting a new tattoo is similar to getting a wound.

Taking Care of Wrinkled Tattoo

Taking Care of Wrinkled Tattoo

Most tattoos will heal in six to eight weeks, but the top tattoo artists will provide you advice if you have concerns about the affected area.

Fresh tattoos can appear wrinkled, glossy, flaky, or typical, with minimal effects in some cases. That’s why you must know the answer to “why is my tattoo dry and wrinkled?” this question. Taking proper care of your skin is the smartest action you can take to avoid the formation of wrinkles.

Here are some ways to take care of your tattooed skin as it heals.

1. Specialized Products

The tattoo artist will suggest a specific cream after creating your design to ensure the tattoo heals properly. For the first week, this is typically done two to three times daily every eight hours, though this may vary based on the tattoo and the type of skin you have.

2. Give it Some Time

Till at least 2 to 5 hours have gone, refrain from touching your fresh tattoo. The waiting period that relates to your circumstance will be explained to you by the tattoo artist. At the studio, they’ll probably wrap the tattoo with plastic wrap.

3. Keep Yourself Clean

Every time you clean your tattoo, use cold water and pH-neutral soap free of any fragrance or scent. Generally speaking, the better, the more natural.

4. Dry Off Completely

If your tattoo gets wet, dry it thoroughly and carefully, always using little, gentle strokes with the towel and never rubbing.

5. What You Should Avoid

Over-hydrating can damage your tattoo, so don’t abuse the moisturizers and ointments the tattoo artist recommends. Avoid taking a saltwater bath or exposing your tattoo to the sun.

How to Prevent Wrinkled Skin with a Tattoo

How to Prevent Wrinkled Skin with a Tattoo

To speed up the healing process, stick to these recommendations during the first six to eight weeks after tattooing.

1. Don’t shower after getting a new tattoo

Avoid hot tubs and pools, only take showers, and keep it out of the spray. It’s best to stay away from the beach altogether.

2. Avoid heavy creams

Petroleum jelly helps to preserve your tattoo once the initial application has been made. Use a lighter moisturizer to promote the healing process once you start.

Can you over-moisturize a tattoo?

3. Wear loose clothes

Some tattoos may develop scabs that leak ink. When clothing contacts them, they commonly break apart because of their sticky and spongy feel. You should wear something light and loose during the first month or two after receiving the tattoo.

4. Let the tattoo get some air

You would like the tattoo to dry out to avoid severe crusting. Although you should protect the artwork from bright sunlight, it benefits from exposure to fresh air.

5. Avoid intense exercise

Sweating excessively can interfere with your fresh tattoo. The area becomes humid from the added moisture, which leads to scabbing and other issues. 

The increased moisture dampens the area, leading to scabbing and other issues. There’s a potential that the moisture will make the artwork’s color fade or run if it’s still relatively new.

Can Crepey Skin Be Tattooed?

Can Crepey Skin Be Tattooed - Tattoo Strategies
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Sometimes, some people get wrinkly skin because of different conditions. And it is very normal to think whether a crepey skin can be tattooed or not. 

With minor limitations, crepey skin can acquire tattoos. Crepey skin is looser and fluffier because it develops where the skin has lost collagen and elastin. A mermaid tattoo may wind up looking more like an eel lady since the picture will stretch with the skin when it is applied to loose skin.

If you’re thinking about getting a tattoo on a crepey area of your skin, try treating the creepiness first so that the skin is as firm as possible before getting the tattoo. Consult your dermatologist about topical retinoids and procedures like ultrasonic therapy.

Alternately, if it appears that the skin has sagged as far as it is likely to sag, there is no reason not to have a tattoo because it won’t have to travel much further.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is it normal for tattoos to wrinkle?

Fresh tattoos can appear wrinkled, glossy, flaky, or typical, with minimal effects in some cases. The best thing you can do to prevent a wrinkled appearance is to take good care of your skin. The first step is to keep it clean and free of bacteria; next comes hydration and nutrition.

How long does it take a tattoo to feel comfy?

Your tattoo is considered healed when the scabs and rough skin naturally peel off after three to six weeks, and the new skin feels smooth. Despite the addition of some significant art, your skin appears to be returning to normal.

Do tattoos appear better once they heal?

After the first month, your tattoo will look bright and entirely healed. It’s easier to remember to follow aftercare during the initial weeks, but maintaining it for multiple months is vital. You can maintain the tattoo’s freshness and enhance its attractiveness by doing this.


Whether you currently have an extensive tattoo collection or are just beginning to get inked, receiving a new tattoo is always an amazing moment. Aftercare is probably the most important thing you can do to maintain your tattoo and skin appearing young, vibrant, and healthy.

If you’re concerned, which is commonly the situation when wrinkles or flaky skin emerge, ask your tattoo artist for assistance to verify you’re doing all of the necessary actions to restore your skin.

Finally, please remember that maintaining a tattoo is a lifelong responsibility. Avoid harsh sunlight, apply sunscreen, and take care of your skin to properly showcase your artwork.

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