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10 Ways to Prevent Your Tattoo from Cracking and Drying

Follow proper skincare procedures after getting your tattoo. To avoid tattoo cracking and drying, use tattoo aftercare products – recommended by your tattoo artist – cream, lotion, or oil, which help you heal the skin and sustain your shine and glow.

Another thing is that keeping your skin hydrated is important while you wait for your tattoo to heal. Do you have coconut oil at home? Well, if you don’t, you can always buy it from the store. At best, also avoid letting the tattoo area come in contact with hot water. This will only make your skin dry and you don’t need that.

What is Tattoo Cracking?

In every tattoo healing process, it’s traditional to have a scabbing skin. Your new tattoo area is a wound after all and the only way the affected area can regenerate is to scab off. But when your skin begins to dry out too much and your scabs become too tight, that’s what tattoo cracking means. And it’s okay for some people to have a cracking tattoo. However, it can and should be avoided. Can we blame it on your dry skin? Yes. But then, there are other factors worth considering.

Some of these factors may be as a result of an unprofessional tattoo artist, thick scab, infection, lack of hydration, poor aftercare procedure, and so on.

What is Tattoo Drying?

Tattoo drying is the situation that occurs when you fail to moisturize your tattoo and it dries off poorly. When your tattoo becomes too dry for lack of moisture and/or other factors, it may cause heavy cracking and result in bleeding. The implication is that it may eat deep into tattoo ink and ruin the outcome of your tattoo.

So, you must do your best to ensure that your new tattoo scabs off and dries appropriately during the healing process. The goal of this article is to help you identify the factors that could cause wrong tattoo cracking and tattoo drying and the procedures you should follow to have the best tattoo experience.

10 Common Causes of Tattoo Cracking and Drying

Common Causes of Tattoo Cracking

You know, getting the best tattoo artist in town is a great factor you must first consider? A lot of your tattoo experience depends on that. Know that and you have successfully crossed the first river in your journey to getting a lasting tattoo experience.

But beyond that, a lot depends on you and the way you for your tattoo. We usually tell people, “No level of expertise can save a tattoo that is not adequately cared for in the days that follow.”

What are we trying to say? There are certain roles you have to play when it comes to keeping your tattoo in shape and colorful going forward. The factors that cause tattoo cracking and drying are.

1. Not Following Your Artist’s Aftercare Tips

Aftercare tips are vital. Don’t miss the guideline of your tattoo artist. Know this: aftercare tips vary from studio to studio and from artist to artist. So, don’t follow another friend’s maintenance routine without asking your tattoo artist. Don’t!

Usually, your tattoo artist should provide with tattoo care orientation – in the form of a brochure or leaflet, before or after drawing your tattoo.

2. Bathing The Area With Sponge

A tattooed area should be treated with care while it heals. Washing it with sponge must be avoided. Are we saying you shouldn’t take of the surface? Far from it! We recommend that you wash gently with warm water and a tender antibacterial soap.

3. Long Water Immersion

Until your tattoo is totally healed, it’s not advisable that you let your tattoo area to too much water. You may need to resist swimming in the pool or ocean and soaking in the tub for a long time.

Why are we saying this? Some tattoo inks are not water-friendly and are quick to wash away. Besides, you need to protect your tattoo from infection. Since you never can tell whether the pool or sea is impure, it’s best to wait until your tattoo is healed.

4. Touching The Tattoo Area

You stand in the mirror, gazing at your tattoo. You have always wanted to. Now you do. You want to touch and feel it.

Yes, we can relate to that emotional instance. But resist that temptation. And don’t let anyone, irrespective of the intent – except your tattoo artist, to touch your tattoo during the healing period.

As much as you can, protect your tattoo from being touched. First, touching is more likely to cause tattoo cracking and drying. Second, you risk having your tattoo infected. You don’t if the person admiring and touching your tattoo has a skin infection.

5. Scratching Itchy Tattoo Area

Okay, some new tattoo area may itch heavily than the other during the healing process. Now, is the time to evaluate your ability to withstand itching before you enter that tattoo studio.

What’s your tolerance level? Can you ignore itching, however long it takes? Hopefully, you are not the type who would pick the next handy object to scratch itchy skin. Hopefully!

When you submit to the temptation of scratching an itchy tattoo area, you interfere with the healing process. It may cause the cracking to eat deep into the tattoo ink. And if you have carefully read this article to this stage, you know by now that your new tattoo will turn out unattractive.

So what? As much as you can, let your tattoo breathe. It may be hard, we sympathize with you. But really, you don’t want to ruin your effort so far.

6. Picking Scabs

Rule One: Give time to your tattoo healing process. Don’t interfere! It’s okay if you don’t like the scabs on your skin. But it’s more disastrous when you start picking them. Doing this may result in picking the tattoo inks along. While you are enjoying this act, you may not realize the harm you are causing to your tattoo until it’s all over.

Rather, let the scabs fall off naturally.

7. Excess Use Of Ointment

Okay, we have advised you earlier to use aftercare products like oil to heal the skin and maintain its shine. But caution is important. Using too much ointment can cause tattoo cracking and drying. Here’s the deal:

  • Let the tattoo area dry after washing.
  • Rub ointment once after each dry cleaning.
  • Don’t apply oil more than two times daily.
  • Increase to three to four times daily only when the surface starts peeling.
  • Poor Sun Protection

Note: Always wash your hands clean before you apply your tattoo aftercare ointment.

8. Poor Sun Protection

One of the harsh conditions you must protect your new tattoo from is the sun. You need to consider this before you enter that tattoo studio, especially if getting sunburned is your ritual.

The quickest road to getting tattoo cracking and tattoo drying is not keeping your new tattoo away from the sun before total healing.

And even after its total healing, you must make it a habit to protect the area. For example, to curb the chance of having skin cancer or fading, don’t stay too long in the sun to keep your skin’s pigment from getting weakened by the sun’s ultraviolet rays.

9. Working Out

Keep away from the gym or any other demanding physical activity to prevent tattoo cracking. Intense movement of the muscle and skin can cause tattoo cracking. First, it prolongs the healing process. And once the tattoo area is irritated, premature tattoo drying may set in. Then, this is more likely to eat deep into your tattoo ink.

10. Wearing Too Tight Clothing

If you are working from home or remotely, we can bet you are comfortable leaving your tattoo area bare. Except you have to join a video conference.

But if you have to dress and step out of your home every day – to work or anywhere, you should be careful not to wear too tight clothing over your new tattoo area.

When your clothing is too tight on your tattoo, it can ruin the customary healing process; soak out moisture prematurely and this can lead to abnormal tattoo drying.

Give your tattoo adequate room to breathe.


You can always prevent abnormal tattoo cracking and drying when you carefully follow aftercare procedures.

As has been said, drying and scabbing off are usual part of the tattoo healing process. So, don’t sweat it and don’t intervene. Your priority is to follow careful maintenance procedure to have a normal tattoo drying.

Keep your hands clean always, let no one touch your tattoo, protect it from the sun, drink adequate water to avoid dehydration, use ointment moderately, and don’t wear too tight clothing.

When your scabs get heavily dried with prolonged itching, bleeding or you notice anything unusual, get professional attention immediately.

Above all else, make sure your tattoo artist is an accredited professional.

Go ahead and rock your tattoo. It’ll sure look great on you!