So, you’ve barely taken off the sealing wrap for your new body-art and you’ve already been overloaded with well-intentioned information from family and friends. Horror stories of healing mishaps, ink infections, and of course, the dreaded tattoo cracking. Intentions aside, less is often more when it comes to the hard facts on caring for your new ink. Here are some important points to remember regarding tattoo cracking. 

What is tattoo cracking, will it ruin my tattoo? 

Before we really get into it, its best that we mention – for the record – that your tattoo itself isn’t what’s cracking. The tattoo healing process takes place on the skin’s surface layer (epidermis). After receiving a new tattoo, your epidermis will undergo the regular steps of oozing, itching and peeling/scabbing.  

Typically, tattoo cracking isn’t a major cause for concern, it’s an entirely normal part of the scabbing process, new skin is forming above the ink, turning into a scab and peeling away. As your tattoo is located below the skins surface, in the dermis layer, the ink itself will remain unaffected by this process.  

Why is my tattoo cracking? 

There are a number of reasons as to why you may be experiencing excessive cracking on the surface layer of your new work, the most common causes are as follows: 


Thick or excessive scabbing 

Excessive scabbing is most common cause for tattoo cracking. Most tattoos will produce a very light and barely visible scab, others may have heavier scabs with thick, prominent crusts. Scabs will begin to raise, decreasing in moisture which will increase the chance of cracking.  


Dry/ dehydrated skin 

Under moisturised, dehydrated skin is another leading cause of tattoo cracking. Ensuring you properly moisturise your skin is a vital step in giving your tattoo the best chance of healing quickly and without complications 



In some cases (though rare), tattoo cracking can occur as a symptom of an infected tattoo. This is likely due to an issue of hygiene, or improper care in the days following your new work. 


How to prevent tattoo cracking 

Keeping all of this in mind, here are some steps to help prevent your tattoos from cracking: 


Leave your healing wounds alone 

No matter the itch, irritation, or sheer impatience, never, under any circumstances should you pick at or pull on your tattoo as it heals, this will only prolong the stages of healing and increase the chances of creating an infection (one of the leading causes of tattoo cracking) 


Ensure you are maintaining good hygiene 

Make sure that you are frequently cleaning your tattoo with a gentle warm water wash (try to avoid excessively hot water). Keeping a clean, bacteria-free environment for your skin is vital in preventing tattoo cracks and ensuring a quick and complication free healing process. To be certain you are following the right steps, follow Ink Nurse’s ultimate aftercare guide. 


Hydrate yourself and your skin  

First and foremost, drink plenty of water. Staying hydrated is a sure-fire way to promote healthy and happy skin. Secondly, as we’ve mentioned in previous blogs, proper tattoo hydration is one of the most crucial steps in ensuring the health, vibrancy and longevity of your art. We recommend regular use of our multi-purpose remedy cream throughout your healing stages in order to prevent tattoo cracking.