Everybody is different and "peeling" could take anywhere from a few days to a few weeks. Mostly it depends on how the tattoo was done, and you own body.
On a quick assessment, it sounds like there was too much ointment on it. If it was a pasty type of goo, that's probably what it was. Which is normal after the tattoo is done and you leave the shop.
What should have been done is the whole thing should have been washed with a warm water & a mild soap. A light film of ointment reapplied and then recovered till you got off work or home.
At this point, if it was me, I wouldn't put anything on it for a few hours. Then put a real light coat of ointment on it. Just enough to give it a shine. Maybe the size of a match head, depending on the size of the tattoo.
In my past experience with the 2 tattoos I got, yes keep it bandaged is it is going to be in contact with clothes that rub, keep it slathered in whatever yur artist recommended, if they didnt, use a bit of Polysporin and cover. The ink will look as if it is "coming off" when u take the gauze pad off, thats normal, what it shouldnt be doing it bleeding or looking red and angry, swollen. I would put the Poly on it for a couple of days, keep it from rubbing and leave it open when u sleep. you should be able to feel a slightly scabby line all over depending how deep the artist tattooed. ( Some go deeper than others) DONT PICK AT IT!!!!! leave it to heal and if your artist has done a good kob it should be awesome with in a week. But, if you are asking this Q, your tattoo artist sounds questionable.
My tattoo just started itching and peeling at day three... u should try putting a and d on it every day and gently wash it with a mild soap do not use a wash rag do not use triple antibiotic be careful not to put to much a and d on it just keep it moist and u should of took the glad wrap off after 2 hrs and do not put anymore on it it will keep air out and keep ur ink to moist so not wat u want. Good luck
Usually a couple of days. Although the outline should take a little longer. Of the nine I have the one covering my upper thigh took the longest with all the detailing. It depends on how big, what kind of ink (tribal, shading, coloured) was used to tell hows fast it will peel. And where the tat is. Like if it's around a joint or a place that gets moves alot it will split and peel faster.
i have three tats one colored and the other two black/shaded, my black one peeled around the same time as yours seeing that i did the same (got the tat and went to work) i started to peel alot but after the first week or two it kind of stopped the ink decreasing in brightness is normal expecually in colored tats, dont worry your ok :)
Ooo... They usually start peeling within a couple of days (depending on whether you've been using any antiseptic cream or anything else to help the skin heal). It should look like a light scab or the kind of peeling you'd get after a bad sunburn. There should always be ink left underneath though.
If it's ALL peeling off, or if it's still bleeding, then you might have a problem! :0
PM tat2doc -- he should know what is normal and what to do.
i've had 6- usually the bright colored ink peels off w/in a few days like a really thin/light scab, uncovering the slightly duller ink underneath...
did ALL the ink peel off??? is there nothing left underneath??? that's certainly not normal!