What You Should Know Before Getting A Foot Tattoo

Getting a new tattoo can be intimidating on multiple fronts. You're making a permanent decision about your appearance, as well as taking a chance based on what it will look like, where it will be, etc. And once that stress has been overcome, you have to endure the pain of actually getting the tattoo. Dr. Aimee Paik, the medical director of Apostrophe, an online dermatological service, explained the reason for this pain to Bustle

According to Paik, "In order for tattoos to be permanent, the pigment has to be placed deep in the dermis. Needles are used to drive the pigment below the skin's surface, which hurts!" So without discomfort, you can't get the best, long-term results you want for your ink. The level of discomfort differs for everyone, as does the longevity of the pigment. 

However, you can get a general idea of how much pain you'll be in and how long the tattoo will take to do, and last in the long run, depending on where you get it. In terms of these particular categories, one of the worst locations to get a tattoo is on your foot.

Foot tattoos often hurt more

A foot tattoo could be the perfect ink trend to update your body art with. If you want something on the smaller side and less publicly visible, foot tatts are a great option. However, if you're looking to avoid intense pain, they are not. In an interview with Cosmopolitan, Fredrik Glimskär, founder and CEO of online tattoo marketplace Inkbay, listed the feet as among the most painful areas to be tattooed. 

Glimskär attributed this to the fact that, with your foot, "The skin is so so close to the bone, with very little fat to pad or cushion the needle strokes." Tattoo artist Mystic Woodburn also mentioned to Bustle, "There are so many nerves concentrated in that area, making it more susceptible to pain." However, in Woodburn's experience with clients, the tops of the feet may be slightly more bearable than the sides.  

So, if you're highly sensitive to pain, a foot tattoo probably isn't your best option. In addition, once you've endured all that agony, it's not 100% guaranteed to last as long as you'd expect it to.

Foot tattoos may fade faster

Many people will consider which tattoo colors fade the fastest before getting inked, but you should also be aware of which spaces on the body are the most prone to fading. If you're looking for something that will take little upkeep to stay vibrant, you might want to think twice before getting a foot tattoo. Fredrik Glimskär told Cosmopolitan, in a separate interview, that foot tattoos are more likely to wane quickly because they are constantly shoved against your footwear. 

He admitted, "If we were to live barefoot, tattoos on the feet would probably keep their color for a while." However, Glimskär also mentioned that keeping your tattoo out of the sun will benefit its durability in the long term regardless of where it is. The tattoo expert added that if you make sure to keep the area properly hydrated with moisturizer, you can improve the chances of your tattoo lasting a bit longer too. 

If you've considered the pros and cons of getting a foot tattoo and you decide you still want one, you should, of course, just go for it. As you weigh up your options, you should also remind yourself that everyone's experience is different.