How to Get a Foot Tattoo

by Contributor

How to Get a Foot Tattoo. Many tattoo artists refuse to tattoo feet, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't decorate them. Just know all the facts before placing a piece of permanent body art on your foot.

Step 1

Consider the size of the area being tattooed. There's not much room on feet to tattoo, so detailed designs are discouraged. Many artists refuse to do any design if they can't make it small enough to fit and still look good. If an artist tells you the design won't work, heed the advice. Look for a less detailed piece or put the original piece somewhere else.

Step 2

Think about the colors you want. Your feet shed skin quicker than most of your other body parts so foot tattoos fade quicker than other tattoos. Lighter colored designs will fade quicker than designs etched in darker colors (although these will also fade some, but they still can be seen).

Step 3

Take into account healing time. It takes at least 2 weeks for a tattoo to fully heal. During this time, the area must be kept clean and free of irritation. This includes wearing socks and shoes over a fresh tattoo. Be prepared to wear sandals or flip flops or go shoeless while the tattoo is healing to ensure nothing rubs or infects the area. Also, sock and shoe clad feet will sweat, there's no way around that and sweat can greatly affect your ink.

Step 4

Be prepared for more blood and possibly pain during tattooing. There are many nerve endings and capillaries in your feet and not much cushioning between the skin and bones. This can make foot tattoos more painful than tattoos in other places, and the added capillaries can cause a greater amount of bleeding. The more you bleed, the higher the chance you will bleed out any color applied to the tattoo. Also, if you don't keep the area clean throughout the healing process, it can cause infection and scarring. Both can prolong healing time and affect the finished product.

Step 5

Don't be surprised if your foot jerks. Feet have reflex points that cause the foot to involuntarily jerk when struck. This can cause squiggles in the design that the tattoo artist may not be able to fix or camouflage.

Step 6

Wait until you have a few days off from work. You will most likely experience some swelling and soreness in your foot for a couple of days following the tattoo procedure. If your job requires you to be on your feet for long periods, consider waiting until you have several consecutive days off. This allows time for the pain to diminish, and gives you time to go barefoot, which will give your foot tattoo a better chance of survival.

Step 7

Listen to your tattoo artist. If he tells you that something needs to be changed like size, shape, color or placement, heed his advice. An experienced artist knows what will work and look good and what won't. Plus, if he's adamant about the change, he most likely will refuse to ink your foot tattoo unless you're not willing to compromise.

Step 8

Some tattoo shops offer free touchups for their clients, but they may not extend this offer to foot tattoos. Basically, each time they do a foot tattoo, they are almost guaranteed a touchup will be required. The need for a touchup most likely won't be from any fault on the tattoo artist's part and may not even be because the client didn't take proper care of it. Even when you take good care of a new foot tattoo, it will fade. Be prepared to pay a fee for any touchups.

Tips

  • If you work somewhere that frowns upon any type of body art, tattoos on the feet are a lot easier to hide than others. Foot tattoos are considered sexy and with the right design, you can have a striking piece that will peek out from your favorite pair of sexy shoes.

Warnings

  • Diabetics should avoid getting any tattoos below the waist, this most definitely includes foot tattoos. Ink migration is more common in foot tattoos. This means over time, the ink may spread and make the design appear blurry. Some foot tattoos have to be touched up once every year or two, sometimes more depending on your lifestyle.