How to Tattoo Hands

by Contributor

How to Tattoo Hands. Next to the face and neck, tattooing the hands is the most visible place for permanent body art. And, like faces and necks, hand tattoos can interfere with your employability. Hands are difficult to tattoo--requiring expertise and skill to navigate the uneven skin and bones that comprise the hand.

Step 1

Find a tattoo artist willing and able to do hand tattoos. Many tattoo studios have a policy on what areas of the body their artists can't tattoo. These places tend to include anywhere on the neck except possibly the nape, the face, feet and hands and fingers.

Step 2

Consider your career opportunities. Hand tattoos are highly visible and except for your face is the most visible area you can get tattooed. If you work somewhere either now or in the future that requires body art to be covered during business hours, you'll be hard pressed to meet this requirement.

Step 3

Contemplate a design. You're very limited on space when tattooing hands and even more so if you're tattooing fingers. Finger tattoos tend to include single letters, such as love and hate spelled out with one letter per finger, or wedding band tattoos.

Step 4

Factor in the pain involved. Although the skin on your hands is abused on a daily basis, it can still be fairly sensitive and there's not much there, such as muscle or fat, to cushion the impact caused by the tattooing process. In general, hand tattoos tend to be more slightly more painful than others.

Step 5

Expect some residual discomfort. Anytime you get a new tattoo there's a potential for pain and swelling in the tattooed area. Hands are no exception. Depending on your line of work, you may want to get your hand tattoo while you've got a few days off.

Step 6

Be prepared for fading and blurring. The hands get more movement than any other part of the body; they see more sun than anywhere else except the face and shed skin faster than other parts of the body.

Step 7

Add the cost of regular touchups to the overall price. Because of the added friction and abuse your hands receive on a daily basis, those tattoo artists who are agreeable to doing hand tattoos, most likely won't offer free touchups like they may on other tattoos. Some people find they need to get their hand tattoo touched up as often as once a year while others only need one every two to four years, but no matter the amount time, you're guaranteed to need a touchup eventually.

Tips

  • While your hand tattoo is healing, try to avoid activities where your hands will be submersed in water for extended periods of time, such as washing dishes. Avoid wearing gloves of any kind as much as possible while your hand tattoo is healing, however, in certain situations where your hands will be coming into direct contact with a substance that could do more damage, then opt to cover it with gloves instead. Although hand tattoos still have a lot of stigma attached to them, they continue to grow in popularity and may even be making some ground in regards to acceptability, but it shouldn't be a spur of the moment decision, think about it carefully. Before permanently inking your hands, you may want to try a henna or other temporary tattoo to see what it'll be like to have hand tattoos.

Warnings

  • Because hands are exposed to so much on a daily basis, tattoos in this area are more likely to become infected compared to tattoos in other areas. The palms of your hands will be even more difficult to keep a tattoo on than the tops of your hands. If you're getting a tattoo on your palms, keep it very simple and expect it to need regular touchups.