12 questions about forearm tattoos – what do you need to know when deciding?


Clients interested in getting a forearm tattoo come to me more and more often – in this article I will try to answer the most common questions.

lion and flowers forearm tattoo idea
Forearm tattoo made by me

What answers you will find in this article about a forearm tattoo?

  • What is the meaning of a forearm tattoo?
  • How much does a forearm tattoo cost?
  • Tattoo on the forearm and work
  • Does the forearm tattoo hurt a lot?
  • What does a forearm tattoo feel like?
  • How long does a forearm tattoo take?
  • Which way should a tattoo face on your forearm?
  • Is the forearm a good place for a first tattoo?
  • Tattoo on the forearm and the gym
  • How long does a forearm tattoo heal?
  • How to hide a tattoo on your forearm
  • How to care for a forearm tattoo?

If you are looking for inspiration before your forearm tattoo, check out my portfolio – you can find my works and projects here – on Instagram.

What is the meaning of a forearm tattoo?

As with most places on your body, the design, not the location, will be what matters with a forearm tattoo. When deciding on a particular design, think carefully as it will be a lifetime choice.

The design does not always have to matter, I often make tattoos that customers like – flower patterns, birds, bracelets, swords, animals, etc., but there are also people for whom symbolism matters. It can be the name of a loved one, an inscription that means something to you, or, for example, your zodiac sign.

witchers sword forearm tattoo idea
Forearm tattoo made by me

How much does a forearm tattoo cost?

The cost of a forearm tattoo may vary, so when asked about the price, any tattoo artist will answer you – it depends. Most often on the size, and thus the time needed to complete it. The average cost of a forearm tattoo can somewhere between $200 to $1,200. Forearm full-color sleeves are the most expensive, while text and outlines are less expensive.

When calculating the price of making a tattoo, we must take into account that even with a small design, certain activities during the preparation of the body and the design itself are independent of its size, it always matters when checking the price of a tattoo on the wrist.

valkiria symbol forearm tattoo idea
Forearm tattoo made by me

Tattoo on the forearm and work

Sometimes before getting a tattoo on the forearm, the question is whether it is really hard to find a serious job with a tattoo? My answer is that a lot depends on how visible it will be.

Main question is – do jobs care about forearm tattoos? When applying for a new job, tattoo on your forearm should not affect you unless it is openly suggesting any ill behaviour like profanity or violence.

For a job interview, when we have a tattoo on our forearm, it is enough to put on a long-sleeved shirt, elegant jacket or whatever else “appropriate”, without exposing the tattoo, and it should not be a problem.

However, it is worth considering the logic of getting a tattoo on the forearm if you know that there will be a problem with it at work and you will have to cover it all the time.

snake forearm tattoo idea
Forearm tattoo made by me

Does the forearm tattoo hurt a lot?

Often, before the final decision is made, the question is asked about pain with a tattoo on the forearm. As always with pain, it is an individual matter, but most of my clients agree that the tattoo on the forearm hurts less than on other parts of the body.

Remember, however, that tattoo pain is a very individual matter – you know your pain threshold best, so think about whether such a place will suit you.

pain chart for woman tattoo on forearm
tattoo pain chart on different body parts for women from healthline.com
pain chart for man tattoo on forearm
tattoo pain chart on different body parts for men from healthline.com

What does a forearm tattoo feel like?

One of my clients described the sensation of getting a tattoo on a forearm similar to a cat scratch. For sure it can be more or less intense depending on the style and size of your design. As with any tattoo, a forearm one is likely to get more painful as you add size and detail to it.

flowers forearm tattoo idea
Forearm tattoo made by me

How long does a forearm tattoo take?

An intricate tattoo with different colors may take up to 4 hours while a simple design can be done within an hour or two. Also if you are getting breaks during the session this will affect total time.

flowers for woman forearm tattoo idea
Forearm tattoo made by me

Which way should a tattoo face on your forearm?

Tattoo on your forearm is usually placed facing down so you can only see it in a mirror, but others can see it in full grandeur 🙂

flowers design forearm tattoo idea
Forearm tattoo made by me

Is the forearm a good place for a first tattoo?

The forearm is a soft and fleshy area that takes well to the stress of a tattoo. Many of my clients decide to make their first tattoo on the forearm also because it is easy to hide and it doesn’t swell up too much, as well as it is easy to avoid sleeping on at night.

flower bracelet forearm tattoo idea
Forearm tattoo made by me

Tattoo on the forearm and the gym

With a freshly made forearm tattoo, we should limit the intensity of training in the gym. The tattoo on the forearm should not be exposed to irritation, we can limit ourselves to, for example, jogging.

deer forearm tattoo idea
Forearm tattoo made by me

How long does a forearm tattoo heal?

The forearm is the part of the body that comes into contact with clothing, so you should take care of tattoos there. Typically, forearm tattoos take about 3-4 weeks to heal, but it takes up to three months for complete healing under the skin. If you’re planning on getting both hands tattooed, consider having only one forearm at a time.

cat head forearm tattoo idea
Forearm tattoo made by me

How to hide a tattoo on your forearm

If for some reason you need to cover, for example at work, your forearm tattoo, choose a design that allows you to do so, for example, you can cover it with the cuff of a long-sleeved shirt.

butterfly forearm tattoo idea
Forearm tattoo made by me

How to care for a forearm tattoo?

First of all, follow the forearm tattoo care instructions given to you by the tattoo artist.

Avoid water and sun, and keep your new tattoo clean and give it fresh air frequently. Hear when the tattoo artist gives care tips, they are really important and help reduce pain after getting a tattoo.

Here are some ideas I have tested for your first forearm tattoo aftercare:

  • Fresh forearm tattoos are covered with a thin foil for the first 3-4 days, then it is good to let air enter them, which speeds up healing.
  • A new tattoo on your forearm should be washed every day – but gently, do not scrub, just spray lightly with water, preferably dry with a cotton pad.
  • During healing, which usually takes 3 to 4 weeks, you should avoid swimming, visiting a sauna, or bathing where the forearm tattoo is completely submerged in water.
  • Choose your clothes so that they rub and irritate the fresh forearm tattoo as little as possible, and be careful not to scratch it as scraping off the scabs may accidentally remove some ink.
  • The skin at the forearm tattoo site often dries out more, so ointments such as Bepanthen or Alantan can be used on it.
  • The new forearm tattoo should not be exposed to the sun. Even after it has healed, make sure you protect it with adequate sunscreen at all times.

Some of my favourite designs, tattoo books and aftercare products, selected for you

working on tattoo at my studio
Working at the studio on one of my projects

Thank you for reading my article, I hope that you have found it helpful. If you would have trouble finding ideas for your tattoo, wonder what is meaning of design that you have found or what to buy for aftercare, to make sure that your tattoo will be healing quickly and easily, here are some of my favorite products in one place, hope that this will also help.

Deasign and tattoo ideas

For some ideas you can have a look at those 3 books with hundreds of designs that I use with my Clients, they are available on Amazon for Kindle or in classic, paper version (links below):

Tattoo meaning

If you would like to read more about the meaning of different tattoo styles and designs before you will decide what you would like to have, I can recommend a book that was really useful for me when I was starting my tattoo adventure – it’s “Conscious Ink: The Hidden Meaning of Tattoos” by Lisa Barretta (through the link you can find it on Amazon for around $10).

Tattoo aftercare

The skin at the tattoo site often dries out. To prevent it and speed up healing for my Clients, I usually recommend one of those tattoo aftercare balms (you can find them on Amazon):

Looking for more info about tattoos? I might have them covered!

I have written almost 100 articles about tattooing – with details about each body part, problems that you might have with your tattoo, designs, styles, aftercare, and much more.

Have a look at the search option and see if you can find what you need here.

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Some of my other articles, check them and see if you could find what you are looking for!

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