forearm tattoo on a skinny person design

6 Best Spots For Tattoos On Skinny People

Are you wondering where the best place to get your tattoo may be because you are reasonably skinny? Many people on the skinnier side of the scale worry about how their weight may affect any potential tattoos that they may want to get; this is a fair thing to worry about, as the weight can often play a significant role in the way that your tattoo looks. So, let us look at the 6 best spots for tattoos on skinny people.

The 6 best spots for tattoos on skinny people are thighs, calves, forearms, wrists, your back, and your triceps. These places of your body will still have a decent amount of fatty tissue on them, and they will have enough room to be worked on depending on the size of the tattoo that you want to get.

forearm tattoo on a skinny person design
A forearm tattoo which I have made recently

If you are curious about why these are the best parts of the body to be tattooed when you are skinny, let us have a closer look at these parts of the body and why they make better places to be tattooed, especially if you are skinny.

Does Being Skinny Affect Where You Can Get Tattooed?

Being skinny comes with its ups and downs. It can affect many things about your day-to-day life and usually even affects your bigger plans, too – but does it affect any potential tattoos?

Being skinny may, in fact, affect where you will be able to get a tattoo done on your body, as it affects the skin so much.

For example, depending on how skinny you are, you may have a lot of bones that poke out a fair amount. If this is the situation that you are in, you may not be able to get a tattoo done on any of those areas for a number of reasons:

It Can Be Very Painful To Get A Tattoo When You Are Skinny

Getting a tattoo done over a bone is one of the most painful things you can experience. Tattoo artists tend to steer clients away from tattooing any boney areas of their body as the pain can become excruciating and eventually unbearable.

Tattoo pain chart if you are a woman
Classic tattoo pain chart for women from

For this reason, it may be tricky for you to find somewhere that you can actually get a tattoo on your body if most of you are boney or if you have very little fat between your bones and your skin.

The more pain a client is in, the worse they move while being tattooed (voluntary and involuntary movements.)

So, even if you feel like the pain is not an issue because you can handle the pain, getting a tattoo so close to your bone will eventually be so painful that your body will shake and twitch on its own, even if mentally you are handling the pain well.

Tattoo pain chart if you are a man
Classic tattoo pain chart for men from

Tattoo Positioning Changing For Skinny People

Being skinny can affect the way your tattoo sits on your body and can even affect what the shape of your tattoo is meant to look like.

A tattoo will generally need a flat surface to show what the image in your tattoo is. However, when you are skinny, there are not many areas of your body that are very flat; this is usually due to not having much fat between your skin and your bones, which leads to your skin having more curves in it as it adjusts to the frame of your skeleton more.

This will make any area of your body that has little fat on it difficult to get a good stencil on because your tattoo artist will need to adjust the design of the tattoo while the stencil is already on you to make it fit your body well.

If your artist did not do this, a stencil that looks perfectly straight or perfectly round on paper could come out looking skew or bumpy on your body due to the curves and bumps of your bones, making your skin have dents and rises in it.

One issue that being skinny when getting a tattoo can cause in your tattoo’s positioning is that if you ever put on more weight, your tattoo look could change completely.

Remember, your tattoo artist will need to adjust your tattoo to your bones’ curves and dents. If you put on weight, the structure of that area of your body may change and have a more flat appearance due to there now being more fat between the bone and the skin.

Small tattoo on a skinny person
One of my works – small bird tattoo on a skinny person

If this does happy, your tattoo that may have looked straight when you were skinny may now look skew or bumpy due to the surface area of the tattoo flattening out and changing the shape of the surface that was tattooed.

Actually tattooing the skinny area

Lastly, actually tattooing a very skinny area of the body can be quite inconvenient. It is ideal when tattooing to have a flat surface to work on – this is because your artistry and work as a whole will be much more precise and far easier to do.

Working on a flat surface area means that you can pull cleaner lines and make the tattoo more precise and crisp in general – so having a bony area to work with will, of course, be more difficult because you have to pull clean lines (straight lines) over a very bumpy area.

It's hard to make a straight lines on bony area on skinny people
It’s difficult to work on bony area on skinny people (but it’s not impossible) – one of my works

As was mentioned above, it is also tricky for the artist when it comes to actually designing and applying the stencil, as you will have to leave space to correct any lines that may be straight but look skew once on the skin.

Having to constantly adjust the stencil and apply some lines free-hand to get the tattoo stencil perfect and looking completely straight and even will take the skill of a talented and well-experienced tattoo artist. Make sure whoever is attempting this tattoo on you knows what they are doing, or they may give you a bad tattoo no matter how skilled of an artist they may be.

Where Are The Best Places To Get Tattooed If You Are Skinny?

So with all of that being said, there are places that, even if you are skinny, can usually be tattooed and come out looking great – let us look at the best spots for tattoos on skinny people.


Even if you are skinny, your thigh will be one of the biggest flat surfaces on your body, making it an extremely good place to get a tattoo done.

Thigh is a good place for tattoo on a skinny people
Tattoo on a thigh – one of my works

Being skinny, you may not have many areas on your body that are a bit fatty, but even a skinny thigh will still have a good amount of fat on it, which means that it will be a good, flat area for your tattoo artist to be able to work on.

Your thigh should be one of your top choices for a tattoo, and you are skinny, especially if you are looking to get a larger tattoo, as your tattoo artist may actually be able to make that happen due to the surface area of a thigh.


Your calf is another area of your body that even if you are skinny, you will still have a good amount of fat on; fat on your body is actually a good thing and healthy and makes for better tattoos, so having areas of your body with extra fat may sound like a bad thing, but a healthy amount of fat is necessary – it can also make being tattooed hurt a bit less.

Your calf is also a nicer location to have tattooed than your thigh if you want to show off your tattoo a bit more, as you will be able to wear far more clothes that show off your calf than clothes that will show off your thigh.

calf is a good place for tattoo on a skinny people
One of tattoos on a calf made by me

The curve of your calf is also a cool aspect that your tattoo artist will be able to work with because you will be able to do a tattoo that wraps around your leg (if that is something that you are interested in) when getting your calf tattooed.


The forearm is not necessarily a fatty place that can be tattooed; however, it is a flat and relatively “bone-free” area to be tattooed, which still makes it a good area to be worked on.

Your forearm, depending on how big it is, can often fit a medium size tattoo piece on it, and you may even be able to work with your artist and create a half sleeve tattoo together.

Cat tattoo on a forearm – one of my projects

The forearm is a great place to be tattooed if you are skinny because it is generally a lot less painful of an area to be tattooed than other areas of your body.

This location is also really great for small tattoos if that is all that you are interested in getting, and again, it is one of the least painful places you can be tattooed, especially if it is a small tattoo that you want to get.

Overall, getting your forearm tattooed is a great area to get tattooed, especially if you are skinny because very few adjustments will need to be made to the stencil since the forearm is such a straight and flat surface area.


If it is a small or micro tattoo that you want to get, your wrist is another good area to be tattooed if you are skinny.

Many people who have never had a tattoo before are often really worried about the pain that a wrist tattoo comes with, but since the area on your wrist that is generally tattooed (between the forearm and your palm) is not on any bony areas, even though the skin may be slightly more sensitive in that area, it is actually not a very painful place to be tattooed.

Wrists are a good area for tattoo on a skinny people
Matching tattoos on wrists made by me

Like the forearm, the wrist is a nice, straight, and flat area of skin to work on, so very little adjustment will need to take place with the stencil, and your tattoo artist will be able to pull clean lines and work in clean details.

Due to the small area, your tattoo, no matter what you get, will most likely go quickly and as pain-free as a tattoo can be.


Depending on just how skinny you are, your back may be a viable option in tattoo placement on the body.

If you are skinny but still have a good layer of fat between your bones and skin, your back is a great place to be tattooed if you are skinny.

The reason for this being that when your skin is stretched out, this is a very large surface area that your tattoo artist can work with. So whether you want a really big tattoo, a medium-size tattoo, or a small tattoo, you can basically do whatever you want on your back.

Back is less painful area for tattoo than ribs, especially on a skinny person
Tattoo on a back – one of my works

However, there is a chance that if you are a little too skinny, your back may not be a good option – this is because your ribs may be sticking out a lot on your back, and it would cause too many bumps in the tattoo for your tattoo artist to be able to adjust to accordingly.

It is not that it would be too much work for the tattoo artist if this was the case; it would just end up not looking consistent enough as a tattoo to justify doing a tattoo on your back if it is too boney.


Your triceps are also a good place to get tattooed if you are skinny, as it is another place on your body where you will have a fair amount of fatty flesh that is not on any bone.

This part of your arm is also a long and relatively straight area that you can have tattooed, which means that once again, it is a much easier location for your tattoo artist to work with and a much easier location to place a stencil correctly.

Tattoo on a triceps is a good solution for a skinny people
Tattoo on a triceps made by me

Do Tattoos Hurt More If You Are Skinny?

Unfortunately, tattoos generally will hurt people who are skinny a significant amount more than they will hurt people who are average weight.

The reason that your tattoo will generally hurt more if you are skinny is that, in the average person, there is a thick layer of fat, called the subcutaneous fat layer of skin, underneath the first two layers of skin on your body.

When being tattooed, this layer acts almost as a sort of punching bag, taking most of the blow of the jabbing needle and therefore helping the needle not hit your bones or muscles as hard.

When you are on the skinnier side of the scale, you will not have as thick of a layer of this fat under your skin, and by default, this means that you will not have as much of a protection layer that takes the impact of the needle for you.

So, what this means, is when you are skinny and you get a tattoo, the needle will hit your bones and muscles a lot more than it will hit that layer of protective fat, and therefore, it will, unfortunately, hurt more.


Being skinny can affect the way that your tattoos look but choosing the right location can help with that and ensure that your tattoo comes out looking great.

Choosing a part of your body that has a fair amount of fat on it is always first prize when you are skinny, as this will be the least painful place to be tattooed, as well as being the most convenient place to get a tattoo when it comes to placing a stencil.

Now that you know where the best places to be tattooed are when you are skinny, do not let your being of a lightweight stop you from getting a great tattoo – once you have your heart set on what you want to get, choose a location, go find yourself a tattoo artist and get the tattoo of your dreams!


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