7 bicep tattoo questions – what do you need to know before deciding?


More and more often I am approached by clients interested in getting a bicep tattoo – it is easy to hide it under clothes or to show it on the beach in summer. The location seems perfect but does it have any downsides?

What information about the tattoo on your bicep will you find in this article?

  • What is the meaning of a bicep tattoo?
  • How much does a bicep tattoo cost?
  • Bicep tattoo – what to wear?
  • Pain when tattooing on the bicep – does the bicep tattoo hurt a lot?
  • Bicep tattoo and the gym
  • How long does a bicep tattoo heal?
  • Bicep tattoo care – how to care for a bicep tattoo?

Looking for more info about tattoos? Check my other articles!

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.

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

bird tattoo on bicep
Bird tattoo on bicep made by me

What is the meaning of a bicep tattoo?

As with most places on your body, the design, not the location, will be important for the bicep tattoo. When deciding on a specific bicep tattoo 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 designs, 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.

serotonin tattoo on bicep
Serotonin tattoo on bicep made by me

If you would like to know more about tattoo meanings you can check my other posts, many of the designs are explained there, here you can find a list of all my posts on the blog.

As a source of inspiration I also especially like and use those 2 books that you can find on Amazon, they have great info about the meaning and origins of many tattoo designs.

books about tattoo meaning and history example

The first one is Lexicon of Tribal Tattoos: Motifs, Meanings, and Origins by Radimir Fiksa, and another one Conscious Ink: The Hidden Meaning of Tattoos: Mystical, Magical, and Transformative Art You Dare to Wear by Lisa Barretta.

Choosing a tattoo design that you would feel good with can be challenging so I would advise gathering as much information as you can before you will decide.

How much does a bicep tattoo cost?

Each tattoo artist will answer this question – it depends. Most often on the size, and thus the time needed to make it.

From my experience, the price of a bicep tattoo can be quoted between $300 and $500 or more. Small and simple bicep tattoos with black ink are less expensive, but if you would like to have a big 3D design in color it will cost more. 

When calculating the price of a bicep tattoo, I have to take into account that even with a small design, certain work during the preparation of the body and the design itself is independent of its size.

for woman tattoo on bicep
Pigeon tattoo on bicep made by me

Bicep tattoo – what to wear?

When you go to a tattooing session to get a bicep tattoo, what should you wear? For the day of tattooing, you might think of something loose that can be easily folded up so that the ink doesn’t stain your clothes. A t-shirt or a blouse that can be completely removed to reveal the biceps will be the best.

For the first 1-2 weeks, try to wear something looser than tight-fitting clothes, afterwards, it won’t matter much, but as the bicep tattoo heals, try wearing something that doesn’t directly touch your tattooed area.

flower tattoo on bicep
Flower tattoo on bicep made by me

Pain when tattooing on the bicep – does the bicep tattoo hurt a lot?

Not at all, the bicep tattoo doesn’t hurt too much. There is enough fat and muscle here, so bicep tattoos are usually not too painful. When getting a bicep tattoo, you can expect a moderate level of pain. The more painful areas for tattooing are the neck, ankles, and feet.

Pain scale of tattoos on different body parts

If you are really affraid of the pain you can ask your tattoo artist for a numbing cream, we are currently using this one that you can get on Amazon – Ebanel 5% Lidocaine Topical Numbing Cream Maximum Strength, 1.35 Oz Pain Relief Cream Anesthetic Cream Infused with Aloe Vera, Vitamin E, Lecithin, Allantoin, Secured with Child Resistant Cap.

If you would really need something like that at home from my experience I would advise this one, especially that kids should not have contact with the cream and this one has a child resistant cap 🙂

numbing cream tattoo

Bicep tattoo and the gym

With a freshly made bicep tattoo, we should limit the intensity of training in the gym. The bicep tattoo should not be exposed to irritation, we can limit ourselves to, for example, lower body exercises such as running, squats, and similar exercises.

dragonfly on bicep tattoo
Dragonfly tattoo on bicep made by me

How long does a bicep tattoo heal?

Biceps are the part of the body that comes into contact with clothes, so you should take care of tattoos there. Usually, bicep tattoos take about 3-4 weeks to heal, but it takes up to three months for complete healing under the skin.

If you would like to help your skin to heal faster you can use also tattoo aftercare balms and moisturizing lotions, I have tested quite a few and now I am advising this aftercare kit to my clients, it is something you can find for sure in a good studio or here on Amazon – Tattoo Goo Aftercare Kit Brighten Colors & Soothes Skin.

aftercare kit tattoo

The tattoo aftercare kit includes:

  • Healing Balm,
  • Moisturizing Lotion,
  • Deep Cleansing Soap,
  • Renew Enhancing Lotion with SPF 30.

Bicep tattoo care – how to care for a bicep tattoo?

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

Avoid water and sun, and keep your new tattoo clean, and provide access to fresh air frequently. Listen when the tattoo artist gives tips on caring for a bicep tattoo, they are really important and help reduce pain after getting a tattoo.

Here are some ideas I have tested for the aftercare of your first bicep tattoo:

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.

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

More tattoo designs for bicep 

Here you can find some more designs that I have made and that could look nice on a bicep.

bird bicep tattoo idea
angel for woman bicep tattoo idea
flowers for woman bicep tattoo idea
flowers bicep tattoo idea
rose bicep tattoo idea
woman face bicep tattoo idea

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