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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 🙂
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.
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.
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:
- Fresh bicep tattoos are covered with a thin foil for the first 2-3 days, later it is good for them to have air access, which speeds up healing. This type of waterproof bandage one we use at the studio, Tattoo Aftercare Waterproof Bandage Transparent Film, you should get enough from your tattoo artist for those first days, but in case you would need more you can find it on Amazon under this link,
- A new tattoo on the bicep 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 the sauna, or bathing where the bicep tattoo is completely submerged in water,
- Choose your clothes so that they rub and irritate the fresh bicep tattoo as little as possible, and be careful not to scratch it as scratching the scabs off you may accidentally remove some ink,
- The skin at the bicep tattoo site often dries out more, so you can use ointments such as Bepanthen or Alantan on it. If you do not have anything like that at home and would need to buy something you can consider this one – Viking Revolution Tattoo Care Balm for Before, During & Post Tattoo – Safe, Natural Tattoo Aftercare Cream – Moisturizing Lotion to Promote Skin Healing, if I am out of lotion from the kit that I have mentioned earlier I am using this balm also,
- A new bicep tattoo should not be exposed to the sun. Even after it has healed, make sure you protect it with adequate sunscreen at all times – SPF 50 or 70 should be fine, you can check those two options, depending how much do you need – Australian Gold SPF 50 Tattoo Stick 14 g or this one from Johnson & Johnson Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Non-Greasy Sunscreen Stick for Face & Body, Broad Spectrum SPF 70 UVA/UVB Sunscreen Stick, PABA-Free, 1.5 oz. Another option is in spray, not in stick, but this one is also bigger, make sure that you really need that much 😉 INK-EEZE Ink Shield Sun Screen Spray SPF 50 6 oz.
Some of my favourite designs, tattoo books and aftercare products, selected for you
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):
- Great Book of Tattoo Designs, Revised Edition: More than 500 Body Art Designs (Fox Chapel Publishing) Fantasy, Celtic, Floral, Wildlife, and Symbol Designs for the Skin by Lora Irish,
- The Big Book of Small Tattoos – Vol.1: 400 small original tattoos for women and men by Roberto Gemori,
- Tiny Tattoos: Over 1,000 Small Inspirational Artworks by Rebecca Vincent.
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).
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.
More tattoo designs for bicep
Here you can find some more designs that I have made and that could look nice on a bicep.