Tattoo on the back, what you should know before getting it done


The location on the back seems perfect, but does it have any downsides? Tattoo on the back can be easily hidden under your clothes, but does it hurt a lot and how does it heal?

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

What is the meaning of the back tattoo?

As with most places on your body, so is the tattoo on your back – the design will matter, not the location. 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 designs, birds, 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.

for women tattoo on the back
Tattoo on the back made by me recently

How much does a back tattoo cost?

When asked about the price of a tattoo on the back, each tattoo artist will answer you – it depends. Most often on the size, and thus the time needed to complete it. Small size tattoo on your back could be done for $200 and more, but for example a full back tattoo which will to cover the entire back cost from $1,800 to $4,500. A half-back tattoo costs about $1,200 if it’s an outline done in black ink only.

When calculating the price of a tattoo on the back, the artist has to take into account that even with a small design, certain activities while preparing the body and the design itself are independent of its size.

 for men religion tattoo on the back
Tattoo on back, inspiration from tatuaze-wzory.com

Tattoo on the back – what to wear?

When you go to a tattoo session to get a tattoo on your back, what should you wear? For the day of tattooing, you can think of something loose that can be easily rolled up, and preferably completely removed so that the ink doesn’t stain your clothes.

For the first 1-2 weeks, try to wear something looser than tight-fitting t-shirts, later it won’t matter much, but once the tattoo on your back heals, try wearing something that doesn’t put too much pressure on where your tattooed design is.

two snakes tattoo on the back for women
Two abstract snakes on the back, tattoo that I have made

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

Not at all, the back tattoo does not hurt too much, except for the spine. There is enough fat and muscle on the back so back tattoos are usually not very painful. When getting a tattoo on your back, you can expect a moderate level of pain. The more painful areas for tattooing are the neck, ankles, and feet.

Check pain charts below to see which part of your back could be most painful for women and men.

pain chart for women tattoo on the back
Tattoo pain chart for women from healthline.com
pain chart for men tattoo on the back
Tattoo pain chart for men from healthline.com

Back tattoo and epidural

The back tattoo itself is not a contraindication for an epidural but may be a limitation if the design is freshly made. This is because the contraindications for IBD are blood clotting disorders in the mother and infection at the site where the catheter is to be inserted, which could occur with a fresh tattoo.

for women delicate tattoo on the back
Tattoo on back, inspiration from styl.fm

Back tattoo and acne

If you have acne in the selected place on your back, most likely the tattoo artist will advise you not to make a design, because it will heal badly and it may bleed more when tattooing on your back.

If acne appears after tattooing, it will not be a problem, it is only important not to touch any acne/pimples on the back during the healing process, because squeezing them will be much more painful, and infection may also occur.

for women geometric tattoo on the back
Tattoo on back, inspiration from polki.pl

Tattoo on the back and sleep

It is worth being careful with a fresh tattoo and for the first 1-2 weeks not to expose it to mechanical damage, for example by sleeping directly on the tattoo on the back, kneading it, and rubbing it throughout the night. With a fresh tattoo on your back, it would be best to sleep on your stomach or side for a while.

How long does a tattoo on a back heal?

The back is the part of the body that comes into contact with clothes, so you should take care of tattoos there. Usually, back tattoos take about 3-4 weeks to heal, but it takes up to three months for full healing beneath the skin’s surface.

for men biomechanic tattoo on the back
Tattoo on back, inspiration from elleman.pl

Back tattoo care – how to care for a back 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 fresh air frequently. Hear when the tattoo artist gives his back tattoo care tips, they are really important and help reduce pain after getting a tattoo done.

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

  • Fresh tattoos on the back are covered with a thin foil for the first 3-4 days, then it is good for them to have air access, which speeds up healing.
  • A new tattoo on the back should be washed every day – but gently, do not scrub, just spray it 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 tattoo on the back would be completely submerged in water.
  • Choose your clothes so that they rub and irritate the fresh tattoo on your back as little as possible, be careful not to scratch it as scratching off the scabs may accidentally remove some ink.
  • The skin at the tattoo site on the back often dries out more, so you can use ointments like Bepanthen or Alantan on it.
  • The new back 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.

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

Recent Posts