Sometimes, and recently more and more often, I am approached by clients interested in having a tattoo on the foot – it is invisible on a daily basis, and in summer it can be easily uncovered on the beach. The location seems perfect but does it have any downsides?
What information about the tattoo on your foot will you find in this article?
- What is the meaning of a tattoo on the foot?
- How much does a tattoo on a foot cost?
- Tattoo on the foot – what to wear?
- Pain when tattooing on the foot – does the tattoo on the foot hurt a lot?
- How To Reduce Pain When Getting A Tattoo On Your Foot? 15 things you can do,
- Tattoo on the foot and the gym,
- Tattoo on the foot and shoes,
If you are looking for inspiration before your first foot tattoo, check out my portfolio – you can find my works and projects here – on Instagram.
What is the meaning of a tattoo on the foot?
As with most places on your body, so is the tattoo on your foot – 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.
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 tattoo on a foot cost?
When asked about the price of a foot tattoo, each tattoo artist will answer you – it depends. Most often on the size, and thus the time needed to make it.
From my experience with foot tattoos, you should expect paying around $200 to $350 for a tattoo that covers the top of your foot, which can take up to 2-3 hours. A smaller design might cost around $150 to $200.
When calculating the price of making a tattoo, I have to take into account that even with a small design, certain work while preparing the body and the design itself is independent of its size.
Tattoo on the foot – what to wear?
When you go to a tattoo session to get a foot tattoo, what should you wear? For the day of tattooing, you might think of loose-fitting pants that can easily be rolled up so that ink doesn’t stain your clothes.
For the first 1-2 weeks, try to wear shoes that will not rub the area where the tattoo will be on the foot, after that it won’t matter much, but when the tattoo on the foot heals, try wearing something that does not compress it.
Pain when tattooing on the foot – does the tattoo on the foot hurt a lot?
The tattoo on the foot hurts quite a lot, often the foot is described as one of the most painful places on the body. It is true that everyone’s pain threshold may be different, but if you know that you have a low pain tolerance threshold, consider a foot tattoo, there are places that hurt less, such as the calf or the thigh.
Also remember that many different factors can affect the pain you experience when tattooing your feet – medications, fatigue, and stress.
If you are really afraid of the pain you can ask your tattoo artist for 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 :)
How To Reduce Pain When Getting A Tattoo On Your Foot? 15 things you can do.
There are a few things you can do to reduce the pain of getting a foot tattoo, both before and during the session, here is a short list I have prepared for you:
- Make sure you get a good night’s sleep the day before your foot tattoo.
- Find an experienced tattoo artist. Artists with more experience tend to finish their foot tattoos faster, meaning you’ll endure the pain for less time.
- Avoid painkillers, especially aspirin or ibuprofen. They should not be taken 24 hours before the tattoo, they thin the blood and the tattoo may take longer than normal.
- Make sure your body is well hydrated. When your skin is dry, the tattoo hurts more, both when tattooing and later when it heals.
- Make sure you come to the tattoo session after your meal. Low blood sugar makes you feel more painful, so eating before a tattoo is important. It will also help you avoid dizziness caused by nerves or hunger.
- Avoid drinking alcohol. Make sure you don’t drink for at least 24 hours before getting a tattoo as alcohol increases pain sensitivity and thin the blood.
- Try to relax while tattooing. It will only hurt for a while, try to breathe deeply and relax, if you are sure you want a tattoo and you trust your tattoo artist you should be fine.
- Try to distract yourself somehow so you don’t just focus on the pain. Before the session, you can ask if there is a possibility to come with someone you know, you can talk to the tattoo artist, you can listen to music on your phone through headphones – find something that will distract you.
- Don’t be afraid to ask for a skin numbing cream. Your tattoo artist should have different types of creams and you can ask for it.
- Do not get a tattoo if you are sick, then your sensitivity to pain will be greater and the tattoo will take longer to heal as your immune system tries to stop the infection at the same time.
- Don’t drink coffee or energy drinks before or during a tattoo session. Just like alcohol, caffeine and energy drinks thin your blood. So, skip your morning cup of coffee on the day you get the tattoo.
- Try to schedule your morning session if possible. In the morning, the adrenaline level is at its highest. Adrenaline is a pain masking hormone that can help increase your pain tolerance.
- Try not to move too much while the tattoo artist is working. Too much movement will distract tattooers from their work, thereby prolonging the session and increasing pain.
- Don’t be afraid to ask for breaks. If the pain becomes too much to bear, don’t hesitate to ask for a respite. Any professional tattoo artist will understand and give you a few minutes of break.
- You can also try squeezing or chewing something to ease the pain. Squeezing something in your hand can actually reduce pain significantly. You can bring, for example, a stress ball, a wrist training device, or chewing gum.
Tattoo on the foot and the gym
With a freshly made tattoo on the foot, we should limit the intensity of training in the gym. The foot tattoo should not be exposed to irritation, we can limit ourselves to upper body exercises, for example, but avoid running, squats, and similar exercises.
Tattoo on the foot and shoes
When planning a tattoo on the foot, it is worth considering the type of footwear that we wear on a daily basis, both during the healing period and later. A fresh tattoo should not be irritated by shoes, so many people choose to get a foot tattoo in summer when lighter shoes can be worn rather than in winter, for example.
It is also worth considering the part of the foot on which the tattoo is planned, whether it should be visible, for example, with high heels on, or hidden, for example, on the side of the foot.
How long does a foot tattoo heal?
The foot is the part of the body that comes into contact with shoes all the time, so you should take care of tattoos there. Usually, foot 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.
Some of my favorite 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.
Design 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):
More tattoo designs for foot
Here you can find some more designs that I have made and that could look nice on a bicep.