Which Leg Is Better For a Tattoo?

You have decided on getting a tattoo and that it has to be on your legs. Legs offer a perfect big canvas for tattoos of any size. But how to decide which leg would be better? Are there any good reasons to choose the left or the right leg?

Choosing which leg is best for a tattoo, just like the choice of imagery, is ultimately a personal decision. It depends on your body perception and associations with your left or right side. Deciding factors include scars or marks to cover up and the position of existing tattoos on your legs.

The right side is often seen as masculine and logical and the left as feminine and emotional. This might not be true for you. Trust your instincts to make a holistic decision about your tattoo placement that resonates with your mind, body, and soul.

Let’s look at some points that could influence whether you pick the left or right leg.

Considerations For Choosing Which Leg To Tattoo

You have decided on placing your chosen tattoo artwork on a leg. Legs are ideal for providing a bigger surface to accommodate more extensive and complex tattoo designs. Some areas of the legs are less painful to get tattooed and quicker to heal than many other body parts. But the question remains, would left or right be the best choice.

Tattoos To Cover Up Scars And Marks On Legs

Tattoos are often used to cover up, disguise, or accentuate old scars on the body.

Do you have stretch marks, birthmarks, surgical or other scars on a specific leg?

This could be a valid reason to choose one leg rather than the other for your tattoo.

Marks on your legs could be covered totally or just incorporated into a tattoo design.

It is a totally acceptable practice to tattoo over scars. Scar tissue will be more painful to get tattooed than healthy skin. Use an experienced tattoo artist if you have deep scarring or one of the following types of scarring:

  • Atrophic scars (indented appearance)
  • Keloid scars (raised, enlarged, red)
  • Hypertrophic scars (thick, raised)
  • Burn scars

Adding To Existing Tattoos on Legs

Existing tattoos you do not like anymore and want to be covered over could decide which leg to tattoo. Small tattoos that have become too random can be incorporated into a half-leg-sleeve or full-leg-sleeve design. Men often opt for full-sleeve tattoos on both legs. Women usually prefer to cover one leg only with a sleeve design.

Careful planning is essential if you know that you will want more leg tattoos in the future. You might wish to get an extensive design on a specific leg later. Keep that in mind, and plan an interim artwork on the other leg in the meantime.

The flow and design of existing leg tattoos could influence how and where you place the next tattoo. When choosing which leg is best for a tattoo, it is advised to keep the balance of existing tattoos on the rest of your body in mind. If, for instance, you have an image flowing up your right arm, consider a mirrored flow on the left leg.

Body Awareness Factors And Tattoo Placement

Tattoos can positively influence your attitude and body awareness. People self-conscious about big thighs often start liking their thighs more after getting them tattooed. If you have one leg that you consider weaker, then a strong tattoo can change your negative perceptions of that leg.

Habitual ways of sitting or standing can influence which leg to choose. For instance, do you always stand next to a wall in the yoga class? Think of which side you want your tattoo to be most visible from.

Some physical attributes, like which leg tends to cramp more or has more varicose veins, can decide which one not to tattoo.

Energy Balancing And Tattoo-Medicine

Neurologically seen, the right side of your brain is believed to influence the left side of your body. This is the emotional, musical, abstract thoughts, and feelings side. In contrast, the left side of your brain is linked to the right side of your body. This is the logical, analytical, verbal, and structural side of the personality.

Living a balanced life also includes balancing the energies on the left and right sides of the body. Energy blockages on a specific side of the body can be brought to awareness by charging that side of the body with a positive tattoo symbol. Positive images can be any image you consider to reflect beauty and inspiration in your life.

There are various energy centers and acupressure points in the body. The position of tattoos along the twelve main energy meridians can affect the aura or energy field around the body.

Symbology Of Left And Right Side Of The Body

Western traditions often associate the right side of the body with masculinity, logic, courage, strength, action, and sun-energies. The left side of the body is related to the feminine, emotional, lunar energies, dreams, nurturing, and the unconscious.

Eastern symbology has a more inclusive attitude. The interrelatedness and balance of male-female, yin-yang, dark-light, and left-right are emphasized. The left side is considered symbolic of male energy, wisdom, and nobility in Japan. The right side is associated with the feminine and lunar attributes.

Keep these perceptions in mind when choosing which leg to tattoo. Ultimately your own personal symbols and perceptions of left and right are what matters most.

Are Getting Tattoos More Painful On Right Or Left Leg

Somebody areas are more painful to tattoo than others. There is no general rule about the left or right side of the body being more painful when tattooed. This is different for every person. Only you really know where the sensitive parts of your anatomy are.

Areas, where the skin is thinner and closer to the bone, will be more painful, like ankle bones, shin bones, or knees. Body areas with more fat and muscle will be less painful to tattoo, like the outer thighs and the calves of the legs.

Tips On Deciding Which Leg Is Better For A Tattoo

The placement of a tattoo can be tricky. Here are some tips on how to reach the best decision.

  • Print and cut out a photo of your tattoo and tape it to different places on your body. See and feel what works best.
  • Use Photoshop or other photo editing programs and place a photo of the tattoo on an image of your body.
  • Close your eyes, relax, and picture yourself with the tattoo on your left leg. Now, visualize yourself walking away, cycling, or sitting at your desk with this tattoo on your left leg. Repeat this visualization exercise with the tattoo on your right leg. Any feelings or thoughts that arise could be a guide in your choice.
  • Discuss the choice of which leg to tattoo with your tattoo artist. They have a lot of experience and feedback from previous clients that can be valuable.

Conclusion

Which leg to tattoo is a choice only you can make. Ask other people how they decided but mostly just trust your gut feel. Make the most of the beauty and flow of a new tattoo idea by taking your time to discover the best possible placement for it.

Some of my favorite 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.

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):

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):

References

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