Can You Get a Tattoo on the Bottom of Your Foot?

Tattoos are more popular than ever before. From face tattoos to the palm of the hand tattoos, it seems like there is no limit to the possibilities. So, what about the bottom of your feet?

You can get a tattoo on the sole of your foot. It is one of the most painful locations to get a tattoo and also one of the most likely to fade. Many tattoo artists refuse to do work on the bottom of the foot because of its likelihood of fading or becoming infected.

If you’re interested in learning more about getting a tattoo on the bottom of your foot, you should read on. I am going to cover why it’s so painful, how you can make it hurt less, and what the proper aftercare is. I will also cover the reasons why tattoo artists may refuse to do this type of work.

Is It Possible to Get a Tattoo on the Bottom of Your Foot?

If you’re looking for a cool tattoo that you can hide or show off at your discretion, a tattoo on the sole of your foot is the answer. Not only is it possible, but it’s becoming a prevalent trend.

You’ll have to find a tattoo artist who can work on your feet as it is a delicate process. Your feet, like your hands, are callused, making it more challenging to ink them. Heavy shading and color are not the best options because they are harder to heal. Instead, you’ll want to stick with heavy outlines or use bold black strokes.

So, what is it that makes this type of tattoo so tricky? Let’s go back to the basics of a tattoo. Your skin comprises three layers: the dermis, epidermis, and hypodermis. Your top layer of skin is the epidermis, and right below this is the dermis, where the ink of your healed tattoo will sit.

The main complication with the bottom of your foot is that the epidermis is not evenly spread across it like it is on the rest of your body, making it difficult for your tattoo artist to judge precisely where the dermis rests. If your ink doesn’t make it to the dermis, it will be shed off with the epidermis, resulting in what looks like a tattoo fade. Alternatively, if it goes too far and reaches the hypodermis, it will result in a blowout, which is when the ink spreads out.

Does a Tattoo on the Sole of Your Foot Hurt?

Getting a tattoo on the sole of your foot is ranked as being one of the most painful tattoos you can get. Of course, this is also dependent on your pain tolerance. Some people have a higher pain tolerance and have no problem at all getting a tattoo on the bottom of their foot.

Your foot is so sensitive because of all the nerve receptors it has. It’s also mostly bone with minimal padding. Both of these factors combined make it an extremely sensitive area.

Additionally, your foot is made up of many small veins, tendons in strange places, and tiny bones. When you add them all together, they create an extremely uneven canvas, making the experience very uncomfortable. With all that needling on the bone, some people have called the procedure emotionally draining – more annoying than painful. Your tattoo artist may elect to stretch out even the smallest tattoo into multiple sessions to make it more manageable.

In addition to the pain, getting a tattoo on the bottom of your foot can result in you making a lot of involuntary movements if you’re ticklish. This will disrupt your artist’s ability to work and potentially ruin your new tattoo.

How Can You Make a Tattoo on the Sole of Your Foot Hurt Less?

While you won’t be able to avoid all the pain associated with your tattoo, there are three things you can do to help minimize it. First, don’t go all out with your first foot tattoo. You need to know how well you can handle the pain, and you probably don’t want to tap out on your chosen design. Pick a small design that doesn’t involve a lot of color or detail. Make sure it’s something that both stands alone well and can be added to later if you want more.

Second, choose an artist that is known for not being heavy-handed. It would help if you had someone who would be gentle with this delicate area. It will still hurt, but it won’t be as bad.

Finally, you can try numbing cream. It can help to keep the area desensitized to pain. It may not last through the whole session if you choose a larger piece, but it will offer some assistance with the pain.

Do Tattoos on your Feet Last Long?

If you get a tattoo on the sole of your foot, don’t be surprised if it fades rather quickly. These tattoos are well-known for not holding up. The bottom of your foot is exposed to a lot of wear and tear that other parts of your body are not.

The leading cause of fading is using socks and shoes during the healing process. When you get a tattoo on the bottom of your foot, you have to plan for the healing time because you need to go for at least a week without wearing socks and shoes. The constant rubbing will delay healing time. Additionally, as your healing scabs develop, the rubbing will potentially pull them off before they are ready to come off, damaging your tattoo.

Socks and shoes can also lead to the development of a moist environment. This type of environment is a breeding ground for various bacteria that can cause severe infections in your new tattoo. The skin of your foot is very delicate and prone to infection as well.

The soles of your feet also experience a lot of friction, which causes wear and tear that will rub off your new tattoo.

Will Need to Be Touched Up Yearly

Because of all the rubbing that the soles of your feet go through, any tattoos you get there will experience fading within 8 to 12 months. So, what does this mean for you? You’ll have to get touch-ups yearly to keep your tattoo looking fresh.

Don’t Use Color Ink as They Will Fade Faster

When choosing the best tattoo for the bottom of your foot, you need to avoid color and intricate designs. Intricate designs are challenging to ink on the bottom of the feet while using many colors can create a blotch instead of the effect you were looking for. Simple, black designs hold onto their beauty the longest. They should use bolder and heavier outlines. Colorful tattoos also have the potential for healing improperly, causing many problems.

As an alternative to using color, you can fill in your design with solid black. Black keeps longer, allowing your tattoo to require touching up less frequently.

The care you put into your tattoo will affect how long it lasts. This is especially true of color tattoos on the bottom of your foot. Any mistreatment of this type of tattoo, including things as simple as walking and wearing shoes, can result in blotchy, faded tattoos. You may only get a year out of them.

Aftercare Is Important

How you take care of your tattoo will determine how long it lasts. If you get home from getting your tattoo and it hurts, you can apply ice to relieve the pain. You’ll also need to stay off your feet. Walking on your new tattoo can be severely damaging. Additionally, keeping your foot up will help reduce any swelling that has come from the procedure.

When you do have to walk, don’t walk around without something on your feet. Try to wear soft slippers as much as possible. You should not wear close-toed shoes or socks for at least two weeks once you get a tattoo on the sole of your foot. Because of this, scheduling this type of tattoo at a time when you don’t have to wear shoes, such as during a vacation, is critical.

If you lay out in the sun, keep your feet covered. UV rays can damage a new tattoo. You’ll need sunscreen or sandals to protect your new ink.

As part of any tattoo healing process, you have to moisturize. It is especially critical that you moisturize during the healing of a tattoo on the sole of your foot. Moisturizing correctly will allow your foot to heal properly, preventing damage to your tattoo.

Do Tattoo Artists Like Doing Work on the Bottom of Your Foot?

Many tattoo artists refuse to work on tattoos on the bottom of the foot. This area is challenging to work on; taking superior skill to place the ink just right between the layers of skin. One little slip can result in disastrous consequences for the final outcome of the piece. Even an expert tattoo artist can have a slip up trying to create this kind of tattoo.

Another reason they often refuse is that tattoos on the sole of the foot are more prone to infection and improper healing. These tattoos require extra care that other types do not, and not everyone who gets one can handle the responsibility.

Finally, tattoo artists put their reputation on the line with every tattoo they complete. Because these tattoos are prone to fading so quickly, it will likely result in negative publicity for the artist despite it being a common occurrence. The artist doesn’t want to be blamed for the tattoo fading when it legitimately has nothing to do with their work or talent.

Final Thoughts

Tattoos on the bottom of the foot present a unique, private option for body art. You can choose when and where you display this art, making it truly personal.

Bottom-of-the-foot tattoos are known for being one of the most painful types of tattoos. They are challenging to create because of the skin’s condition and the area’s sensitivity. You may also find that you need multiple sessions to complete even the smallest piece.

These tattoos are prone to fading, which is a significant reason why many tattoo artists will not do them. They often need to be touched up yearly, making them very inconvenient. While they can be an exciting addition to your collection of tattoos, you will need to decide if they are worth the hassle.