How Painful Are Palm Tattoos? Are They A Good Idea?

Are you considering getting a palm tattoo but not quite sure what you’re getting yourself into? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. If you’re thinking about getting a palm tattoo, you likely want to know “does it hurt?” Unfortunately, palm tattoos are painful.

Tattoos tend to hurt on the parts of your body where there is relatively no padding. The palm of your hand has practically no padding, and it is considered to be one of the most sensitive parts of your body.

Before getting a palm tattoo, you probably have a lot of questions, so you know what to expect. Below, we discuss everything you should know before you decide to get a palm tattoo.

How Bad Does a Palm Tattoo Hurt?

Palm tattoos are unique, and they’re starting to become more popular. All tattoos hurt, but believe it or not, the palm of your hand is considered to be one of the most painful tattoo placings on your body.

If you have a low pain tolerance and have minimal to no tattoos, your palm may not be an ideal location for a tattoo. When getting a palm tattoo, it’s important to know what you’re getting yourself into. There are a few factors to consider such as the cost, the pain you may have to endure, and if you’ll need touchups.

Why Do They Hurt So Bad?

Palm tattoos hurt because there is no fat padding on the palm of your hand. “The fat padding” refers to how much padding is in between your skin and bones, and since there is very little padding on your palms, they hurt more than a spot with more padding. There are also more sensory neurons in the palm of your hands than anywhere else in the body, making this a painful spot to get a tattoo.

The general rule is that tattoos hurt less when there is more padding. Places that hurt less include thighs, calves, upper arms, and stomach. Those are more common spots for tattoos not only because they hurt less, but those spots can easily be hidden when they need to be.

Why Don’t People Get Tattoos On Their Palms?

Have you asked other people around you if they have palm tattoos? That way you can get some advice on this particular tattoo placement and hear their experiences. Chances are, you probably haven’t met anyone with a tattoo on their palm. These tattoos aren’t extremely common because most artists will not do them.

Many Artists Refuse To Do Them

With every tattoo, artists put everything into what they do. Not only because a tattoo is permanently on someone’s skin for the rest of their life, but the artists’ name and reputation are attached to it as well. One of the more significant ways for artists to get clients is through recommendations and pictures of their past work. If someone walks into their shop and sees a picture of a bad tattoo, chances are the client will walk away.

Artists take pride in their work, and there are a few reasons why artists refuse to do them. One reason why tattoo artists turn away palm tattoos is that they put a lot into their work and they don’t want it to go to waste since these types of tattoos need to get retouched often.

Palm tattoos tend to fade, and it can be daunting for tattoo artists to have to retouch their work a lot. The skin on your palms is also tricky to tattoo because your palms tend to be textured, and oftentimes calluses are present. A special technique is needed for palm tattoos. If you overwork the skin, you risk permanently damaging it.

Another reason why artists try to advise clients against it is palm tattoos are incredibly visible. Even though tattoos are becoming more popular and more in the norm in today’s day and age, most work environments still frown upon them for employment purposes and require all tattoos to be covered. Palm tattoos can be tricky to cover unless you plan on wearing gloves on the job; otherwise, trying to cover a palm tattoo for an office job may be tricky.

Not only is finding a tattoo artist who will do your tattoo a challenge, but you may want to find one who has done a palm tattoo before. Palm tattoos are different from other tattoo places, and you don’t want a tattoo artist who is experimenting on you.

When picking an artist, ask to see their portfolio, as that is a great indicator to see if their style and work match what you’re looking for. Also, see if they have any healed pictures of palm tattoos they’ve done.

How Long Do Palm Tattoos Last?

The prediction of how fast a palm tattoo will last differs from person to person. The skin on your palm is always changing, peeling, and exposed to harsh conditions. The products you use on your hands, the amount of sun exposure, and the amount of wear you expose your palms to all depend on how many touchups you will need through the tattoo’s lifetime. 

Depending on how well your tattoo is done and how it heals, you may need to get it touched up a few times within the first year. Your tattoo will fully look its best after one or two touch-ups.

You won’t know how many touchups your palm requires until it’s completely healed the first time. To keep the appearance of your tattoo, it’s important that you prepare yourself for the maintenance your tattoo requires to look its best. Unfortunately, the maintenance comes with getting a palm tattoo, as it’s all part of the experience. 

Do Palm Tattoos Fade Fast?

Unfortunately, palm tattoos are known for fading fairly quickly. They fade quicker than tattoos on other parts of the body, for example, your chest or back. Those places tend to fade slowly because they see less friction than a palm tattoo. Since you’re constantly using your hands, washing them, and they are exposed to a lot of daily friction, there’s constant cell turnover happening on that part of your skin. This means a tattoo is much more likely to fade quickly on your palm.  

Since palm tattoos fade easily, it’s important that you get a tattoo that has a relatively simple design but with solid bold lines. These designs tend to hold quite a bit better than simple dainty designs, and picking a design that doesn’t have color works best. Color tends to fade a lot easier than black ink does. 

How Much Do Palm Tattoos Cost?

Since palm tattoos are tricky and since most tattoo artists refuse to do them, they tend to cost more. The price also depends on how intricate the design you are wanting is and it depends on how much the shop typically charges in general. Even if you get something extremely small and simple, most shops have a shop minimum of $100.

On average, and depending on the complexity of the palm tattoo you are wanting, you can expect to pay between $200-$500. Also, note that if you need a touchup, most shops charge for each touchup you do. It’s important to keep that in mind when getting a palm tattoo, as you may need several touchups to maintain the beauty of your palm tattoo. 

Can You Remove a Palm Tattoo?

Palm tattoos can be removed, and darker ink is far easier to remove since the dark ink can absorb the light of the laser easier than lighter colored ink can. Keep in mind that laser removal can remove a tattoo, but it’s extremely painful, and it typically takes several sessions to see results.

Laser tattoo removal can be quite expensive, especially if you need more than one treatment. Every office is different, but you can expect to pay between $200-$500 per session.