How sore is a tattoo on the top of the foot?
May 25, 2006 5:37 PM   Subscribe

How sore is a tattoo on the top of the foot?

I already have several tattoos - both biceps, stomach (under belly button,) both ankles, inside wrist.

I want a tattoo on the top of my foot, but it seems - at least to me - to be a very sensitive area that could be exceptionally painful. Can anyone describe their foot tattooing experiences (or general tattoo knowledge,) especially in relation to the areas I have already tattooed? Am I worrying about nothing (the tattoos I have did not cause me major discomfort?) Thanks.
posted by fire&wings to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (10 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
My tiny teenage daughter just got one there. She has no extra meat on her anywhere, least of all the top of her foot. We both had the same concern about pain. She never had a tattoo before, and she said it hurt, but she never flinched, or teared up, or even acted like it was painful at all. She found it totally bearable.

I am tattoo-free, but I guess as long as the artist is not pounding on the bone, and has a gentle touch on the flesh itself, maybe it's not so different than other areas.

My vote: if my tiny girl can do it, you can too.
posted by The Deej at 6:24 PM on May 25, 2006

I don't have a tattoo on the top of my foot, but being the daughter of a tattoo artist, I've seen people get 'em everywhere.

The big, burly guy I saw get a tattoo from his thigh wrapped around to the top of his foot only reactly badly when the gun was on top of bone and around the ankle. The top of the foot (although the last part so he had gone through the whole leg) didn't seem to bother him.

So basically, not as easy as the butt, not as bad as the spine.
posted by Gucky at 6:29 PM on May 25, 2006

From my limited experience with tattoos (I have three), it seems that pain is often related to needle size. Thicker-skinned areas (like thighs) need bigger needles. The skin on the top of the foot is pretty thin, so I think the needle used would be relatively small (akin to the ones they use on inner wrists). Of course, IANATA.
posted by leesh at 7:05 PM on May 25, 2006

My girlfriend has a tattoo on the top of her foot. She said it hurt, but not as bad as breaking off her toenail.

If you've already got tattoos and they were no problem, then you should be fine.
posted by Fuzzy Monster at 7:05 PM on May 25, 2006

I have multiple tattoos, and the worst one was the one that I got was on my foot. Not that it hurt so much more than any of the others, the problem I had was that it TICKLED. Man, I was squirming like crazy. It didn't help that I was in a foreign country and I barely spoke the language at the time, but that's another story...
posted by msali at 7:32 PM on May 25, 2006

I have five tattoos: shoulder blade, ankle, lower abd, small of the back on the spine, and on the top of my foot. It was definitely the most painful out of all five, nearly unbearable but I got through it. I was really happy that I had chosen something so small that it took less than fifteen minutes versus the hours for the other ones.

I would say it also depends on where you're planning on getting it on the foot. If it's a meaty part like big toe or along the outside of the foot, not going to hurt as bad. Mine runs along the ridge-type part of your foot along the bone lengthwise. The tattooist said he had problems holding the skin taut, but he was more concerned with wear and tear than anything else. He suggested I not get it, said because of shoes and socks and the overall texture of the skin on the feet that it would wear off and be barely recognizable within a few years. Wrong! Out of all of my tattoos it is the one that has stayed the freshest looking - going on 7+ years and is not even close to needing a touch-up like all the rest of mine. All my tattoos are black, and it's the only one that hasn't got any sort of tinge of blue to it.

If you handled all your other tattoos fine, then this one may be more uncomfortable, but not anything you're going to pass out from. I was a skinny 19 year old girl when I got mine and I made it fine. My suggestions are do it now in the summer when you'll be able to wear sandals or flip-flops while recovering. You won't want to wear regular shoes while it's healing because it'll definitely rub and probably mess it up. Also, if you are a sandal wearer, bring a pair along with you so that you can put them on and see exactly where to place the tattoo. It's the same as the ones on your back, arms, etc., you'll want to know what it looks like when it's clothed. My friend got some sort of big lady bug on her foot and didn't realize that every time she wore flip flops it would be entirely covered up by the straps and that it would be the one place on her foot the straps would rub the most.

Good luck!
posted by Ugh at 7:43 PM on May 25, 2006

Oh and as far as healing/soreness afterwards, I don't remember it being any worse than all the others, just a little more complicated because of the shoe thing. See this first metatarsal? That's where mine runs along all the way up to the navicular, and the worst part was when it hit that knotty part on the top of your foot, the 1st cuneiform I guess it's called. I about jumped out of my seat.
posted by Ugh at 7:50 PM on May 25, 2006

Not sure where on your foot you're getting it, but I have one on my big toe and it was no worse than the one on my back. The hardest part was finding sandles to wear so it would heal ok -- it wasn't in a place where the artist could cover it up immediately after.
posted by awegz at 7:58 PM on May 25, 2006

cover it with a bandage, I mean
posted by awegz at 7:59 PM on May 25, 2006

the "top" top of the foot is hurty, but not much worse than other hurty areas like your ribs or elbow. down around the toes and on the side towards your arch hurts like crazy.

there was about four hours in this tattoo
at the time of the picture, and the only reason it's unfinished is because it got to be too much for me to handle.
another thing i noticed was that i didn't get used to it like i have with other tattoo sessions. it felt exactly the same the whole time it was being done.

also, wear sandles for a couple days. your foot and your tattoo will thank you.
posted by gally99 at 3:50 AM on May 28, 2006

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