Can you get a tattoo on the bottom of your foot? Will It Fade?

Can you get a tattoo on the bottom of your foot?
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Can you get a tattoo on the bottom of your foot?

If you’re considering getting a tattoo on the bottom of your foot, you’re not alone. This is a popular spot for tattooing, especially for those who want something small and discreet.

But before you go ahead and make an appointment at your local tattoo parlor, there are some things you should know about tattoos on the bottom of your foot. Can you get a tattoo on the bottom of your foot?


You can get a tattoo on the bottom of your foot. However, it is not a great place to get a tattoo. Sole of the foot tattoos fade quickly and grow out. Color doesn’t work and you can’t get much detail to stay. Your tattoo is likely to need regular retouches and maintenance and can blur, bleed under the skin or fade away completely. It is also very painful.

In this blog post, we’ll talk about the pros and cons of getting a tattoo on the bottom of your foot, how to take care of it, and whether or not it will fade over time.

Can you get a tattoo on the bottom of your foot?

Whilst you can technically get a tattoo on the bottom of the foot, whether or not it’s a good idea is another matter.

As discussed above there are many issues that you need to bear in mind when thinking about getting this tattoo placement.

If you’re considering getting a tattoo on the bottom of your foot, you should weigh the pros and cons carefully before making a decision.

On the plus side, tattoos on the bottom of your foot can be small and discreet. They can be a cute and attractive piece of subtle body art which is easy to hide.

On the downside, they are likely to fade and blur and get a tattoo blowout over time, and they can be very painful. Its not the easiest or best of all the possible tattoo locations.







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Experienced tattoo artists may refuse to do a bottom of the foot tattoo as they know its unlikely to stay looking good for long.

Will a tattoo on the bottom of your foot fade?

Unfortunately, Tattoos on the bottom of your foot are more likely to fade and blur over time than those in other locations.

This is because the skin on the bottom of your feet is constantly being rubbed against shoes, socks, and the ground, which can cause the ink to break down.

The layers of skin on the bottom of the foot also grow and replicate much more quickly than other skin on the body. For this reason, it kind of pushes the tattoo ink out and so the tattoo just grows right out or becomes really patchy.

If you have a lot of dead skin on the sole of your foot it can even be difficult for the tattoo needle to penetrate far enough. In this case you can end up with a patchy tattoo that fades quickly.

If you do get a tattoo on the bottom of your foot, be prepared to touch it up regularly and keep up with a regular maintenance schedule.

Feet tattoos in general are more likely to heal patchy or to fade, but the bottom of the foot in particular is very prone to this.


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8 Things to consider when getting a tattoo on the bottom of your foot

1 – Be prepared for the pain

The bottom of the foot is a sensitive area and so getting a tattoo here can be quite painful and intense. Its right over the bone with no padding of fat to protect you.  If you have a low pain threshold, this might not be the location for you. Your tattooist may be able to help you with relation techniques or even perhaps numbing cream. However, you will need to speak to them about this as it isn’t always possible.

This post has a lot more detail on when you can use numbing cream.

Can I use numbing cream before a tattoo?

2 – Be prepared for retouches

Tattoos on the bottom of your foot are likely to need regular retouches. As the skin here is constantly in motion and being rubbed, it can cause the ink to break down and fade quickly.

It’s unlikely that the first session of tattooing will stay well in the skin. You will probably need at least two sessions or maybe even three to get the ink in there. Which is obviously painful every time.

Be prepared for more than one tattoo session to finalise this tattoo.

3 – Be ready for ongoing maintenance

If you get a tattoo on the bottom of your foot, you will need to commit to ongoing maintenance. The likelihood is, that if you want the tattoo to keep looking good over the years you will need to do some maintenance. This could be a retouch every few years.

If you want your tattoo to look its best, be prepared for this commitment.

4 – Go for bold and thick lines

If you’re set on getting a tattoo on the bottom of your foot the style of tattoo matters. Go for bold and thick lines. As the skin here is constantly moving and replacing, a bolder design is more likely to stand the test of time.

So, if you want your tattoo to stand the test of time, go big and bold.

5 – Avoid fine detail and intricate patterns.

Keep it simple. Avoid tiny fine lines and patterns. They will likely just disappear quickly or blur into an indistinguishable mess. Avoiding them will help your tattoo look better for longer.

6 – Avoid Colour

Whilst you can technically get a colored tattoo on the bottom of your foot, it’s not recommended. Colored inks tend to disappear from the sole quicker than black.

Soft color effects such as watercolor tattoos definitely DON’T work on the bottom of the foot.

If you really must have the color you could try a deep color such as red. However, make sure that the design will still work if the color disappears altogether. In general its best to avoid color tattoos on the bottom of the foot.

7 – Get a small design – better fit and less pain

Tattoos on the bottom of your foot can be small and discreet. If you want a tattoo in this location, consider getting a small design. Not only will it hurt less but it will also fit the shape of your foot better.

A lot of people choose to get words or short phrases done as tattoos on the bottom of their feet.

8 – Understand that tattoos on the bottom of the foot can fade quickly

It’s worth reiterating that tattoos on the bottom of your foot can and do fade quickly and go patchy. If you’re not prepared to touch up your tattoo or commit to regular maintenance, then this might not be the right location for you.

The ink just doesn’t seem to hold in the skin as well as other locations on the body. So, if you want a tattoo that will last, the bottom of your foot might not be the best place.

Barbie Doll Bottom of the Foot Tattoos

Barbie foot tattoos are extremely popular at the moment on Instagram. This is a homage to 60’s barbie dolls that had “Japan” stamped on the sole of their foot to indicate where they were made.

People are now getting “made in ….” and the place where they were born tattooed on the sole of their foot.


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How do you take care of a tattoo on the bottom of your foot to prevent fading 

Unfortunately, whatever you do you will get a degree of fading with foot tattoos. It’s just part of what they are. The main thing is to focus on aftercare to heal it well. Then use moisturizer to keep skin soft and wear soft socks to prevent rubbing. You may need regular retouches and maintenance to keep it looking good.

Here are some things that you can do to minimize the fading as much as possible.

1 – Focus on aftercare

The number one thing you can do to make sure your sole tattoo doesn’t fade is to focus on aftercare. This means keeping the tattoo clean and protected so that it can heal properly.

Every tattooist will have their own aftercare methods for bottom of the foot tattoos. You need to listen to them and follow them to the letter.

2 – Be careful about the socks and shoes you wear.

You need to be careful about the socks and shoes you wear after getting a tattoo on the bottom of your foot. Avoid tight-fitting socks or shoes that rub. This can irritate the tattoo and cause fading.

Choose soft, loose-fitting socks made from natural fibers such as cotton. And make sure you break in new shoes slowly to avoid chafing.

There is debate about whether a closed shoe or flips flops are better. Flip flops don’t rub and allow air to the tattoo. but closed shoes protect the tattoo from mud, dust and possible infection. The best shoe will depend on your circumstances and what you are doing.

3 – Moisturize your feet.

Feet can become incredibly dry. This doesn’t help your tattoo.

Once your tattoo has healed properly you need to keep your feet soft and supple. Your tattoo will look at its best if it isn’t hidden under thick layers of dry skin.

The best time to do this is after a shower or bath when your skin is still damp. Apply a thick layer of lotion or cream all over your feet. Then put on some soft socks to lock in the moisture.

You don’t need a fancy tattoo moisturizer. However, you may want to use a heavy-duty “working hands” type moisturizer if your feet are particularly dry.

4 – Get retouches if needed

The truth about foot tattoos is that it will probably end up looking patchy and faded. If you want to keep it looking its best then you need to get regular retouches. This means going back to your tattooist every few months or years to have them touch up the ink.

It’s also a good idea to take some “before” pictures of your tattoo so that you can track its progress over time. That way you’ll know exactly when or if it’s time for a retouch.

can you get a tattoo on the bottom of your foot

How Do You Heal a tattoo on the bottom of your foot?

The foot tattoo is not an easy one to heal and is a special challenge. You really need to give some serious thought to the healing process and how you will deal with it. The aftercare process is the most important thing when it comes to having a sole tattoo that looks good.

1 – Listen to your tattooists aftercare instructions

A tattooist who is experienced with bottom-of-the-foot tattoos will have detailed tattoo aftercare instructions that they know work for them. Follow these foot tattoo care instructions to the letter to get the best healing possible.

2 – Timing your footwear

The tattoo is at its most vulnerable when healing. ideally, you wouldn’t wear shoes at all and would keep your feet off the floor until it has healed. However, in the real world we all have stuff to do and jobs to go to.

Try and time your tattoo for the summer months when the weather is warmer and drier and you can wear lighter shoes or sandals. You might want to schedule it for a time when you are off work so you can put your feet up more too.

Be aware of what you will be doing in the critical weeks after the tattoo session so that you can wear the best footwear for healing.

3 – Tattoos on the bottom of your foot and swelling

There is often a lot of swelling with bottom of the foot tattoos. This can make it difficult to walk or put any weight on your feet. Try and keep your feet elevated as much as possible to help reduce the swelling. You can also use ice, wrapped in a clean paper towel which may help.

Don’t plan on doing a long shift of standing work just after your tattoo session.

4 – Be aware of where you are standing to avoid infection.

The bottom of the foot comes into contact with the ground. Obviously, it is super easy to stand in something and infect your tattoo. You need to be very aware of this for a good couple of weeks and keep it protected.

You need to make sure you keep the bottom of the foot tattoo clean at all times.

5 – Don’t soak your foot tattoo

Avoid soaking your feet in the bath and avoid water. You don’t want to get the skin soggy. This will make it more difficult for the tattoo to heal. If you must have a bath then keep your foot propped over the edge of the bath.

You should also avoid using public pools, saunas, or steam rooms until your tattoo has completely healed at around 3 to 4 weeks.

When should you be concerned if your sole tattoo is healing ok?

If you have any concerns that your tattoo is not healing properly then seek medical advice. The last thing you want is an infection in your foot. Infected tattoos are very dangerous and can lead to death in some circumstances if left untreated.

Such an infection can also lead to cellulitis which is a potentially serious infection that happens in the deeper layers of your skin.

Some common signs that something is wrong are increased pain, redness, swelling, or discharge from the tattoo. These are not part of the normal healing process. If you see any of these things then make sure you contact a doctor for advice.


Storytime

Once a client showed me her old foot tattoo {that I didn’t do}. It had smudged and bled incredibly badly under the skin into a huge black mass.

She told me she had got it done in Barcelona and then done the full tourist sightseeing thing for three days. She had walked for miles and miles and the tattoo just got rubbed on her shoes all the time. It was eventually incredibly painful and the still healing ink blurred into an unrecognizable blob.

So make sure that you plan the days after your foot tattoo carefully.


How painful is a tattoo on the sole of the foot?

I’m not gonna lie. A tattoo on the bottom of the foot is one of the most painful places to get tattooed. This is because the bottom of the foot has a high number of nerve endings. It’s also bony so there is no fat to protect the nerves. You will feel every line. Make sure you are mentally prepared for the pain and don’t do it if you have low pain tolerance.

A sole tattoo probably ranks alongside or above one of the more painful spots such as a rib cage tattoo. Having said that, the pain very much varies from person to person but it will definitely be a painful experience.

You may also find this post interesting

Can you get a tattoo on the palm of your hand?



Can you make tattoos on the sole of the foot hurt less?

You may be able to use numbing cream to make the tattoo hurt less. However, not all tattooists like using it and it can cause some problems with the tattooing process.

If you want to use it you need to speak to your tattooist first to see how they feel about it. Don’t just put it on yourself before your appointment. If you turn up with it on they may refuse to do the tattoo as it may make the skin impossible to tattoo.

This post explains fully all the issues around numbing cream and how to use it.

Can I use numbing cream before a tattoo?



Frequently Asked Questions – Can you get a tattoo on the sole of your foot?

How long does a foot tattoo last?

A foot tattoo should last as long as any other tattoo if it is done correctly and once it has healed well. However, it is likely to need more than one session to ensure the ink stays in the skin and may need retouches and maintenance to prevent it from looking patchy and faded.

Can I wear socks after a foot tattoo?

You can wear socks after a foot tattoo. However, you need to make sure that they are soft and loose-fitting. The most important thing is that they are clean. Change socks frequently to prevent the build-up of sweat. Ideally, wear some kind of open shoe without socks such as flip flops but be aware of avoiding dirt and dust.

Can I wear shoes after a foot tattoo?

You can wear shoes after a foot tattoo. However, you need to make sure that they don’t rub. The most important thing is that they are clean. Avoid walking barefoot as this can cause the tattoo to get dirty and infected. Ideally, wear some kind of open shoes such as sandals. Try to plan a couple of days in the house where you can keep off your feet as much as possible.

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

So, the answer to the question is yes – you can get a tattoo on the bottom of your foot. But before you go out and get inked, there are a few things you should keep in mind.

  • First, tattoos on the feet require more time to heal than other tattoos, so be prepared for some extra care after getting your new ink.
  • Second, they will most likely fade and look patchy so will require extra maintenance to keep them looking good.

Make sure, if you do go ahead that you only speak to a reputable artist who has experience with creating bottom of the foot tattoos.

So, what’s the verdict? Can you get a tattoo on the bottom of your foot? Yes. Will it fade? Most likely. Is it a good idea? That’s for you to decide.

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