Authored by Douglas Mefford in Body Arts
Published on 05-08-2009
One often overlooked area of the body for getting a piece of tattooed body art is on the foot. There are several reasons why the foot is not an often inked area and even when it is done, does require some extra effort and precautions to make it a successful ink job. On the positive side, since foot tattoos are much less common, a well-created one can have that special touch of uniqueness that makes it stand out.
To begin with, the foot is more sensitive than many other parts of the body so the pain will be more severe on the foot. Due to the natural shedding of skin on the foot area, the tattoo ink is more likely to suffer from “ink migration” when it is in the foot. This means that as time passes, the ink has a tendency to spread out from where it was put. Therefore, foot tattoos should generally be more simplistic in their design work. Foot tattoos are more easily infected during the healing process since the feet get put in more septic situations than the rest of the body. Shoes can rub on a foot tattoo and do damage to it and the bottom part of the foot will swiftly wear off any ink placed under the surface there.
While it is recommended to have a consultation with the tattoo artist before deciding on what tattoos to get, it is especially helpful to listen to any advice they may have if you are wanting to be inked on your foot. Some tattoo artists will outright refuse to do feet. Foot tattoos do require the occasional touchup, generally every few years. While many artists do free touchups on most tattoos, they will seldom offer this service for foot tattoos, as the very nature of them will require periodic reworks.
The average healing time for any tattoo is two to three weeks. During this time a tattoo should not have to come into contact with any clothing. Foot tattoos present an extra problem as the use of socks and shoes can damage or destroy the tattoo before it can heal. It is recommended that you try to have at least three or four days in which to stay barefoot before having to cover the tattoo in a work environment. Wearing loose sandals will help a bit. The sweat on your feet can also wash the color out of a tattoo, so keeping your feet dry during the healing process is critical to the successful healing of your body art.
Beyond these few extra precautions for foot tattoos, the same care as with any other tattoo on the body should be taken. Keep your new ink moist with a protective gel like Lubriderm ™. Avoid direct sunlight on your tattoo and stay away from heavily chlorinated water. If a person is diabetic it is best that they get no tattoos below the waist as the problems they may have with their circulation can adversely affect the healing of a tattoo.