The bicep is widely regarded as one of the most sought-after tattoo placements for many reasons. Firstly, it ranks low on the pain scale, making the experience of getting a bicep tattoo comparatively more comfortable than other popular locations.
Secondly, the upper arm is an ideal canvas for tattoos because of its ample size. Coupled with its uncomplicated aftercare requirements and the advantage of easy concealment, the bicep emerges as a top placement choice for people who want to get inked.
How Painful Is A Bicep Tattoo?
The upper arm has two main spaces for ink: The outer arm and the inner bicep. The amount of pain you’ll experience during the tattoo process depends on where on the bicep you’re getting tatted.
“The outer bicep has a lot of muscle without a lot of nerve endings, making it a good place for a tattoo that won’t cause a lot of pain. Outer bicep tattoos usually cause low to low-moderate levels of pain,”Healthline
However, due to nerves running through the inner elbow and the sensitivity of the underarm area, getting a tattoo on the inner bicep hurts more compared to the outer bicep. If these nerves get pinched, it can cause pain throughout the arm.
Luckily, there are ways to reduce the pain of getting inked. Authority Tattoo advises,
“Think about the design, size, and color, as this will also affect the amount of pain you feel. Small, one-color designs hurt much less than large, colorful, detailed ones. Certain numbing creams may also help.”
With that being said, it’s important to remember that pain is personal! What hurts for one person may just be a slight discomfort for you.
Where Is The Best Place For A Bicep Tattoo?
There are a few factors to consider when it comes to deciding on tattoo placement, mainly: Pain, visibility, and size and design.
If one of the main deciding factors for your upper arm tattoo is pain, then you’ll want to opt for the outer bicep.
In terms of visibility, think about whether you want your tattoo to be easily visible or more discreet. Generally, a bicep tattoo is easy to cover up because all you have to do is wear a long sleeve shirt.
However, when you don’t wear a short sleeve shirt, an outer bicep tattoo would be more visible than an inner bicep tattoo.
The size and intricacy of your tattoo design can influence where it can be placed. The outer bicep is slightly larger than the inner bicep, making it more conducive to intricate, bigger designs.
What Makes A Good Bicep Tattoo?
While tattoos are extremely personal – a tattoo you may love may not be appreciated by others – there are a few key aspects that make a tattoo “good”:
A Well-Done Design
This has less to do with your chosen design and more to do with its execution. Choosing a skilled and experienced tattoo artist is crucial for achieving a good bicep tattoo. The artist’s technical skills and attention to detail play a huge role in the end result.
Do your research and choose a professional tattoo artist who is well-versed in the style of tattoo you want. Tattoos are not the time to skimp on price!
Cohesion With The Body
Your tattoo should work well with the placement. Consider the flow of your tattoo – how can it harmonize with the shape of the bicep instead of working against it? A tattoo that works with the placement looks more balanced.
Here, again, is where getting tattooed by a professional will work in your favor; they’ll be able to advise you on the right design and placement for the best end result.
A tattoo doesn’t have to have some deep, profound meaning to be a good tattoo. However, choosing something with some significance to your life instead of falling into trends can lead to a better tattoo. If you do want a meaningful tattoo design, consider what you want your tattoo to represent.
To figure this out, explore what has personal significance to you – listen to old songs, reread your favorite books, and dig into your childhood memories.
Bicep Tattoo Aftercare
A tattoo can take two weeks to a month to fully heal, but this timing depends greatly on the design and intricacy of your tattoo, as well as how well you look after it during the healing process.
Whether you get an outer bicep tattoo or an inner bicep tattoo, you’ve got to:
- Wash your tattoo two to three times a day with gentle soap.
- Moisturize your tattoo,
“During the healing process, you should moisturize your tattoo three to six times a day. Keeping your tattoo hydrated during the initial days is especially critical. If your tattoo becomes too dry, the healing may actually take longer, and you may risk losing color saturation,”Byrdie
- Keep it out of the sun. The sun’s rays are super damaging, and you can’t put SPF on a healing tattoo, so just keep your new tatt out of the sun.
Plus, never scratch your tattoo. During the healing process, your tattoo will scab and be really itchy. Resist the urge to scratch it (don’t even rub it with a towel) as this will reopen the skin, expose the wound to infection, and ultimately prolong the healing.
It’s also important to avoid any tight clothing over your bicep tattoo, as the fabric will rub against the ink and could affect the design.
The bicep is an ideal canvas for so many tattoo designs. From large floral half sleeves on the outer bicep, to quote tattoos on the inner bicep, there are many ways to go when it comes to bicep tattoo ideas.
No matter what design you choose, it’s essential to go to a professional tattooist who is experienced in the style you want to ensure a tattoo that’ll heal well and one that you’ll love for years to come.