There is certainly something eye-catching about the collarbone. The long line of the clavicle and the thin skin is often overlooked as an ideal tattoo placement option. But, there are certain reasons why the collarbone should be considered for your next piece of body art.
Collarbone tattoos can be placed above the bone, below the bone, flow around the shoulder and down the arm, or even right on top of the clavicle. Plus, they are easy to hide – simply throw on a top with sleeves.
It’s always good to be informed about the tattoo placement you’re going for so that you know what to expect regarding pain, aftercare, and what designs work well in that area.
Do Collarbone Tattoos Hurt?
There will be discomfort and some pain no matter what tattoo placement you choose. After all, getting a tattoo is basically getting wounded. However, there are places that generally hurt more than others.
When it comes to the clavicle, Tat Ring explains,
“The collarbone is a sensitive area to get a tattoo due to the lack of fatty tissues. Collarbone tattoos, depending on where exactly you get them, can also be directly on the bone, and there’s not a lot of skin.”
There isn’t a lot of fat or muscle to absorb the impact of the tattoo needle. However, the clavicle is made up of different areas. A tattoo right on top of your clavicle will hurt more than getting inked on the slightly fleshier area underneath.
If you have a low pain threshold, luckily there are ways to reduce the discomfort of the tattoo experience besides choosing a different placement.
Practising steady breathing, distracting yourself while getting a tattoo with music or a podcast, not getting a tattoo when you’re sick, and choosing a licensed, experienced artist can all help lessen the pain of getting inked.
How To Look After A New Collarbone Tattoo
First thing’s first, when you walk out of the tattoo studio, make sure to wear something super loose so that the fresh ink doesn’t rub off on your clothes. For the first two weeks, try and avoid clothes that rub right against your tattoo.
“Avoid water and sun, and keep your new tattoo clean, and provide fresh air frequently. Hear when the tattoo artist gives care tips, they are really important and help reduce pain after getting a tattoo,”Ink Art By Kate
When you wash your tattoo with antibacterial soap, don’t rub it dry with a towel – this can open up the wound and increase the risk of infection. Simply pat dry with a cotton pad. Afterwards, moisturize your tattoo with an ointment such as Bepanthen.
Also, during the healing process, try and avoid swimming and any activity that submerges your tattoo.
You also need to avoid sun exposure with a new tattoo, so cover up your ink when you go outside. Once your tattoo heals, always protect it (and the rest of your skin) with sunscreen.
Collarbone Tattoo Ideas
There are some tattoo designs that work particularly well on the collarbone area.
Mountain Range Collarbone Tattoo
The elongated, horizontal line of the clavicle makes a great ceiling for a mountain range tattoo. This tattoo can be done just underneath the collarbone to make sure the design isn’t warped by the bone’s protrusion.
There are different routes you can take with a mountain tattoo: You could go realistic with in depth details and shadings, or take a minimalistic approach with simple lines.
When it comes to the symbolism of mountains, Authority Tattoo says,
“[Mountains] are used to represent a no-frills approach to life. They are also a symbol of openness and approachability. Some minimalist mountain tattoos stem from the philosophical persuasion that no problem is insurmountable.”
Click here for Nature Tattoo inspiration (Trees, Waves, Mountains, Crescent Moon and Sun).
Symmetrical Collarbone Tattoo
Due to the symmetry of the collarbones, this placement option is perfect for a mirror tattoo design. This creates a balanced aesthetic, and can work with many different designs, with some of the most popular being plant and flower tattoos.
Word Or Phrase Collarbone Tattoo
Like with a mountain tattoo, the line of the clavicle creates a great place for a word tattoo.
A word or phrase tattoo can be one of the most meaningful tattoos you get, as words have a deep impact on us.
This type of tattoo is often done in fine lines, which is great for a delicate aesthetic. But, the finer the tattoo, the more visible mistakes will be. So, it’s important to go to an artist who is well practised with this type of tattooing. Always check out portfolios!
Click here for Word Tattoo inspiration.
Mini Collarbone Tattoos
You don’t have to go big in this placement, just because there is quite a bit of surface area.
A tiny heart or crescent moon tattoo, for example, can be eye-catching with a lot of blank space around it.
Click here for Small, Subtle Tattoo inspiration.
When walking into a tattoo studio, you shouldn’t only come prepared with your design ideas. Top tips to prepare for your tattoo appointment include:
1. Drink plenty of water. Hydrated skin makes for a great canvas for ink.
2. Come well rested. When you’ve gotten enough sleep the night before, you’re more likely to be less anxious and twitchy, which results in a better experience.
3. Eat a decent meal. Your body needs energy to burn during your appointment.
4. Bring snacks. Your blood sugar may drop, especially if you’re getting an intricate or big tattoo, so you may need a few bites of food.
5. Wear the right clothing. For a collar bone tattoo, you should avoid clothes and bras with straps going over the ink.
“For the day of tattooing, you can think of something loose that can be easily rolled up or removed completely (a better option) to keep the ink from staining your clothes,”Ink Art By Kate
When choosing a tattoo design and placement, it’s always good to take a peek into the future and the tattoo designs you may want. A clavicle tattoo can impact any future shoulder tattoos. For more on what to consider before getting a tattoo, click here.