Under Chest Tattoos: What You Should Know Before You Get Inked

Leaves Under Chest Tattoo | selftattoo.com
Leaves Under Chest Tattoo @lindacanters_tattoo

You have seen a tattoo design you love, but have you thought about where you want to get inked? Choosing a tattoo placement is just as important as choosing a design. If you want your placement to be easy to hide and you’re not afraid of pain, then an under chest tattoo may be the perfect choice for you. 

How Painful Is An Under Chest Tattoo? 

Under chest tattoos are placed beneath the chest, utilizing the space between the lower curve of the chest and the rib cage. You could shift the design to the side for more of a side chest tattoo so it’s more easily seen with certain clothing choices.

As the placement is located on the bones of the chest area, it is considered to be a painful spot for a tattoo. This is because the skin on the ribs is really thin and there isn’t a lot of fat or muscle between the skin and the bones.

“…the skin is thin and sensitive around many areas of the rib cage. The thinner the skin and the higher density of nerves, the more sensitive it generally is,”

Authority Tattoo

However, tattoo pain differs from person to person – some people are more sensitive than others. 

Moth Sternum Tattoo | selftattoo.com
Moth Sternum Tattoo @judytatto.o

If you’re worried about the pain, there are a few things you can do to make the experience more comfortable: 

  1. Choose a small tattoo design.

The bigger and more intricate your tattoo is, the more time you’ll spend under the needle.

  1. Pick a tattoo artist who is experienced in under chest tattoos. 

An experienced tattoo artist is more likely to be more gentle because they know what they’re doing and are less likely to make mistakes.

  1. Use a numbing cream.

There are numbing creams and sprays on the market to dull sensitivities. Check with your tattoo artist if they provide this product, or go to a pharmacy to get some. 

Floral Side Chest Tattoo | selftattoo.com
Floral Side Chest Tattoo @bunami.ink

What Is The Cost Of An Under Chest Tattoo?

The size and details of your tattoo design will have a big impact on the price. The bigger and more detailed the tattoo, the more ink needs to be used and the more time it takes to complete. 

What can also drive up the price of a tattoo is the placement.

“…placement will come in as a factor that brings up the cost of your tattoo due to the sensitivity of the area. It takes a higher level of skill and care to tattoo the chest, the sternum or ribs because of how delicate the skin is,”

The Ink Factory

You never want to cut corners or skimp on the price when it comes to tattoos. Going to an inexperienced tattoo artist can increase the risk of tattoo blowout and infections; also, they may lack the necessary skills and techniques to create the high-quality tattoo you’ve been dreaming about. 

'No Matter What' Side Chest Tattoo | selftattoo.com
‘No Matter What’ Side Chest Tattoo @ziggyinktattoostudio

Do Under Chest Tattoos Age Well?

A pro of an under chest tattoo is that it’s not exposed to the sun often. The sun’s rays can cause a tattoo to fade fast.

“When you leave your ink out in the sun, those UV rays are absorbed and essentially break up the pigment in your design. Tattoos themselves are actually under two layers of skin, with the top acting as a filter between the pigment and the sun. However, the more sun exposure, the more colors will fade – regardless of how dark they started,”


However, there are other factors that can negatively impact a under chest tattoo.

“The clothing you wear can rub against your new ink and cause friction damage, not to mention the effects of sweat and moisture,”

Tattoo Filter

This is where tattoo aftercare comes in – you’ve got to look after your under chest tattoo while it’s healing as well as after it has healed.

Medusa Sternum/Under Chest Tattoo | selftattoo.com
Medusa Sternum/Under Chest Tattoo @sarcenti.tt

How To Heal An Under Chest Tattoo 

During the healing process, it’s important to not allow any clothing to rub against the tattoo. This is in an effort to not disrupt your skin as it heals – anything rubbing against it can displace the ink, prolong healing, and even open the wound to infection.

So, just wear loose shirts without a bra for around two to three weeks to give your new tattoo a chance to heal uninterrupted. 

You’ve also got to wash and moisturize your tattoo around three times a day to keep your new tat clean. 

After your tattoo has healed, always put on sunscreen when your ink is exposed to the sun, and stay hydrated for long-term tattoo care. 

Under Chest Tattoo Ideas 

If you love the idea of getting an under chest tattoo, here are some design ideas that work particularly well with this placement: 

'Moon Child' Under Chest Tattoo | selftattoo.com
‘Moon Child’ Under Chest Tattoo @genevieveink

Under Chest Word Tattoos 

The flow of script, or cursive, typography corresponds well with the natural curve of the chest, making single-word or quote tattoos a great option for an under chest tattoo. 

Antlers Under Chest Tattoo | selftattoo.com
Antlers Under Chest Tattoo @raerobinsontattoo

Antlers Under Chest Tattoo

Starting at the sternum, an antlers tattoo can extend across underneath the chest for a large, commanding design. According to Near Tattoos, this tattoo can,

“…depict fertility, humility, swiftness, and renewal because deer antlers can represent all of those things.”

Isis Goddess Under Chest Tattoo | selftattoo.com
Isis Goddess Under Chest Tattoo @estefivo_tattooart

Egyptian Under Chest Tattoo 

The most popular Egyptian under chest tattoo design is Isis, the goddess of healing and magic. In the tattoo design, her body is usually tatted in the center of the chest while her wings spread out against the ribs underneath the chest.

Lavender Sprig Side Chest Tattoo | selftattoo.com
Lavender Sprig Side Chest Tattoo @boscolaynetattoo

Half Under Chest Tattoo 

If you’re a fan of minimalistic or small tattoo designs, you could opt for a half-under chest tattoo. This tattoo design could be placed more to the side of the chest and works particularly well with a nature theme. Think leaves and flowers.

Lace Under Chest Tattoo | selftattoo.com
Lace Under Chest Tattoo @modifiedmadnesstattoo

Ornamental Under Chest Tattoo 

These are intricate designs that often flow with the shape of the body. Highly decorative, some popular designs for this tattoo theme include mandalas, floral patterns, lace-like motifs, and geometric shapes.

If you’re looking for a sensual tattoo that’s easily hidden, consider an under chest tattoo. This secretive tattoo placement provides a unique canvas for body art due to its natural curves creating an exquisite flow to words, wings, and mandalas.

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