Foot tattoos are extremely popular, with celebrities such as Jennifer Aniston, Megan Fox, Rihanna, and Kate Hudson sporting them. A tattooed foot can look sexy when peeking out of a high heel shoe, but it’s important to remember that a fresh tattoo constitutes as an “open wound,” which can spell disaster if a bacterial or fungal foot infection grabs hold. Here we’ll discuss this and four other matters to consider before getting your foot tattoo.
1. Foot Tattoos Are Painful!
AllWomensTalk magazine warns to avoid getting an ankle bone tattoo at all costs and ranks the foot as one of the “7 most painful places to get a tattoo” — right up there with the hip, the spine and the neck. Any place where that gun is driving down into the bone is going to hurt considerably. In addition to the 26 bones of the foot, there is a plethora of tendons, ligaments, blood vessels and nerves close to the surface. The bottom of the foot is well-padded, but on top you have a very thin layer of skin.
2. Foot Tattoos Are More Likely To Blur.
Expressions Ink tattoo parlor in Wausau, Wisconsin warns prospects about the complexities of a foot tattoo right on their website. “All tattoos spread some due to migration of the ink over time,” they say. Furthermore, “Hands and feet tattoos will spread more and faster than tattoos located on other parts of the body.” Detailed tattoos will lose definition and become blurred within a short amount of time. Therefore, they do not guarantee satisfaction and all touch-ups are at the client’s expense.
3. Foot Tattoos Are Not Recommended For Diabetics.
Diabetics can safely get tattoos if their disease is well-managed. Dr. Apratim Goel, a dermatologist at the Goel Cutis Skin Clinic in Mumbai, tells iDiva magazine that ideal tattoo candidates pass a hemoglobin A1C level blood test with under 8% blood glucose and do not have problems with their kidneys, heart or brain. However, she adds that diabetics should “avoid getting a tattoo on places with poor circulation, such as the feet, ankles, shins, buttocks and common injection sites such as arms, abdomen and thighs.”
4. Foot Tattoos Require Special Precautions For Optimal Healing.
Megan Massacre, star tattoo artist of “NY Ink” and “America’s Worst Tattoos,” has some special advice about foot tattoo healing. You’ll need to take all the usual precautions — washing with lukewarm water and Dial antibacterial soap several times a day, applying a small amount of A&D or Bacitracin ointment for 3-5 days, and applying unscented lotion to keep the skin moist.
Yet with foot tattoos, Megan says you’ll also need to “wear an open type of shoe like a flip flop” while it heals. This could be a problem for people who work in environments where closed-toe shoes are mandated. Furthermore, because the tattoo is on a lower extremity, icing and elevating the tattoo will be necessary to avoid swelling. Ibuprofen is also recommended.
Lastly, you’ll need to commit to taking it easy for a little while. “If you just got your foot tattooed, don’t plan a hiking or a five-hour mall trip,” Megan advises. “Over-working the tattooed area can result in scabbing and poor healing. Working out will also cause you to sweat, which is also not good for the tattoo’s healing process.”
5. Foot Tattoos Are More Prone To Infection.
The Cleveland Clinic says that the skin is pierced between 50 and 3,000 times a minute during a typical tattoo session. That leaves a lot of open puncture wounds that could allow microbes into the body! Unfortunately, the foot comes into the closest contact with the ground and is often cooped up in socks and shoes which harbor bacteria. A number of people with foot tattoos have commented on their foot infections in the Tattoo Now forum. One girl even remarked that “a chunk” of skin on her foot was missing! Others commented that they needed to see a doctor for antibiotics following their foot tattoos. If you’re feeling really brave, you can see what an infected foot tattoo looks like here. Yikes!
A foot infection can be treated, but it’s a nasty ordeal. We recommend that, if you plan on going ahead with a foot tattoo anyway, you invest in a SteriShoe UV shoe sanitizer, which uses UV light to kill 99.9% of the pathogens in your footwear. This is just one of many steps toward having cleaner, more sanitary feet — which is especially important if you want a quick-healing foot tattoo that will look healthy for years to come.