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Finger Tattoos

The rise of tattoo popularity is undeniable and finger tattoos are a staple for many a celebrity and local client, alike. Whether it’s a small love heart on your finger, a permanent wedding ring or an inside joke tucked away between the lines, there are many components to consider before you get a tattoo on your finger:

It's small but it's painful.
What’s that? A tattoo hurts. I know what you’re thinking “they all do, I'm not put off”.
Fingers are full of nerves and the skin lays right on the knuckle and bone, making getting a tattoo on your finger extra nippy. Generally, there is not as much fat or muscle to cushion the sensation of the needle.

They fade, and they fade fast.
The sides of your fingers and the soles of your feet regenerates ten times faster than anywhere else on your body. It’s just the body’s clever way of coping with constant usage. Every time you utilise your hands, whether it’s washing them, cleaning your hair or going into your pocket, these little acts you do every day affect the longevity of your new tattoo. When you’re up against such fast regeneration, the chances of the ink being able to remain wholly in your skin – if at all – are slim.

When freshly done (as most tattoo references you’ll find on the internet are) the ink looks bright, legible and really good! Sooner or later though, because of the placement’s fast regeneration, your finger tattoo could end up looking faded or blown out. [See Photo 1]


Photo 1.

Top: Freshly done
Bottom: 6 weeks healed 
[Not done at Set Sail Tattoo Studio]

Designs. Simplicity is key.
If you're completely set on your finger tattoo after reading up on it, who are we to say otherwise?
We'll work with clients to get a tattoo they are completely happy with. However, we do reserve the right NOT to do something if we just know it won't work or heal well.

The design of your finger tattoo can directly impact the length of time it will remain in good condition. Firstly, the skin on hands and fingers is not as easy to work with as other parts of the body. This is because, thanks to our joints and knuckles, the skin here isn’t as smooth as other parts of our body.

With finger skin being so difficult to work on, artists find it hard to tattoo intricate and complex designs onto your fingers. The nature of the skin around our fingers can cause the tattoo lines to be fuzzy, coloured ink to be less vivid, and darker ink to look more faded. With that in mind, you may want to consider a simple design for your finger tattoo.

Basic designs, like words or extremely simple outlines, tend to work much better on the skin around the fingers. Anything with small and intricate details is more likely to bleed or blow-out and require more frequent touch-ups. Your tattoo artist will be able to give you some great advice about a design that will hold up well on your fingers.

Left: Fresh, detailed tattoo. 
Right: Healed, blown out, faded, loss of details
[Not done at Set Sail Tattoo Studio]
Left: Fresh, detailed tattoo. 
Right: Healed, blown out, faded, loss of details
[Not done at Set Sail Tattoo Studio]

Even with a highly skilled artist and perfect aftercare, it's a lottery on how your finger tattoo may heal. For heavily tattooed people, it's generally not a problem as they're just happy to be tattooed in the remaining spaces they have but for most clients with a desired, polished aesthetic in mind there is an unpredictability on how it may heal and how it may affect your attitude towards the artist or studio who done it. 

Of course, there are some people who manage to attain a lovely-looking finger tattoo with no drama. But unfortunately, even the lucky ones will at some point fall prey to fading like the rest of us. The skin will eventually age and regenerate, pushing out ink and begin to fade. 

Blow-Outs, Ink Bleeds.
The appeal of a finger tattoo is that it looks dainty or it’s discreet.
We know that clients pay good money and are expecting perfection in their tattoos and we want to deliver that but it’s nearly impossible with a finger tattoo. The reality is, it’s a 50/50 split on which way your tattoo will heal. It could be the aforementioned, almost unavoidable fading of your tattoo requiring in multiple touch-ups on it could be a blow-out.

A“blow-out” is where the ink spreads out too far under the skin and causes the linework to appear blurred and distorted. Unfortunately, this can make itself evident at any time (even to the initial lucky ones). It can happen during the healing process, whilst you’re being tattooed or even a few months later. Your artist will be having to work extra hard to push the ink into the skin to remain there and blowouts are the most common fault to occur in finger tattoos. 


blow out.jpg
Noticeable blow-out at the "e" an "n". Blueish hue from the ink bleeding out in the thin skin of a finger.
[Not done at Set Sail Tattoo Studio]

We care about what we do and how it heals.
Please keep in mind, whatever an artist creates on someone, it is their work and they’ll want it to look its best. This isn't meant to come across at elitist or condescending, it's meant to act as a fact-sheet for you to make an informed decision on something that's going to be with you forever- we want the best for you too!

With all this in mind, we’re sure you understand why certain artists refuse or advise against certain tattoo placements. Each of the artists at Set Sail Tattoo Studio wants the best for your tattoo both when it’s done and when it’s out in the world. On the flip side, I suppose, we could slap any old stencil on and take your money without a second thought of how your tattoo is going to heal but we’re not like that. Not at all.  
If someone asks where you got your tattoo done, we want you to proudly tell people where. 

If you have any further questions please do not hesitate to get in touch. 
You can find us on Facebook or at the address below. 

Set Sail Tattoo Studio
16 Eglinton Street, Irvine, 
KA12 8AS.