If you’ve ever asked an artist for a hand tattoo there’s a good chance they looked pretty skeptical, especially if you don’t already have a lot of visible tattoo work. Hand tattoos are already a problem because the area gets a lot of damage and is hard to heal, but palm tattoos are even worse! The skin on your palms is not only thicker, but it’s entirely different to anywhere else on your body which is why many artists simply won’t tattoo it. While getting your palm tattooed is pretty unique there’s a lot of things to know beforehand unless you want to spend your money for nothing.
They Don’t Stay
The biggest problem with palm tattoos is that they’ve often temporary. The skin there is not only thick but it sheds at a much faster rate than anywhere else so the ink has to be put in harder. If your artist doesn’t have a lot of experience with palm tattoos or they’re not wholly comfortable doing it then it’s probably a good idea to go somewhere else instead or risk the application being for nothing. In fact, expect to have to tattoo this area more than once to get it to stay, it’s likely that you’ll have to have several sessions to get everything in there.
Not Everything is Tattooable
Thanks to the fact that the ink has to be harder, deeper and thicker lined to be able to stay, only certain designs are suitable for tattooing there. Most things that require small details or elaborate colors are a no-no because they’re just too delicate to stay and simple, solid blackwork is often all you can get. Don’t expect it to heal up that way either, there’s a good chance that the black will fade out to a muted blue/gray tone because of the thickness of skin above it. Similarly, you might seem blurring much faster on this area than on regular skin.
On season 8 of Ink Master palm tattoos were used as a challenge. This proved that not only were they something an average artist couldn’t do but that even experienced artists may struggle to do them well.
Palm tattoos are also pretty painful. Your hands have a lot of nerves in them and the skin is very sensitive.
What to Get?
If you’re still determined to get a palm tattoo there are some designs that work really well. It’s the perfect place for dotwork, mandalas, and even simple tribal designs. Lettering is fairly popular, and simple black symbols like Sanscrit, Kanji, and designs like anchors or hearts also work well. There’s even a few examples where people have gotten popular movie trivia like the Deathly Hallows inked on them.
Unlike regular tattoos it’s actually a good idea to keep your palm tattoos covered. Most artists advise people to get unpowdered exam gloves to protect their tattoos. After putting lotion or Aquaphor on the tattoo by covering the tattoo with a glove it will stop anything getting into the tattoo and stop it scabbing and cracking by drying out. The glove should be changed 4+ times a day with washing and reapplication each time. After 4 days the gloves can be left off and the tattoo should begin to shed normally.