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Tattoo Placements: What Is The Best Spot For You?

by Brittany Hendricks
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Frazer Harrison/Getty Images

Frazer Harrison/Getty Images

We are in the midst of summer. And let’s face it: The hotter the weather, the less clothes we wear — and we all know everyone is trying to show off that tattoo they got during winter. But what about the people who want to get those summer tattoos to show off in the heat, and hide behind clothes and jewelry once the summer is over and you have to go back to work? We’ll we’ve got your back — no pun intended.

Check out our article of the best areas to get discreet tattoos that you can still flash and show off during the summer! We’ll also give you advice on taking care of your new ink as well as the level of us pain you might experience.

YELLOW: Light pain; great place for first tattoo

ORANGE: Moderate pain; OK for first tattoos; should be a second tattoo

RED: Intense pain; should be a 2nd or 3rd tattoo

PURPLE: Excruciating pain; bad place for first tattoos; should get used to the pain with 2-3 tattoos


10. Leg

(Photo by Thomas Lohnes/Getty Images)

Your leg is the best place to get tattooed for both men and women if you work in a profession that might question your professionalism if it’s visible. No matter where on your leg you get inked, you’re able to cover up the leg with either slacks or jeans, and then show it off later on the basketball court, the pool, the beach or even at the gym. That way, you can still show it off outside the workplace without getting reprimanded.

The level of pain varies depending on the position you place the tattoo on your foot. If we start from below the waist, areas like your outer calf muscle and your outer thigh are going to be in the yellow. As we move further inside to areas like your inner calf and inner thigh, you are going to be in the orange. If you get one on your foot or the area around your knees, you are going to be in the red and purple.

**Consider what you plan to wear in the weeks following, especially if you get something in the area around your foot. Socks and shoes could irritate the skin and cause damage or excessive and unnecessary pealing**

9. Hip Area

The hip is another great place to get tattooed for both men and women (usually women). The only time this tattoo would ever see the light of day is if you are hanging out in a swimsuit by the pool or if you’re out at the beach. Men typically get theirs a little higher than women, landing a few inches away from the bottom of their rib cage.

(Photo by Stephen Lovekin/FilmMagic)

You can look at the level   of pain for a hip tattoo like this: the lower and more inward the tattoo placement, the higher the level of pain might be. The level of pain goes all the way from light yellow to excruciating purple. So if you want to get a tattoo there, make sure you pick the perfect spot.

**If you’re a woman, it might be best to either invest in boy shorts or go commando for the weeks after getting inked with your hip tattoo. You don’t want your underwear to rub against your tattoo and irritate it. You also don’t want the straps of your underwear pressing against the tattoo, causing the circulation to cut off**

8. Shoulder

This is one of the best universal spots for tattoos. No matter what your gender is, the shoulder tattoo is one of the most popular between males and females because it does not take away from a person’s masculinity or femininity. It also is a great spot to put your first or second tattoo because of how discreet the location is. Ladies, if you get it in the right spot, you might still be able to wear a sleeveless shirt to work and your tattoo won’t even see the light of day. Men, you can wear a t-shirt, maybe even a tank top, and your tattoo won’t show at work.

If you’re looking for something with light pain, get a shoulder tattoo in the front of your body that dangles between your chest and rib cage. Anything close to those two areas are intense levels of pain. If you want to get it on your back shoulder, the closer you are to your meaty arms, the less intense the pain will be. Anything that moves into the back area is a red level of pain.

**These tattoos may or may not be in tricky locations, so be sure to find someone that is able to lotion that blind spot for you on a daily basis in the days following getting inked**

7. Forearm

Here is the thing with the forearm: it is one of the trickiest tattoos to hide if you aren’t careful. If you work at a strict job, or if you are going into a job interview and don’t want it to be seen, it is advisable that you ALWAYS wear either a long sleeved

(Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images)

shirt or a 3-quarter blouse. Once you get into the job and the tattoo policy is not too strict, you might be able to get away with it. If not, you will always be restricted to long sleeved shirts while at work.

The forearm is one of the most comfortable places to get a tattoo, and could even serve at the location for your first tattoo. The pain level sits in the orange at innermost section of your forearm; however, the close you move to the inside of the elbow, the more pain you will experience.

**The forearm is generally a great place to care for a tattoo. Just be careful not to wear any clothing that cuts off or squeezes that area of your forearm.

6. Chest

This is a great location for hiding tattoos, more so for men than women. Because women typically wear low cut shirts in the front, it might not be the most pleasant place to get a tattoo if you are in the workforce. For men, this is a great spot because you can throw on just about anything and your chest tattoo won’t show.

The chest tattoos are typically more common in men, but women everywhere still get chest tattoos. The chest tattoo, just like the shoulder tattoo, is a great location for your 2nd or 3rd tattoo. Because the bones in your chest are the closest thing to the most essential part of your body (the heart), the pain is going to be a little more excruciating than any tattoo you’ll get in other places. Some people get these chest tattoos and are able to take it like a pro. The close the tattoo gets to the nipple, the most sensitive your skin is, thus causing more pain. So make sure you have the placement perfect mapped.

**Women, be careful with chest tattoos. We have an unfair disadvantage to chest tattoos because of those lovely lady lumps. Be advised that 1) you don’t want to get something that will irritate the breast and 2) the bra strap might irritate the tattoo depending on how far out your chest tattoo extends**

5. Wrist

The glorious wrist tattoo! It is most common for females, but men, you can still listen up! The wrist is a little bit more exposed than the other areas of your body, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be hidden. With the wrist tattoo, you can easily keep it discreet by wearing long sleeved shirts, bracelets, or even watches. Wrist tattoos can easily be hidden depending on how far down the tattoo extends or how long it is. 88514967 Tattoo Placements: What Is The Best Spot For You?

Because there isn’t much meat on your hands, and because the vein sits right below the wrist, a tattoo in this area might be a little more sensitive than the other areas of your body. From the tips of your fingers to your wrist, this entire area is in the red.

**Be very careful with the wrist tattoo, just as you should any other tattoo you get. Bear in mind that with the wrist, you don’t want anything to rub against the tattoo in the first two weeks that will irritate it, like a wrist watch or a bracelet. It could also infect the tattoo in the first week since you have an open wound that is still healing**

4. Finger

These tattoos have been around forever, but since we are talking about discreet locations, let’s focus more on the inside parts of your finger. The finger tattoo is slowly becoming more popular, specifically the inner parts. These are great location because unless your are pulling your fingers apart and shoving them in your co-workers’ faces, 9 times out of 10, it won’t be seen. If you want to cover it up, you can wear any type of right and that will likely take the distraction away from your finger tattoo.

Like the wrist, there isn’t much fat that surrounds the finger, so the pain level for this will be in the red.

**Be careful not to wear any rings on the finger that is going to irritate your skin. As with any tattoo, DO NOT use scented lotion. It might be a little harder with your hands because they control everything, but you have to be more aware of where you put your hands in the weeks following getting inked in this spot**

3. Ribs

The ribs are the perfect place to hide a tattoo from work. For the most part, a tattoo in this area will not see the light of day unless you’re walking around shirtless (men) or if you are in a sports bar or two-piece bathing suit (ladies). It is great for the workplace because you can throw on any top and your tattoo won’t be seen by employees or bosses.

Although a tattoo on the rib cage looks great, the pain level is in the level and borders purple. Because your side sees very little sunlight– even when you are shirtless — that area is going to be one of the most sensitive spots on your body to get a tattoo because of the limited exposure. For some reason, women are able to take the pain on the ribs a lot better than a man does.

**The rib cage is a great place to care for your tattoo. Because your hands can easily reach it, and for the most part there isn’t anything immediate that will cause irritation, it is one of the best spots to get a tattoo in terms of care**

2. Inner Bicep

159395459 Tattoo Placements: What Is The Best Spot For You?The inner bicep is a great location for a discreet tattoo, not only because you don’t HAVE to always wear long sleeve shirts to hide it, but because it looks great once you show it off — regardless of your gender. Men typically get a tribal tattoo that wraps around their entire bicep, and women typically get a quote that either extends across the inner bicep or extends downward in the direction of their elbow.

Although your tattoo looks great, we are moving into the purple area now. Like the ribs, the inner bicep is one of, if not, THE most sensitive part of your body for discreet tattoos. Because this area doesn’t get much exposure, the level of pain is going to be excruciating. You might want to consider getting a small tattoo in that area to test out the waters first before diving in and getting something that you can’t stop once it starts.

**Be cautious of the deodorant you use and moderate its spreading once you put it on. You don’t want your scented deodorant to rub against the tattoo and cause it irritation or unnecessary peeling, so be on the safe side and buy yourself unscented deodorant – just to be safe**

1. Under Breast

An under-the-breast tattoo is the perfect, ideal location for someone who wants a tattoo, but doesn’t want anyone to see it. If you are a man, of course people will see it once you go shirtless. If you are a female, you could be in a bathing suit or sports bra and people still might not see this tattoo if you don’t want them to.

With great decision comes great pain. Getting a tattoo in this location means excruciating pain. Not only is this location subject to limited exposure like the inner bicep or ribs, but the area under your breast rest right on top of a rib. Pretty much, you are tattooing a bone with a fraction of skin covering it. So be aware of the pain level before deciding on this location.

**For women, be careful with this location. You might want to consider investing in a bra that does not have a wire, or even getting a sports bra, but even that doesn’t guarantee that it won’t run against your tattoo. Your best bet is to just keep the tattoo constantly moisturized and covered with guaze while you go about wearing any type of bra you want**


1) Women are more sensitive the week prior to and during your cycle, so make sure you schedule wisely

2) Use unscented lotion and antibacterial body wash EVERYDAY while healing

3) Do not go out in the sun at least one week prior to being tattooed. You don’t want to dry out your skin

4) Find comfortable clothing wear afterwards

5) Some medication may thin out your blood, so talk to your doctor before

6) Make sure you eat a good, heavy meal before getting tattooed

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