Palm tattoos: What you should know

Tattooing hands never goes out of style, but it’s complicated


Drawings on hands have been made since the beginning of the history of tattoos. Today, they have become a trend that never goes out of style, in fact, it would not be uncommon to come across men and women who have one. Those who choose a design in this area are people who are very sure of their choice, since it will be constantly visible and very complex to hide tattoo.

About palm tattoos, although it’s an excellent option for your clients to proudly wear a design, it is important to emphasize that they will face a series of complications in terms of their pain and its duration.

In this article we will tell you and show you everything you have to take into account if you are going to dedicate yourself to inking this part of the body. But first, we will briefly comment on its history. It is always important to know the origin.

A bit of the history on hand tattoos

Everything goes back around 5,300 years ago with Ötzi, a mummy who had 61 tattoos distributed throughout his body, some of them in his hands.

From then on, the history continued, and hand designs got a place in cultures and tribes around the world, where each group resignified it according to their beliefs and customs.

For example, the region of Ancient Polynesia that used tattoos as a symbol of recognition of identities, hierarchies, level of maturity and family origin. Ink came into the lives of these people from an early age, marking the transition from one stage to another.

This practice was mainly for men, although women also had their moment in adolescence. It was a design made especially on the right hand, which marked the beginning of a new period, in which they were allowed to prepare food and participate in funeral rites.

Nowadays, after a long struggle to break stigmatization (and unfortunately, we can say that sometimes they still have it), there is a change of perspectivve that motivates people to get tattoos on visible areas of the body. Thanks to this, in the future, there will be more and more people who are encouraged to wear a design on their hands. And that sounds great!

Do tattoos palm tattoos hurt?

The fact that some parts of the body hurt more than others when getting a tattoo is due to the proximity of the nerve endings. If there is enough fatty tissue between the skin and the nerves in the chosen area, the punctures will hurt less. In an area with many nerve connections and little fat, the client will feel an excessively more intense pain. And oops… We are sorry to say that the tattoo palms belongs to the second group.

Of course, we all handle different pain thresholds, and this will help your client to be more or less resistant to the experience. However, it is our duty to warn you that, as mentioned before, this area is very sensitive, and it is known as one of the most painful to make a design. Although, the desire to get tattooed exceeds all kinds of pain expectations

Is it true that tattoos on the palm of the hand deteriorate quickly?

This answer depends on several factors, starting with the correct application that you must provide as a professional and the subsequent care by the client. Anyway, we can say that there is one cause, of great importance, that does not depend on any person: the body of each client.

Palms are in daily contact with many surfaces, substances, sunlight and physical conditions such as sweating. This particular area of ​​the dermis has a high rate of regeneration, that is, the skin is constantly renewed, causing the tattoo to fade away

After a short time, the design will look dull and faded, leading the wearer to make the decision to either highlight it or remove it.

It is advisable to get a tattoo with a specialized artist

Palm tattoos force us to choose a reduced design, since the same space delimits it. This guideline tells us that you as an artist must have a lot of precision and experience in micro-tattoos (if you want more information on the subject, click on Micro Tattoo... Do they last over time?), so that the result is as optimal as possible. Also, it is important and even essential that you specialize in inking this area of ​​the dermis, since the technique will influence its duration.

Doing research on the subject, we can say that there are two most used techniques for this tattoo:

1. Dot work.

2. Fluid strokes.

It is the conventional technique used on any part of the body.

How should I take care of my tattoo?

Wear and tear is inevitable, but we will give you some recommendations that you can give your clients to extend the life and quality of their tattoos.

  • Tell your client to follow your hygiene advice step by step. Tell them to remove the film a few hours after the session to wash the tattoo area with warm water and neutral pH soap. Then they should dry it with paper or a towel, delicately and with small tapping. The first day, it is not recommended to moisturize it with cream, but rather the next day. You must do it for 15 days.
  • Your client should avoid using their hands constantly for the first few days. We know that what we recommend is somewhat inevitable, but if possible, they should choose not to expose them for too long to water, sun, or friction with different objects.
  • When you wash clothes or kitchen utensils, you should wear gloves that protect you from the long time your hands are underwater and from the chemicals used.
  • You should always put sunscreen on the area.

Expert tattoo artists we recommend

Luke Ashley

Luke is a young and talented 27-year-old tattoo artist who runs a studio called Aura Ninety Four in North Greenwich, London. He is dedicated solely to his speciality: palm tattoos. He is a well-known artist within the tattoo culture thanks to his incredible works.

Kike Esteras

Kike is a renowned tattoo artist from Barcelona. He leads the Black Ship Tattoo studio. His speciality is neo-traditional style tattoos with floral and animal motifs, in which solidity and gradients in the main colours stand out. The artist makes his designs in all areas of the body, although it is also common for him to dedicate his time to the specific area of ​​the palm of the hand.


To conclude, we’ll emphasize the importance of the correct specialization that you must have as an artist to be able to exercise this practice. Never forget that clients have to take good care of it until it heals.

As we have said, there are factors that are not in our hands, if we put the necessary measures, the tattoo will have a very acceptable result.

Having all this information at your disposal, would you tattoo hands?