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One of the conflicts that people sometimes have with tattoos centers around visibility. Sometimes the tattooed person wishes to keep their ink private and sometimes due to other rules and limitations, they have to keep their ink private. One trend you seem more of in younger people getting tattooed is placement of the tattoos on the feet. However, getting tattooed on your foot comes with a few conditions and considerations all their own.
The skin on the feet acts a little bit differently than skin on the rest of the body. It's most like the hands, in that both extremities have evolved to withstand more friction than the rest of the body. Feet are our main support and take a lot of pressure and pounding day after day just carrying us around as we walk. The skin of the feet sloughs off more readily and more frequently and will callous over in certain areas if subjected to a constant friction. The souls of the feet are not suited to tattooing, much like the palms in that they often heal the ink out due to their faster rate of regeneration and sloughing.
Since most people wear shoes the majority of the time, even the tops of the feet get highly fractionated. Many people find that tattoos done on any area that is covered by socks and shoes will fade faster over time, or even heal out. There are a lot of sweat glands in the feet and this can lead to a higher incidence of infection during healing as well. Also at issue is what to do during healing. When the tattoo is fresh, it is most susceptible to infections or color loss due if the scab comes off too soon. To heal a foot tattoo successfully, it's often best to be able to be barefoot and yet not get your feet dirty at the same time.
Feet are one of the boniest areas of the body, with a very high-degree of nerve sensitivity. In short, feet are often more sensitive to pain, so getting a tattoo on your foot may hurt more than if you got it somewhere on the body with more muscle and padding over the bones. Near the toes and anything that crosses the ankle tendons or ankle bones are often reported to be very tender and painful.
To learn more about foot tattoos, you might like Ink: The Not-Just-Skin-Deep Guide to Getting a Tattoo by Terisa Green or, you might like Total Tattoo Book by Amy Krakow.
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