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With the increasing popularity of tattoos, it's become more common for people to have tattoos on their forearms. Dating back to the Victorian era, when tattooing first came into vogue in Western civilization, the trend was to have discrete wrist tattoos. Sometimes these imitated the appearance of a wristwatch, and option often chosen by men, and for the ladies it was not uncommon to have an initial or just a dainty bit of filigree.
As the concept of tattooing is something only done by the unsavory, the unemployable, or the criminal has faded, many people who enjoy tattooing have found they want to be able to enjoy their own tattoos. Whereas the upper arms offer a well-padded and well-sized place to put a tattoo, it does make it a bit harder to see them yourself. Many people use to avoid the forearms as the area from elbow to wrist can be easily exposed when shirtsleeves are pushed up or wear short sleeve shirts are worn.
However as tattoos have become hip, quite often there are no repercussions and/or stigmatizing if you have a tattoo somewhere on your lower arms. This area does have less muscle than the upper arm and this can make getting tattooed a little more uncomfortable, however it's not to such a degree as to really recommend avoiding it. Wrist tattoos have retained a certain amount of popularity, and some people choose to just have this area tattooed with the option of covering it with a bracelet or wristwatch if they choose to hide their skin art.
Tattoo designs which encircle the forearm, especially when they make a perfect band, can be difficult due to the tapering shape of the forearm. Longer designs, something that would run vertically from wrist to elbow, can fit very well on the lower arm. The inner arm may be a bit more tender but offers a bit more privacy in keeping your designs to yourself. Around the elbow, which has more nerves and bone and less padding, will definitely be more painful as will the area directly over the wrist bones. The outside lower arm is well muscled and offers a good-sized, flat area for placing a tattoo. One thing to keep in mind when you put a design on the outside of your lower arm is whether you want the design to appear upright or upside down when the arm is folded up or extended downwards.
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