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What's the best spot to get a tattoo?

Haven't you picked the spot for your next tattoo yet? Good! Because this article will show you a set of things to bear in mind before doing it.

Tattoos can be made in most parts of your body. Except for hair, teeth, nails and eyes (that, actually, can be tattooed) the whole body surface is covered by an incredible canvas. This gives you a lot of opportunities to get inked, but what are really your choices?

The most common answer to this article's title would be "get it anywhere you want!" But, contrary to this cool attitude, there are some things you should consider before getting tattooed (referring the place you're going to do it).

The classic spots

There are certain spots where most people usually get tattoos. These spots are commonly chosen and serve as standards for others to pick, and set a sort of basis to define what is nice and what's not. For example, not many people would like to get a tattoo on the inner side of their thighs. This would be seen as a strange spot for most and very un-cool for others.

So, whether you want to look like the rest (more or less) or not, you should know which are the most common spots to get tattoos. Some of the most popular areas are: arms (upper and lower, inner and outer), shoulders, wrists, hands, scalp, neck (back and sides), chest, breasts, ribcage, hips, calves, ankles and back.

Risky body parts

Besides the beauty a tattoo can bring to your body you should be aware of the harm it can do. There are some parts of the body where the skin is the only cover for important tissues. A good example for this is the front area of the neck (at both sides of the throat) where there's a great concentration of veins and arteries. For the same reason, other examples are the inner side of the wrists and the underarm.

The risk in these places comes from the fact that a bad artist could sink the needle too deep. Despite how weird this may sound when thinking of a tattoo studio, many people get tattoos anywhere. Whatever is your case, you should see a good and reputable tattoo artist if you're getting a tattoo in these areas and check that he's aware of these facts.

The "pain" factor

The art of tattooing consists of inserting ink under some layer of the skin. This means that you have to inject the ink with a needle in every place the tattoo requires. Considering that each ink injection covers a very small area, the needle has to be inserted several hundred times to complete a small tattoo, turning the process into a continuous pain session.

Depending on the person, this pain could rate from insignificant to unbearable and is directly related to their pain tolerance level. But there's another factor that can make this pain vary and that's in which part of the body the tattoo is being inked. Painful areas also vary from person to person so, for example, the ankle could be a painful area but not for all.

According to popular opinion, some of the most painful areas are: the scalp, the ankle, the ribcage, the inner thigh, the underarm, etc. So if you're not very pain-tolerant, consider these opinions before deciding the area of your next tattoo.

The stretching effect in tattoos

A common fact about tattoos in certain areas of the body is that they tend to stretch with body changes like aging or weight gaining. We all like to think that our body will remain firm like in our youth (or present), but the reality says that we have to get old and probably gain weight. These facts have an incidence in the structure of the skin, making the tattoo stretch.

If you're worried about stretching you should avoid areas of the skin prone to stretching, like the abdomen or the breasts.

Visibility and acceptance

There's another issue regarding the place a tattoo can be made: what will others think of it? Will they see it? If these are things that matter to you, they should be part of your consideration. In modern society, tattoos are still not very well seen by many, and that could affect, for example, your chances of getting a particular job.

Hiding tattoos under clothes is a very common habit (in particular situations) for tattooed people, and choosing parts of the body that can be hidden by clothes too. So you should think that getting a tattoo that can be hidden could save you future problems.

All in all, you can get a tattoo anywhere you want, but the consequences of picking a bad spot are a good reason to make a deeper analysis and consider the pros and cons carefully.

Javier Pietra
Buenos Aires, Argentina
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