Palm Tattoos: Tips, Common Concerns, and Design Ideas

Palm tattoos are an always-visible tattoo placement, making it a popular choice for tattoo enthusiasts.

However, tattooing palms can be especially difficult because the skin is very textured, and it’s harder for palm tattoos to heal well and hold up over time. 

As a new tattoo artist, it’s important to understand everything that goes into doing a successful palm tattoo so that you can help guide your clients.

That’s why, in this article, we’ll break down:

  • Why palm tattoos are difficult to do
  • Whether palm tattoos fade faster than other tattoos
  • Design ideas for palm tattoos 

How Popular Are Palm Tattoos?

body art using simplistic designs

Palm tattoos are popular because of their unique placement and design possibilities. Palm tattoos can take up the entire inside of the hand and designs can be limited to one palm or stretch across both hands.

Are Palm Tattoos Hard to Do?

fun tattoo of a mandala

Tattooing on the palm can be difficult because of the varied texture of the palm. The skin on the palms is thinner than most other skin on the body, which makes it more sensitive and prone to bleeding.

Tattooing Calluses

Calluses are common on the palms, and callused skin presents an obstacle that a lot of artists struggle with: saturating the area with ink. The deep lines in the palm also make it harder to maintain the shape and saturation of the ink without causing blowouts.

Do Palm Tattoos Hurt? 

Palm tattoos can be pretty painful because of the way to skin might require multiple passes to saturate more pigment

Palm tattoos rank very high on the tattoo pain chart, and with good reason. The skin on the palm is thin and the flesh is dense, which makes it really hard to penetrate with a tattoo needle. Because of this, it can be extremely painful to get a tattoo on the palm. 

The skin on the palm is very sensitive and has a tricky texture, which makes it especially painful to get the palm tattooed. If a client is in too much pain, they may not be able to hold still, which will only increase the difficulty of tattooing a tough area like the palm.

How Badly Do Palm Tattoos Fade?

artist applies dot shading to bee tattoo
palm tattooed with rose design

Palm tattoos are very hard to maintain and can fade very quickly. Because the hands are always in motion, the skin is stretched, rubbed, and exposed to the elements more than any other area of the body. This makes them extremely prone to infection.

Hand Tattoos See More Wear and Tear Than Other Tattoos

In addition, the hands are often washed more frequently than other areas, and soaps, lotions, and other products can contribute to fading and other wear and tear. Because the hands are usually not covered by clothing, sun damage is more likely to occur with palm tattoos than other locations that don’t get as much sun exposure. 

If the client is in a job where they are often wearing gloves, it is best for them to take time off during the healing process so that the skin on the palm can rest. Make sure to explain to clients who wear gloves often that tattoo ink fades more quickly due to the friction and sweat caused by gloves.

Note:

Many artists will turn away palm tattoos because they know the ink won’t stay in the skin long.

Warning:

Be aware that if a client does not understand that palm tattoos do not stay saturated as well as other areas on the body, they will likely blame the artist for fading and might request touch-ups for no additional charge.

How To Take Care of Palm Tattoos

hands tattooed with simple shading styles

There are a few things that can be done to prevent or slow the fading process.

Wear Sunscreen

Applying sunscreen regularly and avoiding harsh soaps and chemicals can help protect the tattoo from damage.

Keep the Skin Hydrated

Staying hydrated and moisturizing regularly with unscented healing lotion can help keep the skin healthy and help prevent the tattoo from fading too quickly.

Palm Tattoo Design Gallery

The tricky nature of the skin on the palms means simple designs are going to look better and are more likely to hold up over time. It’s important not to overcomplicate these tattoos with bold shading or super intricate designs. 

Clean, solid black lines and limited color palettes tend to work best. You’ll want to use simple designs and avoid using too much detail. As the ink expands under the skin, it could become unreadable if your line work is too close together.

Here is a look at some good palm tattoo design ideas:
hand tattoo of paper plane
palm tattoo
palm tattoo with saturated dot work
plus and minus palm tattoo

Palm Tattoos Are Powerful but Difficult 

Shell tattoo with dot work shading

Practice makes perfect with palm tattoos, as experience will help you learn how to make designs that work with the unique skin textures involved with the palm. Simple black outlines and delicate designs can lead to great palm tattoos that make an impact without causing too much trouble for you or your client.

Prepare for a Tattooing Career with the Artist Accelerator Program

Learning how to tattoo difficult areas like the palms is an important step in your journey, but it can also be pretty eye-opening to how difficult tattooing can be. Without the right knowledge, it’s impossible to level up your skills and become a professional tattoo artist. 

However, finding the straight-forward information you need to progress is difficult. And with so much out there online, it’s hard to avoid picking up bad habits from incorrect and outdated resources.

This is one of the biggest struggles new tattooers face, and too many talented artists have given up their goal of getting into tattooing because of the years it would take to unlearn their bad habits. 

That’s why aspiring artists are learning to tattoo with the Artist Accelerator Program’s structured course. As a student, you learn every step of the tattooing process from professional artists with the experience and advice you need to build your skills and create incredible tattoos. 

With the Artist Accelerator, you can stop wasting time searching through incorrect information. You just get the clear, easy-to-understand lessons you need to start improving fast… along with support and personalized feedback from professional artists in our online Mastermind group.

Over 2500 students have already gone through the course, with many of them opening up their own studios. If you want to join them and learn the skills you need to start tattooing full time faster…

Click here to learn more about the Artist Accelerator Program.

Looking for a tattoo apprenticeship?

Tattooing 101's Artist Accelerator 90 day program is the closest thing to a real apprenticeship

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AUTHOR
Nathan Molenaar

Nathan is a licensed professional tattoo artist with over 8 years’ experience working at studios across the globe, including Celebrity Ink, the world's largest tattoo studio chain.

When he's not tattooing, he spends his free time sharing his experience and knowledge with aspiring artists who dream of pursuing a career in the tattooing industry.

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