Hands-On Ink: Why Hand Tattoos are Difficult to Heal

Nothing says “talk to the hand” like one adorned in intricate, vibrant designs that boast stunning linework and top-quality shading. Thus, hand tattoos are becoming the talk of the town. With that in mind, whether your handpiece fades or takes months to heal will depend entirely on multiple factors.

While the tops of the fingers are typically a safe bet, tattooing other parts of your hand might make for a roll of the dice. If you’re keen on a hand tattoo, here is what you need to know.

Hand Tattoo Placement: What Works?

Remember, a fresh tattoo isn’t going to look the same in the next three decades. Plus, some types of skin won’t hold onto ink as well as others. Yes, that includes the minimal surface area on your hand. While the tops of your fingers are relatively safe, the palm, side of the hand, and in between the fingers won’t fare as well. But why?

These areas tend to crease and wrinkle, which creates patchiness or a hazy appearance. Think about it—compared to the rest of the body, your hands are more exposed to the elements and undergo more daily wear and tear.

From writing to washing and running through an abundance of household chores, you’re going to get your hands on everything. Over the years, movement will cause exaggerated lines and laxity. As you lose fat volume over time, underlying tendons and vessels begin to manifest prominently.

Keep Your Hands Clean and Moisturized

With or without ink, you’ll—hopefully—want to be mindful of keeping your hands clean and moisturized. Opt for liquid soap instead of its bar variant, as bars are typically left exposed and susceptible to contracting bacteria. Wash at least three times a day for twenty seconds each.

Then, prevent the area from drying with a water-based healing ointment or unscented lotion for sensitive skin. Alternatively, you can ask your artist for a recommendation. Otherwise, keep it simple with a product that is gentle and fragrance-free.

Never Pick or Scratch

As they peel, tattoos become itchy. No matter how tempting it can be, avoid picking and scratching at your ink at all costs. Doing so can compromise the integrity of the lines and the vibrancy of the colors. With that in mind, resisting an itch is easier said than done.

Thus, you can ease the itch with a barrier cream or keep your tattoo covered up. Use a breathable covering such as a hydrogel bandage, particularly when you’re out and about.

Don’t Forget to Use Sunscreen

If sunscreen is already part of your daily routine, you’re on the right track. Under UV light exposure, your tattoo is likely to fade quicker than it should. Apply at least SPF 30 sunscreen liberally on your hands as necessary.


For individuals who love the spotlight, a hand tattoo will likely be the belle of the ball, wherever you go. However, maintaining one isn’t as simple as you might anticipate. With proper hygiene, care, and mindful placement, you’ll keep your tattoo looking fresh for years. Get your hands on—literally—a brand-new piece with the best tattoo artists in the city at Lucky Deville Tattoo. From concept to skin, we have you covered.

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