The arm is the place on the body most often used for body art since the practice became popular, with the exception of the Maori, who always tattoo the face. There are three general types of arm tattoos: an individual design placement, an armband, or a full sleeve. Men are more inclined to opt for a full sleeve since most women like the ability to cover their tattoo if necessary.
Photo by “Smath.” on Flickr
There are several considerations to take into account when selecting the placement of your arm tattoo. Of course, visibility is number one. If you work in a professional setting, very noticeable body art may be a deterrent to rising in the ranks. This is less a liability for men since most dress shirts are long-sleeved. Consider, also, your skin tone. For most people, skin on the arms receives the greatest amount of sun exposure. Not only will this affect the brightness of the colors against your skin, but tattoos on the arms tend to fade the fastest so opt for darker inks. What is your pain tolerance? Tattoos along the fine bones of the wrist and lower arm tend to hurt more than those placed on a bicep.
Photo by “Tobyotter” on Flickr
Because the arms are highly visible, take care in selecting the image you place there. You will see it as often as anyone else, so the design needs to be one you can truly live with the rest of your life.
Photo by “Ben Fredericson (xjrlokix)” on Flickr