foot tattoo

All tattoos require a certain level of aftercare in order for them to heal well. Foot tattoos, however, come with even more instructions and restrictions, which can make them a bit more of a challenge.

For example, getting a tattoo on the bottom of your foot means you’ll need to avoid wearing socks and shoes for a certain period. This can be tricky on a number of counts.

Likewise, tattoos on the top of your foot are often extra painful because of the lack of fat and cushioning there — plus the presence of more nerve endings. The added swelling and discomfort can make it difficult to walk and go places while you heal.

Up ahead, we’ll take you step-by-step through the proper aftercare of a foot tattoo. Following these instructions is critical if you want to heal quickly and start enjoying great results from your finished foot tattoo.

How to Care for a Foot Tattoo

Once your tattoo is completed, here are the basic foot tattoo care instructions you should follow at home:

  • Right away when you get home, stay off your foot as much as possible.
  • If you experience swelling, use a cold compress.
  • It’s important not to touch your tattoo unnecessarily until it has healed.
  • Keep the foot clean, but do not take baths or go into pools or bodies of water. It’s important not to soak your tattoo. Showers are okay.
  • To clean your tattoo, make sure you are especially gentle. Don’t use a washcloth or loofah. Instead, use just your hand and a pea-sized amount of mild cleanser. Rinse well.
  • It’s important not to let your tattoo dry out, so keep it moisturized with a thin layer of fragrance-free lotion. You may apply cling wrap over top to lock in moisture and keep the area clean.
  • Do not wear clothing or shoes that chafe or rub your tattoo. Open-toed shoes are usually okay. Soft slippers are best.
  • To avoid corrupting the results of your tattoo, keep it out of sunlight for the duration of the healing process.

Haven’t gotten your foot tattoo yet? Keep these things in mind:

  • If this is your first tattoo, remember that tattoos where there is thin skin and little cushioning tend to be more painful (i.e. tattoos on the top of your foot).
  • You’ll have some restrictions after getting your tattoo, so plan your schedule accordingly. If you must go out, wearing shoes can be difficult, so it’s best to have ample time for rest and relaxation at home. Don’t plan on going a lot of places, and take a few days off from work if possible — especially if you have a physically demanding job.
  • Having both feet in recovery from tattoos can be extra challenging, so it’s best to only do one foot at a time.

Once your tattoo is completed, good tattoo artists will also provide you with a list of detailed aftercare instructions. Follow these closely as well.

Is Your Foot Tattoo Swollen and Sore?

Some swelling and soreness are to be expected with foot tattoos. At the same time, swelling and soreness that won’t go away or gets worse may be a warning of an infection or additional complication. It’s best to see your podiatrist if this occurs.

Take Care of Your Tattoo for the Best Outcome

When you invest the time, energy, and money required to get a nice foot tattoo, you certainly want to enjoy it, and this means knowing how to heal a foot tattoo properly.

Follow the foot tattoo care instructions provided above, and you’ll be sure to heel the area in a healthy way and without complication.