How to Care for a Tattoo on Your Foot

Updated November 21, 2016

People opting to get tattoos on their feet should know in advance that there is a chance that the ink on a foot tattoo will migrate. This means that the tattoo design spreads around the skin. Ask the tattoo artist about his touch-up policy and, if satisfied, choose a design that is simple.

Allow a tattoo to heal for a few weeks, which is imperative. During this time, do not allow anything to come into contact with the tattoo or rub against it. However, this is difficult to accomplish when you get inked on your foot because of shoes. Ideally, you should not wear shoes or socks for a couple of weeks after getting a foot tattoo, according to Because feet rub against socks and shoes, a foot tattoo is more apt to become infected than a tattoo placed elsewhere on your body. If possible, go barefoot for three or four days after getting a good tattoo. Wear loosefitting sandals.

Realise the risk of infection when getting any tattoo, but even more so when you get a foot tattoo. According to, when you get a tattoo, there is always the possibility of viral agents and bacteria entering the body, resulting in infection because the skin has been opened. Foot tats require extra attention because the foot is always moving, which increases the risk of the tattoo bumping into something. The area of the skin where the body art has been placed has been broken and needs to be protected until it has time to heal. Cover the tattoo with ointment and bandages. The tattoo artist should provide you with specific directions regarding washing of the area, subsequent application of protective ointment and prevention of fading.

Maintaining dry feet is important because sweat can dilute the colour of the body art. Realise that if a tattoo is placed on the bottom of the foot, ink will wear off quickly because you are walking on it.


Considered exotic, foot tattoos aren't as common as other tattoos because they require more post-procedure care. However, the foot does provide a good, flat working surface on which to be inked, despite the negatives of getting body art in this area.


Some tattoo artists won’t do foot tattoos because they know that they will require touch-ups in the future. Getting a foot tattoo hurts more than getting one elsewhere because the foot is sensitive. This is something you should take into consideration.

Things You'll Need

  • Protective ointment
  • Bandages
  • Instructions from the tattoo artist
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About the Author

Cindi Pearce is a graduate of Ohio University, where she received her bachelor’s degree in journalism. She completed both the undergraduate and graduate courses offered by the Institute of Children’s Literature. Pearce has been writing professionally for over 30 years.