How Long Does a Chest Tattoo Take?

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How Long Does a Chest Tattoo Take?

A chest tattoo is placed on the chest, often to cover scar tissue or lost skin. They are typically black and permanent, with intricate designs that take time and skill to create.

Chest tattoos often serve as an emotional outlet, whether in the form of a logogram, flower, or a personal poem.

The time it takes to complete a chest tattoo can vary widely depending on the: 

  • Design.
  • Size.
  • The complexity of the tattoo.
  • Skill and speed of the tattoo artist.

A small chest tattoo that can fit in the palm of your hand might take as little as 30 minutes to an hour to complete. However, larger and more intricate designs can take several hours or even multiple sessions spanning several days or weeks to finish.

A chest tattoo can be completed in one sitting if designed well, and the artist is familiar with the style. However, it’s more common that a chest tattoo takes multiple sessions to complete.

Some tattoos can be completed in one sitting because most chest tattoos are smaller designs or single-color tattoos.

Larger or more complicated chest tattoos may be spread out over several sessions for a few reasons.

  • The time required to complete the tattoo will depend on how long the client can sit still to apply the tattoo.

Completing a large, complex chest tattoo takes longer than applying a small heart design on an ankle.

  • Even if the design is intricate, complexity can help prevent mistakes. Because of the ease at which mistakes can be made in a smaller design or single-color tattoo, they cannot be corrected immediately and must wait until another session.

Therefore, a long chest tattoo may take place over many sessions.

Are Chest Tattoos Hard To Heal?

Yes! Chest tattoos can be more difficult to heal compared to tattoos in other areas of the body because of:

1. Thin Skin

The chest skin is thinner and more sensitive to trauma than skin elsewhere on the body.

2. High Sensitivity

Chest skin has a very high number of pain receptors. This means that chest tattoos may be more likely to hurt more than other tattoos.

3. Pro-inflammatory Environment

The chest skin has many more lymph nodes and more blood vessels than elsewhere in the body. The greater blood flow means more inflammatory cells are present, complicating healing.

How Long Does a Chest Tattoo Take?

4. Pro-Bacterial Environment

The chest is a pro-bacterial area, meaning that it attracts bacteria without them being introduced in one way or another.

This pro-bacterial area makes it very likely that a chest tattoo will acquire an infection during the healing process. 

How Do I Prepare My Chest For A Tattoo?

Choose a Design-Research and visit a tattoo artist.
Find a Renowned Tattoo Artist-Research, Contact them and Make an appointment.
 Prepare Your Skin-Clean and dry your chest.
– Apply petroleum jelly.
Wear Appropriate Clothing-Loose-fitting clothes
Wait for Your Appointment– Sure to be on time; you’ll want to start right away
Get your Tattoo– A good night’s rest and come in rested and relaxed.

Why Do People Get Chest Tattoos?

1. Personal Expression

Tattoos are the ultimate way to express yourself. They’re not just for people with crazy ink but perfect for those who have earned ink on a certain part of their body.

They are a permanent way to put something on your body that you can show off in the future. And you won’t find these tattoos anywhere else but on your skin.

2. Status Symbols

Having a tattoo reduces the amount of perceived attractiveness from partners. Yes, that means someone with a tattoo is more attractive.

The study’s results are flawed, but it says that women with tattoos tend to be judged less attractive than their counterparts without ink.

So, if you want to boost your partner’s confidence and make her go on fewer dates with single guys, getting her one is the way to go.

3. Cultural Significance

Whether you’re Chinese, Japanese, Filipino, or from other cultures, tattoos show people what you believe in. Through your ink, say something about where you’re from and where your heart is.

4. Aesthetics

Tattoos can look beautiful or bad. They can also be in a rainbow of colors or all one color. Tattoos are not just a way to express yourself through your body but are also about what you like and what you find stylish.

A lot of people will get their tattoos done in the same way as how they would go about getting their face tattooed.

They will consult their partner or a friend, who will help them choose the right tattoo and where to place the ink. Whether it’s a small or large tattoo, your partner will love it.

5. Symbolism

Tattoos are more than just getting inked on your skin. They can be used as symbols for whatever you want them to symbolize.

They can represent something significant in your life or even something happening worldwide.

A tattoo with a cross and roses could symbolize someone who was in an accident, while a dragon could mean that you’re in some service industry.

How Long After A Chest Tattoo Can You Shower?

It’s generally recommended to wait at least 1 to 24 hours after getting a new tattoo before showering, especially if the tattoo is on the chest or any other area where water can easily penetrate.

This allows the skin to heal and immediately form a protective barrier over the tattoo.

When you shower, avoiding hot water or harsh soaps irritating the tattooed skin is important. Instead, gently cleanse the area with lukewarm water and mild, fragrance-free soap. 

If you prefer to shower just before bed, removing any jewelry or other accessories that could be caught in the shower curtain and cause irritation is best.

If you must use a razor, keep your movements gentle across the skin until the area has had time to heal and mature.

How Long Does a Chest Tattoo Take?

It also helps if you can wait until your tattoo heals completely before allowing yourself to get a new one, as some tattoos fade when exposed to water and soaps. 

If you think your tattoo is irritated by showering, make sure to keep it covered with an effective, waterproof sunscreen every day. 

How Can I Make My Chest Tattoo Less Painful?

1. Use Numbing Cream

Consider using a numbing cream or gel to numb the area. This will help to reduce the pain because the nerves in your skin become less sensitive when a numbing agent is applied.

The cream needs time to work and usually has an onset time of 30-60 minutes. However, it can take up to two hours for full effect.

2. Pain Medication

Take pain medication as required to deal with your pain. This will help the numbing cream or gel work faster and lessen the after-application pain.

3. Ice

Use some ice to reduce swelling and control bleeding after getting the tattoo.

4. Take a Hot Bath

Take a hot bath before getting the tattoo to soothe the skin and relax your muscles. After finishing the process, you should also apply an anti-inflammatory cream to help deal with any pain or inflammation.

5. Consider an ultrasonic machine for aftercare

Ultrasonic machines are very effective in reducing pain, swelling, and redness because they produce vibrations to manipulate skin cells in your body. The vibrations can help speed up the healing process and reduce any swelling.

6. Use a Topical Anesthetic before the Tattoo is done

This will help reduce any discomfort you may be feeling and make your tattoo experience more pleasant.

Should My First Tattoo Be On My Chest?

Whether or not your first tattoo should be on your chest is a personal decision that depends on your preferences and individual circumstances. Consider:

1. Pain

Chest tattoos boast the most painful areas in terms of the general location.

In addition to the piercing, the chest can also be prone to scarring due to the stretch and shape created by the placement on top of your breast tissue.

The possibility of a raised heal, and any infection or complications associated with open pores could cause a great deal of pain. 

2. Complexity

The chest is one of the more complex areas for a tattoo to be placed. The area can be quite small, with a lower station to place the needle and a much higher surface area to work on.

The chest also has no muscles or curves to help guide the tattoo’s placement.

3. Design

If your first tattoo is on your chest, it will be your most noticeable. For the design choice to be something significant about your life, or something you will carry for the rest of your life, it should be done in a location where it will be noticed. 

4. Coverage

If your first tattoo is on your chest, you will need extensive skin to cover the tattoo and provide adequate shading.

Unlike larger, crescent-shaped areas that can be tattooed on the back or arms, covering the entire area on top of your breast tissue may not be possible.

As the skin is thinner in this area than other areas of your body, and may not currently support such a large amount of ink.

Why Chest Tattoos Are So Appealing

Visibility-Plain view.
– Appearance is often an indication of one’s skills.
– Often, a status symbol.
Size-Intricate designs.
– Medium-sized tattoos can be hidden.
– Large tattoos are often an indication of prestige.
Location-Hand or neck is visible but not put in the spotlight.
– Lower back is not as common and may be subject to scrutiny.
Meaning/Theme-Inspirational, spiritual, tribal, religious beliefs, etc.
– Many other themes too.
Symbolism-Can be personal, cultural, or spiritual.
Design-Easily recognizable images.
– Simple and easy to follow.
– Considered a sign of masculinity.
– Symbols can indicate journey or life experience.

How Do You Sleep After A Chest Tattoo?

1. Wear Loose Clothing

It’s essential to avoid tight-fitting clothing, especially around the tattooed area. Loose clothing will allow the skin to breathe and help reduce irritation and discomfort.

2. Sleep on Your Back

I would advise sleeping on your back if possible. This position is the least irritating to the skin.

3. Avoid Scented Softeners in bedding

These products can contain fragrances that are not good for the skin. If you use any products with these ingredients, switch to a fragrance-free product and make sure they are of a neutral pH, as this will also help prevent irritation.

4. Stay Hydrated

Apply moisturizer to the skin in the morning, and drinking plenty of water will help keep your skin hydrated. This can help reduce any inflammation that may occur during sleep.

Try not to scratch too hard, as this can cause scabbing and remove ink from your new tattoo.

5. Take Pain Medication

There are various pain medications you can use to help relieve your pain. As well as your tattoo, remember to take some medication for migraines, nausea, and period pains.

6. Take a Shower

Once in the shower, you can put a cool or cold cloth on your skin; this should remove some of the itchiness.

If you boast sensitive skin, try using a body scrub to reduce irritation; however, remember that scrubbing too hard can remove ink from your tattoo.

What Part Of A Chest Tattoo Hurts The Most?

1. Sternum or Breastbone

The sternum is a large, flat bone that runs down from the breastbone to the bottom of the ribs. It’s located in the middle of your chest.

A tattoo on your breastbone can boast a lot of pain because there are many nerve endings in this area, and they’re easily irritated by something like getting poked with a needle.

2. Collarbone or Clavicle

The clavicle, otherwise known as the collarbone, is that bone that goes across your chest between your shoulder and neck. Getting a tattoo on this bone can be very painful because many nerves are located here.

3. Ribs

Getting a tattoo on the ribs boasts the most painful areas to get inked. The area between the ribs is the intercostal [between-the-ribs] space.

This is where a lot of nerves are located. Tattoos in this area can be very painful and irritating.

4. Chest Muscle

Getting a tattoo on the chest muscles may boast less pain than other body parts, but it can still be quite uncomfortable if you’re not used to getting poked by needles.

If you get a tattoo here, try to lie still and relax while the needle pierces your skin. Don’t flinch or pull away; you might have an uneven or blurred-looking tattoo.

How Long Does a Chest Tattoo Take?

5. Nipples or Areolas

If you get a tattoo on your nipples or areolas (the darker-colored area around your nipples), you’ll likely feel a lot of pain, especially if the skin is pulled tightly over the nipple and areola.

6. Upper shoulder blades or Scapula

The top of your shoulder blades is an area of the body that’s rare for people to get tattoos. But if you do get a tattoo there, it’s one of the most painful areas to get inked.

The scapula is that bone under your shoulder blade. It’s called the scapula because it looks like the shape of a shield.


Chest tattoos take a lot of work to get right, and it can be hard to choose the right location.

Your tattoo’s placement will depend on several factors, including where you already have tattoos, the size of the area you would like to cover, and the general design of your tattoo.


I'm Vincent, a registered skincare specialist and an award-winning tattoo artist. I've been in the industry for over 10 years and have worked with some of the best tattoo artists in my field. I've loved everything to do with tattoos and arts in general, as well as exercise and wellness! This site is a place for me to share some of the expertise knowledge I have, as well as keep up-to-date with current research and studies. Tattoos are a huge passion of mine, I faced many questions from customers about different products, and there was hardly any help on the internet. I decided to start a blog and help other people!

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