Tattoos have been around for thousands of years. Over the past couple of decades, societal stigmas related to these very personal statements have been dwindling and people have been getting more bold about using their skin as an artistic canvas.
You may have been surprised by facial tattoos, bemused by out-of-style tribal armbands, or giggled at poorly chosen lower back tattoos, but if you’re ticklish, this new tattoo trend may leave you laughing.
That’s right, we’re talking about armpit tattoos. There are more than 7,000 images on Instagram that include the hashtag #ArmpitTattoo.
People have been tattooing their upper ribs and have been getting entire sleeves inked on their upper arms for a long time, but this new trend is treating the armpit as its own unique location for artistic expression.
Kevin Paul’s Perspective
The Huffington Post UK‘s beauty writer, Susan Devaney caught up with the famous British tattoo artist Kevin Paul to get his take on this growing trend.
“Armpits can be one of the most painful places [to get a tattoo], as we have a lot of nerves running through there,” explains the artist from central England.
He also helps to clear up a not-so-unreasonable question: “Yes, you can still shave as normal,” after getting your underarm permanently decorated.
While many tattoos may dry out or scab over, requiring the regular application of moisturizing and antibacterial creams to prevent infection, Paul points out that he has “always found aftercare for armpits seems to be the easiest to look after as most of them seem to heal within days.”
A number of the Instagram pictures of armpit tattoos feature flowers in women’s pits, but Paul says, “I personally think it’s more men I have had come in asking for armpit tattoos, but they are getting more common.”
Elise has an armpit tattoo of her own. “It’s silly, cute and fun,” she told
The Atomic Tattoo employee clarified some of Paul’s answers about the pain and maintenance of getting inked in this sensitive area:
“Females shave their armpits more often, so we’re gradually getting desensitized,” Elise explained. “It’s more tender there for guys because they don’t shave there as often.”
Elise is enthusiastic that individuals are finding new ways to use their body to display artwork.
“People are seeing others doing it and being brave about getting a tattoo in their armpit, so now everybody’s getting creative about the way they express themselves with ink on their bodies,” she said.
With all tattoos, the principle is the same: “No pain, no gain.” It’s just that this new trend may be even more sensitive than most other parts of the body. If you’re ticklish, just plan to stay away from the #ArmpitTattoo.