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Forearm Tattoos: Everything to Know About this Body Art

One of the best places to get a new tat is the part of your arm that extends from your elbow to your wrist. In other words, a forearm tattoo. These body incisions are great. Not only can they be hidden with long shirts, jackets, sweaters, etc., but also are they less painful.

a man with an outer forearm tattoo

If you’ve decided to go for this body art and you need the right ideas to inspire you, you’ve come to the right place. In this piece, we’ll look at everything you need to know before getting a forearm tattoo. 

Why Forearm Tattoos?

wavy forearm tattoo

These tats are located around your elbow down to your wrist. Though they may not be easy to hide, forearm tats have their perks. For instance, they give your artist ample room to get creative and do their task easily. And since this part of your body is conspicuous, it lets you flaunt your tat better.

The best part is just like shoulder tattoos, forearm tattoos are less painful. And why’s this so, you wonder?

It’s because your forearm has a lot of muscle and thick skin without many nerve endings. As Tattoo Artist, Rian Othus explained on Style Craze:

 “Nerves are located in the dermis and feel the pain of a tattoo more if the area does not interact with its environment. So, areas that don’t see the sun, don’t get touched often, or don’t come in contact with things every day feel more pain as the nerves are more sensitive to sensation there, unlike the forearm.”. 

Another reason people love these tattoos is that both small and big tats work here. While a small tat on a large body part may look disconnected, it looks much better on your forearm. So whether you want it large or small, your forearm says “Go ahead. Whichever one will work on me!”

Which Part of the Forearm is the Best Place for a Tattoo?

A wristband-like forearm tattoo

These tats are usually located on the:

Inner Forearm

inner forearm tattoo

This body art is drawn toward your body and this makes it less ostensible. Since they aren’t obvious at first glance, you can tattoo something personal on your inner forearm like a phrase, quote, face, etc. 

In addition, this part of your body hardly faces the sun. And this comes with a pro and a con. For the negative, you’ll feel more pain during your session. And the positive, your tattoo won’t fade fast.

Furthermore, it’s believed the inner forearm is the only body part that hardly looks aged. So, if you place your body art here, rest assured it’ll still look great when old age comes and your body begins to wrinkle and sag. 

Outer Forearm

a lady with an outer forearm tattoo

Tats here are more open for others to see. But there’s a plus to it. Compared to its inner counterpart, this part of the body is less painful. It tans more since it has more contact with the sun and the skin is thicker. 

However, the drawback is it ages and fades quickly.

Forearm Tattoo Visibility: Good or Bad?

a  hand showing plant tattoo while wearing a ring

This is a question you should ask yourself before deciding to go for this body art. These tattoos are noticeable though less obvious than neck, face, and hand tattoos. So if you work in a formal environment where body art is frowned upon, you may skip it. Otherwise, you’ll have to stick to wearing long shirts and jackets to cover up your tat every day. 

But when the weather gets so hot and long-sleeved clothes are an inconvenience, you’ll have no option but to bare your tats.

On the other hand, if you aren’t bounded by workplace principles and love to show your body art, this tat is right for you. Just wear short-sleeved or sleeveless clothes and your forearm body art will be on display for the world.

Are Forearm Tats Easy to Heal?

a lady with rose tat on her lower arm. Her tat also has the number 44 on it.

Yes, these body arts are relatively easy to heal. For starters, they hardly come in contact with clothes as much as other body parts so you won’t experience much friction. Furthermore, it’s easy to apply healing cream on this part of your body without anybody’s help.

Now imagine you had a tat on your back. How would you apply your healing cream? You’d need someone to help you and they may not even be gentle while at it. It becomes worse when you have to apply the cream multiple times a day.

Does Forearm Tattoo Fade Quickly?

thich forearm tats

Yes and no. Yes because if the design is on your outer forearm and you wear short sleeves often, the tat will be more exposed to the sun and fade quickly. No, because if the tat is on your inner forearm, it’ll be less exposed to the sun and last longer.

Forearm Tattoo Ideas for You 

a guy showing his tattoo

Floral Forearm Tattoo

a hand showing floral forearm tattoo

Floral designs never go out of style. They represent the beauty of nature and love as a whole.

a hand showing floral body art

It doesn’t matter your gender, you can go for a floral tattoo and look elegant. From roses to lilies, hibiscus, and what have you, this tat works in monochrome or multiple colors too.

Symbolic Forearm Tattoo

symbolic body art

If you love your culture, tradition, or religion, you can wear a tat on your forearm that represents them. 

a hand showing a tat with roses and a cross

This could be words in your language or cultural and religious symbols.


a hand with Charlotte inscribed on it

Imagine that every time someone asked you your name, you showed them your hands. Creative, right? That’s what having a name tattoo feels like.

A hand with a rose and name body art on it

It doesn’t have to be your name. It can be a name you hold dear like the name of someone that means so much to you.


black and white body art with a quote on it

Is there a quote that resonates with you? Ask your tattoo artist to put it on your body. 

a quote body art

Quote tats are a good conversation starter in social gatherings.

Face Tats

a hand showing face body art

How about you tattoo your face or the face of any of your loved ones on your arm?

face forearm tattoo

You can also design your favorite celebrity’s face on your forerm. This type of tats brings a detailed kind of attention to that part of your body.

Animal Forearm Tattoos

lionhead forearm tattoo

Animal tats are symbolic. They not only mean you like that particular animal but also what they stand for. For instance, say you draw a lion’s head on your body. It represents the courage and regal nature of this animal. 

wolf body art on the forearm

Animal tats are lovely and fierce. Go for them if you want this look.


palm leaves body art

This one is similar to floral body art. But this time around, you’ll be drawing trees and vegetation.

tree forearm tattooos

If you want to feel in touch with the richness of nature, plant tats are your best bet.


a small snake tattooed on the forearm

The good thing about small tats is that you can easily hide them, and most times, people may not notice them unless they look twice.

a small forearm tattoo with mom written on it

They come in any design but this time around, they’re a little patch of art on your forearm.


large forearm tattoo

Contrary to the one above, this type of forearm tat is always big.

a guy wearing large forearm tats

And if you have any plans to hide your body art, you have to think twice before going for this one.

Forearm Tattoo Ideas are Endless

eyes and name body art

Yes, these tattoos are more than you can imagine. So you don’t have to limit yourself to the ideas you’ve seen in this post. You can go for a combination of ideas like floral and names, names with dates, etc., or anything that catches your fancy.


But if you need more inspiration, scroll down to feast your eyes.

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Victoria B. Willie

Writing has always been a part of me. From writing stories as a young child to studying Communication Arts in the university, it has always been more than a medium of expression to me.

And then one day, I found myself toeing the path of an entrepreneur and becoming a fashion enthusiast. This made me develop an interest in content marketing and copywriting which I've been chasing alongside my fashion career.

That aside, when I'm not sharing style articles, selling with stories, or creating fashion-forward pieces for Ria Kosher, you'll find me telling wild stories that always come with a twist.

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