How Long Do Finger Tattoos Really Last?

How Long Do Finger Tattoos Really Last?

Jul 25, 2023 | Bridget Reed

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Aftercare Set
Aftercare Set


If you really want a finger tattoo, you might have encountered some disheartening info online. Naysayers say finger tattoos are a bad idea because they don’t last very long. 

They’re kind of right, but they aren’t considering what design modifications and great tattoo aftercare techniques can do to extend the life of a finger tattoo. Here’s what to know.

How Long Do Finger Tattoos Last?

There is no definitive answer for how long a finger tattoo lasts because too many variables are at play. You’re probably thinking, “Yeah, but in general, what can I expect?”

Finger tattoos will fade faster than most other tattoos because of how rough we are on our hands. Our hands are built-in tools that we use to do almost everything. They’re constantly in motion, and they’re always exposed to the elements. 

If you don’t do anything to protect your hands, your finger tattoo will fade much faster. If you take really good care of your finger tattoo, it will look a lot nicer for a lot longer. 

If you don’t mind the maintenance and have your heart set on a finger tattoo, there’s no reason you can’t keep it looking great for years to come.

How To Make Finger Tattoos Last Longer

If you really want a finger tattoo, don’t let the longevity scare you off. While it’s definitely a little more challenging to maintain a finger tattoo than maintaining a tattoo on another body part, it’s not impossible. 

Consider the longevity of your design from the start and implement some aftercare techniques that you can stick with for the long haul.

Choose the Right Spot

Look at your hand from the side. Bend your fingers into a hook shape. Do you see how the skin naturally folds, flexes, and crinkles? Hands and fingers are meant to wrinkle easily to help us grasp objects and get a better grip. These wrinkles and folds are helpful in our everyday lives, but they’re bad for a tattoo. 

Putting a tattoo on the inside of your finger can set you up for patchy, fading ink with little missing spots. Tattoos on top of your fingers, in between the knuckles, are more likely to look nicer for longer.

Keep in mind that every part of your finger is very close to a bone. If you’re considering the pain factor when choosing which part of your finger to place your tattoo on, you can knock it out of the equation with some numbing cream. Put it in the place where it will hold up the best. 

Talk to Your Artist About Your Design

Fine lines and tiny details don’t usually hold up well in areas of the body that flex or move a lot. Even the best tattoo artist in the world can’t prevent that from happening. It’s the nature of skin and the mechanics of the human body. 

Your tattoo artist might recommend modifications to your finger tattoo design to help it hold up a little longer. You shouldn’t settle for a tattoo you don’t really like or want, but you should take your artist’s suggestions seriously. If there’s a better way to approach your design to keep it looking beautiful for longer, it’s worth considering it. 

It Starts With Great Aftercare

Aftercare is the “make or break” point that determines how your finished tattoo is going to look. It’s a lot easier to take care of a tattoo on your bicep or shin because you don’t use those parts of your body to do literally everything.

Your hands play a role in virtually everything you do. You’re always moving them. They’re constantly coming into contact with stuff. 

You need to wash them nearly a dozen times a day. There’s no real way to take it easy, which is why following your artist’s hand tattoo aftercare instructions is super important.

Pay close attention to the parts about washing your hands and keeping them moisturized. Finger tattoos will have a tougher time healing due to the frequent movement and usage of your hands, and staying on top of your aftercare instructions is absolutely vital for keeping the healing process on the right track.

Get Some Gloves

Your hands are always exposed to the elements. They’re also probably exposed to chemicals and harsh detergents on a regular basis. When you clean your house and wash your dishes, the ingredients in soaps and cleaning products can dry out your hands very quickly. 

It’s a good idea to get a pair of clean reusable waterproof gloves you can use when you’re cleaning. If you continue to wear them even after your tattoo is healed, you can keep your tattooed skin soft and healthy. 

Find a Hand Cream You Love

How Long Do Finger Tattoos Really Last?

People are most likely to notice that they need hand cream in the winter when they feel how dry and chapped their hands get from the cold air. Your hands are exposed to the elements all the time. 

They’re affected by everything you touch. Washing your hands is very important, but soap strips your skin of its natural oils. You’re always in a little bit of a moisture deficit. 

Consider carrying around some hand cream after you get your finger tattoo. Remember to apply it a few times daily to restore your skin’s moisture barrier. Choose a formula that feels good on your skin. 

Hand creams with SPF will work double duty. They’ll moisturize your hands while protecting them from damaging UV rays.

Unscented lotions are better for your skin when your tattoo is still healing, but you can switch to scented lotions once you’re fully healed. If you really like the way your hand cream smells, you may feel more inclined to use it regularly. Pick a few fragrances you enjoy and switch them up occasionally. 

The Final Word on Finger Tattoos

Finger tattoos can be a little tricky to take care of, but if you really want one, they’re worth the work. We’ve got your aftercare routine perfectly curated for you

Listen to your artist, be mindful, and take great care of your hands. 


Anthropological Notes on the Human Hand | American Anthropological Association

Wrinkles Help Fingers Get a Grip | Science | AAAS

Taking care of your skin with increased hand-washing | Mayo Clinic News Network

Sun Safety | Johns Hopkins Medicine

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