Should You Go for Boob Tattoos? What You Need to Know

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Tattoos have been around for years, if not centuries. They’ve been used to induct people into a society or group, a sign of passage into adulthood or to reflect changes in life statuses. Today, tattoos are forms of self-expression or fashion statements.

Women with tattoos express themselves through art painted on different parts of their bodies. One of the most popular places to get a tattoo is on their breast. For some women, boob tattoos are a sexy way to artfully express yourself. For others, boob tattoos represent their experience with significant moments like breast cancer.

Breast tattoos are more common than ever with women getting under-boob tattoos, side-boob tattoos and other types of boob tattoos. However, there are questions concerning this type of tattoo. How long do boob tattoos last? Can they cause cancer?

Why Are Boob Tattoos a Great Idea?

Many women get under-boob or side-boob tattoos because you can either flaunt them or keep them a secret. While most people would rather be loud and proud of their inked body art, some women prefer to hide their tattoos for sentimental or personal reasons.

If you love the idea of getting a tattoo that you can cover up or expose based on how you’re feeling, getting an under-boob or side-boob tattoo might be what you need. You can effortlessly conceal your body art or show it off when you feel like it.

Celebrities Love Boob Tattoos, Too!

Many of your favorite stars are big fans of breast tattoos. Celebrities from Camila Mendes to Rihanna have tattoos hiding in these unique places. We only see glimpses of these body arts when they let their tattoos shine during photo shoots or on red carpets.

If you need inspiration or ideas, consider the following celebrities and their boob tattoos.

  • Cara Delevingne. Cara has always been the cool kid we’ve always wanted to be. She makes us envy her more with the cool script sitting below both of her breasts. She also has a Roman numeral tattoo sitting on the right side of her boob.
  • Rihanna. Apart from her famous chest plate tattoo, Rihanna has a gun tattoo on the right side of her breast. According to the musical artist, this tattoo represents power and strength amid controversies surrounding her.
  • Ashley Benson. Benson’s tattoo might not exactly be an under-boob tattoo, but it’s close! She has a set of small numerals tattooed on the side of her boobs. Despite how small they are, they make a big statement.
  • Keke Palmer. Palmer has a Bible quote tattooed under her left breast, “Don’t cast thy pearls before swine.”
  • Demi Lovato. Lovato has plenty of tattoos, especially breast tattoos. She has a side-boob tattoo of Roman numerals that represent her family’s birthdates. She also has another side-boob tattoo on the right, which she got when she was 16 years old. The tattoo reads “You make me beautiful,” which is a line from “Beautiful,” a Bethany Dillon song. Tattoo artist Bang Bang completed the tattoo with a drawing of a dream catcher.
  • Lena Dunham. Girls star Lena Dunham has a breastplate tattoo under her boobs. The tattoo, which was designed by Trine Grimm, was inspired by Rihanna.
  • Camila Mendes. Although she doesn’t flash her ink often, we’ve seen Mendes’ tattoos before. One of the tattoos we often see is her side-boob tattoo that reads “To build a home.”

Do Breast Tattoos Fade?

boob tattoos
Boob tattoos: are they worth your time? (Photo from Pinterest)

Most tattoos get discolored or fade easily due to the skin stretching as we age. But breast tattoos, like side-boob tattoos or under-boob tattoos, guarantee longevity. This is one part of the skin that isn’t prone to any type of stretching. As a result, your breast tattoo won’t fade or stretch as easily as your other tattoos.

However, as long as you follow a strict aftercare regime, you’ll be happy with the long-term results of your tattoos.

Are Boob Tattoos Painful?

Everyone has a different pain threshold, so your experience might be different from the stories of other people. With this in mind, many people who have breast tattoos agree that this part of the body is sensitive. For example, under-boob tattoos sit next to your chest plate and on top of your ribs, so it’s common to experience discomfort. Since it’s a small area, many women who have difficulty with pain choose smaller and simpler art like micro tats, one-line designs or dotwork.

How Long Does a Breast Tattoo Take to Heal?

After getting a tattoo, the tattooed part of the skin will heal within two to three weeks. However, the entire healing process could take up to six months (or more). If you want to reduce your healing time, here are some things that you can do.

  • Cover your tattoo with clothing. The sun can cause your tattoo to fade. Fresh tattoos are sensitive to sunlight; excessive exposure to the sun can cause your tattoo to fade easily. Instead, cover them up with loose clothes (e.g. pants or long sleeves) when going out in the sun. Also, avoid applying sunscreen until your tattoo has healed.
  • Clean your tattoo daily. Use lukewarm water to do so. Avoid using hot water to not open pores or hurt your skin. Also, use sterile water to clean your new tattoo at least two to three times a day. Before you clean your tattoo, thoroughly clean your hands using antibacterial soap. Then, splash some water on your tattoo and use alcohol-free and fragrance-free soap.
  • Avoid picking or scratching your tattoo. Scabbing is a normal part of the post-tattoo process. Because they are itchy, it’s tempting to scratch or picks on the scab. However, it can affect the tattoo and cause scarring.
  • Apply ointment. Air helps your tattoo heal easily, so avoid applying heavy products like Vaseline unless your tattoo artist says so. During the first few days, your artist might recommend using products like petroleum, lanolin and vitamins A and D. Eventually, you can switch to lighter ointments or coconut oil.

Can Breast Tattoos Cause Cancer?

There is no direct connection between tattoos and cancer, but tattoo ink does have ingredients that are linked to cancer. For example, black ink can contain high levels of benzo(a)pyrene, which is listed as a carcinogen by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC). Researchers and health officials are concerned about the effects of black tattoo ink since most people use this ink for body art. Still, there is no study that confirms this theory.


Boob tattoos are beautiful ways to express yourself and still have the option to hide them or show them off. So, before you get one, talk to your tattoo artist to learn more.

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