While the likes of Lily Allen, Lindsay Lohan and Rhianna sporting finger tattoos, it is unsurprising that tattooing on fingers has risen in popularity. What is largely unrecognised, though is that to have a tattoo on skin which is highly utilised and sensitive like on the fingers and sides of the feet can often be a better as an idea than in reality.
The skin on the fingers is much thinner than in other areas and is prone to sweating and the frequency in which the fingers are used, scrubbed, washed etc. means that the healing process tends to be different and often trickier than in more commonly tattooed spots. As a result of this the clarity and appearance of a design placed in one of these spots can be somewhat less than if the same design were placed in a more conventional position.
For these reasons it is not uncommon for tattooists to avoid or pass completely on doing a tattoo in these areas, particularly on the sides of the fingers. A friend whose finger tattoo is pictured below has been told, while trying to find a tattoo artist to touch up her fading ink that had she come to them with the idea they wouldn't have tried to talk her out of the idea as the ink fades much more quickly and requires constant touch ups.
It should be noted though that there are plenty of artists who will happily tattoo your fingers or feet and do it well. Each artist has their own guidelines and specialties, as a customer it is your responsibility to do your research and understand that not all tattoos are the same and recognise that there are some difficulties that can be involved with getting a tattooed in certain areas. You must heed your tattooist's aftercare instructions and be prepared to schedule touch up appointments down the road to keep the tattoo looking the way that you want it to.
This article isn't meant to steer you away from getting tattooed on your finger or foot as myself and a number of friends also have tattoos in one of these areas or the other, only to make you aware that these areas are different to more traditionally tattooed spots and require more maintenance than others.
That being said, I love my little lion, even if his feet are falling out. I will continue to have him touched up whenever he's feeling too faint.
Note: All three of these designs were tattooed at the same time, in December 2010.