How Long Do Palm Tattoos Last?

  • Written By Dan Hunter on February 09, 2022
    Last Updated: February 9, 2022

There has been an increase in the popularity of tattoos being placed in the palm of your hand. Many celebrities are now showing off their palm tattoos, but in reality, they are painful to get, tricky to create, and after all that, they can fade faster than normal, too!

Getting a Palm Tattoo

The palm of your hand is a controversial location for a tattoo and not just because it will be on display to everyone you meet. 

The skin on the palm of your hand is thick, so it can be tricky to tattoo. Add to this the fact that it’s very painful, and it will fade quicker than other tattoos, you may decide that there are better places to get the tattoo you want. 

How Long Do Palm Tattoos Last?

One of the biggest problems with getting a tattoo on the palm of your hand is that they’re often temporary. As you use your hands all the time, especially if you have a manual job, the ink will fade.

As the skin is thick and can be calloused, your tattoo artist will need to insert the ink deeper in the palm of your hand than other parts of the body. This process will keep the ink in the skin for longer, but it still may shed.

The first six weeks following your palm tattoo are crucial. The ink may shed, and the tattoo will fade in the first six weeks, but how the tattoo looks after this will be how it remains for the next few years at least.

Keep it Simple

Palm tattoos are generally four times more painful than getting a tattoo on your shoulder or calf, for example. Add to this the difficulty of tattooing the thick skin, and you will want to keep your palm tattoo design as simple as possible.

This will also help when the tattoo fades. You don’t want to spend lots of time, pain, and money on an intricate design for it to disappear after a few weeks.

The designs that work on the palm are dot work, lettering, symbols, mandalas, and simple tribal designs. Bold black ink will remain in the skin longer than colors or delicate thin lines.

Palm Tattoo Aftercare

This is a tricky area as you need your tattoo to heal as quickly as possible, but you can’t generally carry out your daily routine without using your hands throughout the day. 

There is a strong chance of getting an infection when you have a tattoo on the palm of your hand, as this area is used all the time and is susceptible to coming into contact with germs or bacteria. 

The tattoo needs to be kept clean at all times, and many people keep their hands covered during the first stages of the healing process. This could be by wearing non-powdered exam gloves. The area needs to be cleaned, and lotion applied before wearing the gloves. These then need to be changed around four times each day for the first four weeks.

Tattoo Touch Up

After the palm tattoo has healed, you will be able to see the final result. After six weeks, it may have faded and will require a touch-up. 

Even the boldest, black lines will fade slightly on the palm of your hand. Speak to your tattoo artist before you get the tattoo done, as they will be able to advise you regarding touch-ups, how long these will take, and the cost of the touch-up.

Getting a touch-up on your palm tattoo will help the ink to settle and remain for longer. However, you will need to start the whole aftercare process with each touch-up, and this may not be possible with your job or daily schedule.


If you’ve decided that regardless of the pain, aftercare, and fading of a palm tattoo, you still want to get one, speak to your tattoo artist. They know better than anyone the difficulties and the issues faced by getting a tattoo on the palm of your hand.

Any tattoo requires a lot of thought and commitment, and a palm tattoo isn’t any different. However, a palm tattoo can’t be covered unless you want to spend the rest of your life wearing gloves. Bear this in mind when looking at employment opportunities for your future, as this may make your final decision a little easier.

Related Tattoo Articles