Running with a new tattoo?

I'm hoping that there may be some tattooed runners around here that can give me some advice...

I had a tattoo on the top of my foot and up my ankle last Thursday.  Do you think it's ok to start running again now (been five days)?  Or will socks and trainers aggravate it?

I'm not doing much running at the moment anyway as I'm in a bit of an injury recovery stage, but I'm itching to get back out!



  • Sarah...beware if you pull the scab off it could possibly take some of the ink away too. I had this happen with one of my tatts and it left a fainter ink line than the rest of the tatt. If the scab is gone you should be okay. Wear an extra pair of socks if you are not sure. 
  • If it's still scabbed over definitely not, a run is not worth ruining a tattoo over! If you're recovering from injury you could always go for a walk instead? Mine is on my back and I didn't run for a week after getting each section done (two sessions) - did a bit of gym work, but tried not to get the tattoo too sweaty or let it rub on my clothes too much.

    Just think that in a one year, ten years and fifty year's time you will still have the tattoo but the run will be long forgotton about!

    PS, what did you get and how much did it hurt? I've been wanting one on my foot image

  • sarah if you are 15 you are too young for a tattooimage seriously my tattooist recomends a fortnight before any exercise, sun bathing swimming etc. even if the scab has fallen off he says ink can still seep out through sweat.

     iam having some work done on one of mine tomorrow but ive just done edinburgh so need a rest anywayimage

    better be safe than sorry

  • I think it depends on how big and detailed it is, if it is small, then 5 days may be enough - after my first one i left it a week. my latest which covers almost half my back i left it until the scab had completely cleared (2weeks), then i made sure that i wore things that wouldn't rub it and that i took it easy for another week, then i would moisturise before to keep it soft and help the healing complete for another 2 weeks, i just left it after that. I'd agree with wanderer, better safe than sorry
  • Hehe wanderer no I'm not 15 image

    Carrot - I'm fed up of walking!  It's a wavy design of various sized stars, starting from just below my big toe and going up to just above the ankle bone.  How much did it hurt?  I think the comment I made at the time was "yikes (or words to that effect) are you sawing my foot off or what?!".  The tattooist left it until after he'd finished to mention that it's probably the most painful place to get one.

    I may wait for another week then just to make sure.  As you all say I guess it's better to make sure it heals properly to look good for ever; a 20 minute run/walk session isn't worth it (even though it's the most I've been able to do since the beginning of March!).

  • Sarah - hate too tell you this and the tattooist should off told you this too - but most tattoo's on feet don't take. Something too do with all sweat&heat!

  • Love it! wrote (see)

    Sarah - hate too tell you this and the tattooist should off told you this too - but most tattoo's on feet don't take. Something too do with all sweat&heat!


    I hadn't come across that in all the research I've been doing.  My feet are generally always cold (apart from when I stick them in trainers!) so here's hoping!

  • Sarah, your tattoo sounds lovely image With where it is I'd wait until it's healed before training - I managed to knock part of the scab off one of mine and it's taken ink with it (grrr!).

    I'm sure it'll be fine - you've had it done at the right time, as it's warm enough to leave it uncovered. Make sure you put sunblock on it though, to avoid fading.

  • Sarah, is that your first tattoo? It does sound really lovely.

    Sorry to hijack this thread a little, but I have a question for all you experienced tattoo peeps...

    I've been toying with getting one for ages and now quite seriously thinking of doing it - Trouble is, I've no idea where to start. How do you go about finding a good tattooist (any recommendations in the West Midlands area?). Also, are you meant to find your own design, I have a vague idea of what I'd like but don't have a specific design, or do they have lots of designs you can choose from?

    Sorry to be a complete thickie on the subject, but it's all a bit of a venture into the unknown!

  • I had a small tattoo on my foot a couple of years ago then had the rest of it covered at the beginning of this year and it toot just great both times. as long as you look after it properly it will be no different from any other part of your body, just more painful and usually more swelling/brusing. I played a hockey match about 5 days after I had it done and it wasn't ideal. I had to put e45 on then wrap in clingfilm before I put my sock on so the scab didn't come off. It caught on one little bit so it took longer to heal.

    I've also got a tattoo on my back and ran the day I got it done which I definaely sholdn't of because the sweat made the scab come off a bit early. Thankfully the ink still looks dark though so I was lucky.  

    Juliefrazz: you don't have to have a deisign, most good shops will draw you something up if you don't have soemthing or you can take a picture in and they will do it from that. Where I went they didn't have stencils but some places should do but for me I'd prefer to have something a bit unique.

  • Thanks MrsPez. I think at the moment I'm more scared of the whole slightly intimidating process, rather than the thought of it being painful, but that may change nearer the time!

  • Juliefrazz, whereabouts in the West Mids are you? I can recommend Tribal Images in Stoke (Hanley) - .

    I have a butterfly design that starts on my inner forearm and twists all the way up the back of my arm, finishing on the shoulder, and I love it so much - people are always commenting on it and asking where I had it done. The artist also reworked some lyrics I'd had done elsewhere but wasn't happy with, and they look way better now.

    Also check out for inspiration - there are lots of fantastic ones on there (just do a search for the sort of things you have in mind, or look in the Body Art section under Traditional Art).

    The perfect design will just come to you one day. I knew I wanted those lyrics, then spotted a gorgeous butterfly back tattoo on the internet, and the design just grew from there. I've since had microdermal piercings added to the upper arm and can definitely recommend those too!

    As for the pain, it's really not that bad at all - in fact, I rather enjoy being tattooed. And pierced for that matter...

    This is one of my favourite subjects, can you tell? image

  • I have three tattoos - the first I got when I was 16 (yes illegally), that was a butterfly which i designed myself from another design and is on my tummy close to my knicker line. The second was a medium sized one on my right bum cheek, this one really hurt as it was on my hip bone and it took quite a while, but has colour and then I went back and added to it. My final one I got done last year and is a star on my foot, just a small one above my little toe on left foot.

     I love all of them and the one on my bum hurt the most by miles!! But each one was worth it and honestly even though it does hurt, its hard to explain, its a nice pain (if you can say that about pain) and it really is addictive. I always get nervous before having one done but the tattooists are usually really chatty and once they've started you get into this mindset where it almost feels numb rather than painfull. It just feels like someone is scratching you hard with a pin or needle (which I guess is exactly what it is)

     With regards to design I would suggest finding something you like and then make it unique - I personally would never have anything out of a tattoo book as its guaranteed someone else will have it (unless of course you just want a plain star or shape like I have on my foot)

     In response to Sarah - getting one on your foot is fine and takes just as well as anywhere else - getting one on the sole of your foot isnt recommended though but I cant see why anyone would want one on the sole of their foot anyway. I wouldn't risk running until its fully healed and when you do put lots of tattoo goo on it and wrap in cling film for the first couple of times to mimimise friction.

     Hope that helps image xx

  • JulieFraz, I would only make one suggestion and that is to make sure you know what you want. This is a permanent thing that will be on your body for ever, the last thing you want to do is get something that you will regret in one two ten or twenty years. A tattoo is not something that you should get to be fashionable remember the trend of celtic bands or barbed wire around the bicep? Personally I also like things that are individual to me, so either things that I have helped design or something personal to me. That said, if you like it, and you are confident that you will always like it, then you should go for it.
  • Juliefrazz, i read a very good tip the other day on another forum that said if you find a design you like get a picture of it and stick it on your wall by your bed or on the fridge and if you still love it in 6 months then get it, if you don't then you start the process all over again.
  • Thanks for the great advice everyone.

    Sarah, sorry to hijack your thread!

  • I have a tattoo across the top of my foot, had it for years now and I've had no problem with it "not taking" at all - it still looks great! I wanted to get it added to but I didn't want to take weeks off running to let it heal, so it's going to have to wait image
    And yeah, mine hurt like hell too lol! Worth it though - looks really pretty with summer shoes image
  • I got a tattoo on  the top of my foot a couple of months ago (yes it hurt like hell).  I didn't run for about 2 weeks, but I did go to the gym and just put a sterile dressing over the tattoo to keep it safe and clean and I just did light workouts so I didn't work up to much of a sweat.  The tattoo is fine now - looks great colour is nice a deep no problems at all.  I've never heard of a tattoo "not taking" before either.
  • Juliefrazz - no worries, hijack away!  I went to a tattoist recommended by a few friends who had been there and turned up with a few photos and desgns that I liked.  I ended up going for a design that they had in the shop already, and he adapted it according to how I wantedit placed on my foot.

    Thanks everyone again for the comments.  I'll just get on the Wii Fit for another week then get back to my oh so exciting run/walking, complete with cling film ad Savlon for a bit!

  • Juliefrazz - a friend of mine had a tattoo done in Birmingham by a woman called Dawnii. Her My Space page is The designs are pretty amazing and remind me a bit of your avatar ! But its all about personal taste and you might hate them.

    I found that on My Space most tattooists have other tattooists as their friends so you can click on their pages too and have a look at the galleries - most have online galleries - so you can see that type of work they do.

    Good luck with it - I love my tatt.

  • I think we tattooed peeps need to get pics of our art work on here. I'd love to see the foot design one it sounds lovely. I think they look very pretty. image

  • hello all, thought i'd jump in to the thread!

    i'm getting my first tattoo done in a couple of weeks (really excited now - apart from the pain issue image). i'm having it on my wrist (the "underside") but i have our local 10K race just over a week after and i reeeaaallly don't want to miss it - will i be ok to run without risking ruining it??

  • Hi,

     Similarly to Cazzy F, I'm getting a small tattoo on my hip in just under a month.  Will I be OK to cover it and go for a run as usual?  My hips don't get sweaty.  I'll ask the tattooist when I'm getting it dont but thought it was worth getting runners opinions too.

     Also my tip on deciding on a tattoo, which only works if it's a simple design like I'm getting, is to draw it on in indelible ink to see how it looks, and to live with it for a couple of weeks, I did this to decide exactly where I wanted to get it done.

  • I have four so far, planning another in 3 weeks time after my main race is over and I'm "resting". Never had any problem with mine, I always plaster them with wound healing cream and wrap in cling film. I have a black unicorn on my left thigh, a dragon on the right, a wolf on my right shoulder, and the triathlon swim-bike-run logo on my right ankle.
  • i have a half sleeve and various tattoos on my other arm. will be getting my little boys name done in a few weeks after the B&BCMH...

    on the above few threads on studios on the brum area, check out "gung ho" - think its in mosley. general thing with studios is if they are busy and you have to wait months to get an appointment, they are obviously good and worth the wait.


  • What are peeps thoughts on a thigh tat, having the outline done tomorrow, and have a marathon on Saturday. Reckon it'll be ok as it won't be filled in this session?
  • I just got stocking seam tattoos nearly two weeks ago. I had them topped with ink splattered blackbirds.  And I havent even attempted running since the day before my tattoo. I am much too careful and paranoid to compromise my skins healing process. My seams start at the top of thr back of my thigh, and  extend down to my Achilles heel and that part is taking its sweet time to stop scabbing and heal. So socks and running shoes are a big no no so far. I advise a bit of calisthenics currently. I'm also doing barefoot frisbee with my husband so I still get some interval running in my days, its hard not being able to wear pants though. Friction is not my friend. 

  • I had a back piece finished off the week before my first 10K race.  It was spur of the moment as when I came into book an appointment after raceday they had a space free that day so I thought why not?!  It itched like crazy during training but I always made sure to keep it clean by showering straight after a run and using plenty of whatever aftercare lotion you prefer to use on it afterwards.  During the race I barely noticed it but I suppose running in an airy race shirt probably helped that.  It's healed perfectly fine thankfully. 

  • I have a large back piece booked in for about 10 days time. I am just going to chuck on a loose tech top and keep it clean after. So excited.


    My advice on deciding what you want is really really think about it and ensure it means something. This one has taken me 2 years to get right and it is covering over one of my "spur of the momment" rubbish ones.

Sign In or Register to comment.