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what is everybody's experience and opinions on armpit tattoos?

I have collectors telling me positive things...armpits aren't pleasant to get tattooed but an easier sit than you would expect. That they heal very quickly and smoothly (moisture?) and no adverse side effects. On the flip side, I have had a couple of my most respected tattooers tell me that they don't particularly like tattooing armpits because the potential to affect and damage the sweat glands. Much with the same argument I've heard as to one of the reasons the Japanese leaving the strip down the torso open. Is it healthy to be running a tattoo machine over the armpit, essentially scarring over the sweat glands, especially when you have a lot of other coverage? I've heard that it takes a couple years for your armpits to reset to normal after tattooing i.e. a bit more smell and sweat buckets until the tattoo is truly settled in. I'm not sure if I want to walk around with my arms glued to my side hiding sweat moons. I'm not in high school anymore.

This came up at a tattoo party on the weekend, I had a couple people encouraging me to tattoo my armpits and my feet. I dunno...I've got it in my head that it will make me smell like a pencil crayon but am warming up to the idea ... what's really amusing is that I will consider placing tattoos in my armpits but I cringe whenever it's suggested i tattoo my feet lol

comments? experiences?

(there are these short LST threads from a couple years ago...)

http://www.lastsparrowtattoo.com/forum/tattoo-after-care/1604-armpit.html

http://www.lastsparrowtattoo.com/forum/general-tattoo-discussion/3580-tattooing-armpits-nipples-page2.html

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Interesting thread. I am also considering getting my pits done in the not so distant future. I've never heard that it can potentially damage the sweat glands though. Oh, and you should cringe when thinking about getting your feet done. They suck really bad! At least they did for me.

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The sleeve on my left arm goes slightly into my armpit and while it didn't feel especially bad during the tattooing, it swelled up and healing was unpleasant because I couldn't comfortably hang my arm by my side so I was walking around like a half-scarecrow for a few days afterward. That said, discomfort in getting tattooed and in healing that tattoo aren't important in the long run.

I would rather get my feet tattooed. I'm waiting for the right opportunity for those with the hopes that my work boots won't fuck them too badly.

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I had my right armpit tattooed about 6 weeks ago. Not to post-whine in excess but let me tell you it was one hell of an experience. I wrote a pretty detailed post about it here, so I'm not going to repeat myself

The healing process was actually not that bad. The first 3-4 days was a bit hard, difficult with finding a good sleeping posture and so on, but then it was not harder than your average tattoo. The scar tissue does not look worse than my other tattoos but I do think that it's probably a very scary spot to work on as a tattooer, knowing how sensitive the glands are underneath. There were some blow outs but they are slowly fading away it seems. The result was way beyond what I expected, considering how strange the spot is. I think Jonas Nyberg did a great job with the tattoo, but he told me that he's going to say no the next time anyone asks for an armpit tattoo.

Haven't noticed any problem with my sweating, smell or otherwise, since. It was interesting to read your original post @bongsau, I will try to be more observant of my sweating and see there's some truth to what you heard. I plan to get my other armpit done before the end of the year. As far as tattoo experiences go I think that if you are going to do it, you better be prepared that it's going to be a rough ride. For people who have studied and practiced the art of taking a pounding from the machines, it is possible to do. But you are going to hate yourself for getting the idea haha :)

Good luck!

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I've thought about getting my pits done. It's just such a damn good spot to hide a namakubi or some shunga. I've never heard about the damage of the sweat glands so I actually looked it up. From wiki:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sweat_gland#Eccrine

Eccrine sweat glands are distributed almost all over the human body, in varying densities. Its water-based secretion represents a primary form of cooling in humans.

Apocrine sweat glands are mostly limited to the axilla (armpits) and perianal areas in humans. They are not significant for cooling in humans, but are the sole effective sweat glands in hoofed animals, such as the camels, donkeys, horses, and cattle.

Before puberty, the apocrine sweat glands are inactive; hormonal changes in puberty cause the glands to increase in size and begin functioning. The substance secreted is thicker than eccrine sweat and provides nutrients for bacteria on the skin: the bacteria's decomposition of sweat is what creates the acrid odor. Apocrine sweat glands are most active in times of stress and sexual excitement.

First, this is why you should keep your pits trimmed; that bacteria just sits in there and stinks up the place. Second, I'm not an anatomy scholar, but from the sounds of it, if tattooing did indeed damage the apocrine sweat glands, I'd be okay with the loss.

I'm pretty sure that the strip up the middle of a Japanese bodysuit is just superstition and not grounded in reality.

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Interesting. Mine are not done, and sometimes I think it looks funny when I lift my arms that all around my upper arm, my shoulder etc is done but not there. It hits about as close as you can possibly get. Buuut that really hurt and I am not sure doing more would be worth it-to me.

And yeah, feet suck. I had mine done two years ago and there are spots fading due to wear. They were a cover up and now you can see more of the tattoo underneath.

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I have a consult in August for my armpits. I hope they are less painful than getting feet tattooed. I'm lucky in that my feet were easy for me. I felt more of the vibration than pain. I was also super pumped up to be getting tattooed by Horitomo so that could have helped some too. I think it's wishful thinking though since when I got my back and both sleeves done, I remember my eyes popping out of my face when the tattooing hit areas at the outer pit area. I'm not looking forward to getting them done but I'm still going to get them done because it's one of the few non-reserved open areas I have that I can get tattooed.

Interesting talk about sweat gland damage though. Hadn't even thought about that. Now another thing I have to fixate on before getting them done. Would love to hear more about it.

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@Lance

Pain wise it's on par with feet maybe. But since the skin is so difficult it takes significantly longer, maybe twice or even three times as long to cover an area. Also as you try to stretch out the spot as flat and firm as possible you'll find yourself in strange postures that end up hurting really bad after a while.

Anyhow, you've got my support of course! :)

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I'm speculating here, but I don't think that the sweat gland damage is significant. Here is my train of thought... The main function of the sweat gland is to keep you cool. According to the Wiki, the sweat glands in your armpits don't have that function. So if anything, people should be more concerned about sweat gland damage on every other portion of your body. Speaking from experience, I still sweat all over. And I know that my tattooed skin sweat glands still work, because during healing, if I were to break out in a sweat, the fresh tattoo would burn with the sweat.

@mmikaoj any pics of your pit?

Also I may say that it's a great spot for shunga, but I don't think I have the balls for it. Ironically I was considering a tanuki.

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I've gotten one pit done and my other pit by James Tex sometime in the future (if he stops flaking out of conventions!!!!). The one pit I got done was a piece of cake, probably one of the easiest sessions i have ever had, but I believe that has to do more so with my artist being one light handed mofo than anything else. it goes in pretty deep into the pit, but not all the way. When I have my next session with Carlos Torres at the Bay Area Convention, he is going to complete the rest of the pit, black out my nipples, and black out my bellybutton. Not really looking forward to those...

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I don't have my armpits tattooed, but I have two small ones that sort of merge into the armpit region (enough so that parts of them are slightly covered with armpit hair). I didn't think it was particularly bad, but then again they were both small tattoos that barely went into the armpit.

My feet on the other hand...

Got those both done at the same time, and needless to say it was not pleasant. Totally worth it though and healing wasn't actually too bad. I biked home right after and biked back and forth to school the next few days with no problems.

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I have one done will get other done. Mine was 3 yrs ago and I noticed nothing different in sweat or smell and I dont wear deodorant. Pain wise it was more vibration in my head because of laying with arm flat and angry when finished but not bad and quick heal if I remember correctly

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just re-reading this thread from last year. i'm finding myself thinking more about armpits and feet now that my neck and hands are done (along with every other major spot). i started sweating and feeling sharp pain in the pits just reading the above.

shit.

tattoos are dumb haha

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both of my inner bicep tattoos go right into and on the pit. So, while I don't have the entire area covered, it's been partially tattooed. And it wasn't too bad for me, honestly. It could have been that those parts were tattooed at the very end of the inner arm sessions, so I was probably endorphin and adrenaline high. But I found it to be pretty easy, much easier than expected.

The feet on the other hand, those were my most painful tattoos to date. More than the ribs, stomach, inner arms. And I mean white knuckled, feels like a scalpel in the foot, pain from the first line to the last bit of color. Intense throughout, never had a moment where it got easier. 

It seems everyone has different pain tolerances in different areas. In this thread alone, we see a mixed bag of experiences in regards to those spots. So, your miles may vary - just don't psyche yourself out!

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Had my left armpit done in May or something like that. Mind you I was a bit under the weather, but it sucked getting tattooed. Great tattooer. Great tattoo. But no more tattoos while sick for me. It wasn't so much the pain of being tattooed. What got to me was the position we had to put my arm in to stretch the skin and make it easy for the tattooer to work. My arm was raised over my head and cranked towards myback. It's odd to describe but the lack of blood flow almost made it feel like severe ice burn flowing all along my arm, down to my hand and pinky and ring finger. I needed multiple breaks to get feeling back in my arm. Session lasted for 4 hours or so. I was a bit embarrassed about it as I've never had to ask for a break before because of pain.

That said it healed awesomely and totally dig it. I have an appointment coming up next month for the other side. I'm hoping I do much better this time around though.

Edited by Lance

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The armpits (stripe down the middle and feet) are still open...And will probably stay open..

I already got sweat glands in the armpit acting quit up a lot...Also, after getting my tailbone done I had a lot of issues with glands there what I really don't want under my arm..

 

 

Edited by bladezzz

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