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Lip Tattoos

Updated on January 17, 2012

What is a Lip Tattoo?

Lip tattoos are probably one of the last taboos in the world of tattooing. Perhaps because there are no real role models such as singers who are known to sport these tattoos, the honour tends to lie with old fashioned ‘thugs’ who perhaps tattooed the name of their football team on the inner lip.

Of course, there is no reason that lip tattoos can’t be as stylish as any other tattoo, although, naturally, there is much less space in which to design the tattoo. For this reason, most lip tattoos tend to be words created in an attractive font.

Most lip tattoos are placed on the inner bottom lip although it is not unknown for it to be inside the top lip. For some people, the attraction of having a tattoo here is that it is hidden from the general public but can be revealed in an instance by pulling down the bottom lip.

One common complaint about lip tattoos however, is that the ink tends to fade here, faster than in other locations.

It is also possible to buy temporary lip tattoos, but these are a different item altogether and I have touched on them briefly, later.

Inner Lip Tattoos can be more than simple words, such as this example of a Hello Kitty Lip Tattoo
Inner Lip Tattoos can be more than simple words, such as this example of a Hello Kitty Lip Tattoo

Does having a lip Tattoo Hurt?

This is always a difficult one to answer, as so much depends on each individual’s pain threshold. If you think about it, if you cut your lip it probably doesn’t hurt that much but if you peel a bit of skin off, it can really hurt. Many people report however, that having a lip tattoo is less painful than it is on some parts of the body so it can probably be taken from that, that if you have been ok with other tattoos, you probably will with a lip tattoo also. You may well notice some swelling of the lip after your tattoo, but this should go down quite soon afterwards.

How Much Does a Lip Tattoo Cost?

Because many tattoo artists are reluctant to do lip tattoos; you may find that you have to pay a little more if you want to have one done. The price, of course, can vary quite widely depending on your location, the design you want and the general pricing structure of the tattoo parlour. However, as a ballpark figure, you will probably be paying in the region of $50 to $100.

How Do You Care for a Lip Tattoo?

There are no special precautions to take after having a lip tattoo other than many suggest using an antibacterial mouthwash, which is probably a good idea as this can help to prevent infections. Of course, the lip will be sensitive for a while so it is probably wise to avoid foods that will irritate it such as very hot spicy meals for instance.

Lip Tattoo Infections

Provided that you used a reputable tattoo artist to create your lip tattoo and follow up with common sense, then you should not be at risk of any infection. If you do notice any pain or swelling though, once the initial swelling has subsided, it is advised that you see a doctor in case you are one of the rare few that do get an infected lip.

Example of a temporary lip tattoo
Example of a temporary lip tattoo

Are Temporary Lip Tattoos a Viable Option?

Lip Tattoo Designs

Because of the limited space which the tattoo artist has to work in, most lip tattoos consist purely of letters. You will probably need to keep any word tattooed there down to 4 or 5 letters, as any more could start to make the letters illegible, which would defeat the object of it.

If you would prefer a design, then go for something simple like a heart or a smiley face. Clear lines are important as there is insufficient room for detail.

Temporary Lip Tattoos

If you think that temporary lip tattoos are like the old stick on ones that we used to have as kids; then think again. In fact, these temporary lip tattoos are not tattoos as we know them but in effect cover the whole of the lip creating a unique, but somewhat novel, look. Generally these tattoos come in patterns rather than designs. Examples of these are Polka Dot Lips, Glitter Lips, and even the American Flag Lips. Whilst these are perhaps fun for a night out, they should not be considered to be the same as proper lip tattoos.


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    • Loi-Renee profile image


      6 years ago from Jamaica

      There was no way I could skip this one. I've never heard of lip tattoos before. I did a hub a while back about teeth tattoos and I found some really gory tattoo trends but I didn't happen upon this one. Its quite interesting.


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