8 questions about a rib tattoo – what do you need to know when deciding?


More and more often, clients who are interested in getting a tattoo on the ribs come to me – it is easy to hide it under clothes or display it on the beach in summer. The location seems perfect but does it have any downsides?

saxophone  tattoo on ribs
Tattoo on ribs, saxophone design

If you are looking for inspiration before your first tattoo, check out my portfolio – you can find my works and designs here – on Instagram.

What is the meaning of a tattoo on the ribs?

As with most places on your body, it’s the design that matters, not the location. When deciding on a particular design, think carefully as it will be a lifetime choice.

The design does not always have to matter, I often make tattoos that customers like – flower designs, birds, etc., but there are also people for whom symbolism matters. It can be the name of a loved one, an inscription that means something to you or, for example, your zodiac sign.

zodiac sign fishes tattoo on ribs
Tattoo on ribs zodiac sign

Does the tattoo on the ribs hurt?

The pain is reportedly comparable to the ankle and neck tattoo due to the proximity of the bones.

However, I also had people on the table who did not complain too much about pain while tattooing on the ribs, so this is a very individual matter – you know your pain threshold best, so think about whether such a place will suit you, there are locations where it hurts for sure less 🙂

How much does a tattoo on the ribs cost?

Each tattoo artist will answer this question – it depends. Most often on the size, and thus the time needed to make it.

flowers tattoo on ribs
Flower design on ribs tattoo

If you have a specific design in mind, please send it to me so I can quote it. When calculating the price of making a tattoo, I have to take into account that even with a small design, certain activities while preparing the body and the design itself are independent of its size.

Does the tattoo on the ribs stretch?

This question is often asked by women who are planning a pregnancy – the skin in this place stretches much less than on the abdomen, so the tattoo on the ribs will not stretch too much.

They are definitely not permanent changes either, the design should return to the correct size and proportion over time, along with the reversal of changes that will occur in the body during pregnancy.

How long does it take to heal a tattoo on the ribs?

It is assumed that a tattoo in this place should fully heal within 3-4 weeks, because it is difficult to prevent contact with clothing on the ribs.

flower design tattoo on ribs
Flowers on ribs, inspiration for tattoo

Healing a tattoo on the ribs is an individual matter to some extent, depending on the size and the way you care for it, but I think you can safely take up to 4 weeks and be aware that you have to take good care of it in the meantime.

How to care for a rib tattoo?

Caring for a tattoo on the ribs does not differ much from other parts of the body, while dressing, we must take care that the outfit does not rub too much against the freshly made tattoo.

The general guidelines for healing care can be summarized in several points:

  • remove the foil (we wear it for the first 3-4 days),
  • lightly wash the tattoo with lukewarm water and soap,
  • gently dry the pattern with a disposable towel and let it breathe for a while,
  • smear the tattoo with ointment and reseal with foil if necessary.

You can also use this Mad Rabbit Tattoo Balm & Aftercare Cream that you can get from Amazon, it really helps. 

How to dress when getting a tattoo on the ribs?

This is a frequent question, especially asked by women – for sure in something you will feel comfortable in – some women prefer to tattoo in the bra, but more feel better wearing a light blouse, which they roll up while tattooing.

Remember that it should be something you won’t feel sorry for if it gets stained with ink.

Female tattoo on the ribs

How is it different from male? I know from experience that ladies more often ask about smaller designs, plant or animal, sometimes inscriptions, but not as large as the gentlemen – here I often ask about motifs covering the entire side.

If you liked any of my rib designs, take a look at my portfolio on Instagram for more free tattoo ideas there.

Or maybe something less durable than a tattoo – a t-shirt or a mug ?

For some time now, you can also buy my drawings printed on T-shirts and many other articles in my Spreadshirt shop and soon on some other shops that will be mentioned below – if you like my designs, please feel free. 

InkByKate shop tshirts and bags
handmade drawing from InkByKate shop tshirts and bags
InkByKate shop tshirts
InkByKate shop pillows and tshirts

I can also design something especially for you and create an individual t-shirt for you – send me a message to contact@inkbykate.com if you are interested.

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