Lip tattoos are generally inked on the inside of the bottom lip but may also be inked on the inside of the upper lip as well. Unlike most other tattoos, lip tattoos go completely unnoticed during parties, in the work place and other events as they are always hidden from view unless the wearers intend to reveal them—making these very personal and intimate tattoos.
These particular tattoos were generally reserved for the more hard-core tattoo enthusiasts since this tattoo placement was considered to be quite unique and edgy. However, lip tattoos have recently gained popularity among many first-time teenagers as a way to assert their rights as adults.
Origin of Lip Tattoos
Lip tattoos were originally give to horses by farmers and race jockeys as a way to protect a horse’s identity should it be stolen or get lost; thus insuring that it would be returned to the rightful owner. The horses would have the last name of the farmer or jockey branded onto the inside of the bottom lip. This tradition, along with many others, has evolved to become a very unique statement of personal style of the human race.
Lip Tattoo Designs
Lip tattoo designs are generally kept basic due to the fact that there is not much space to work with. Some people choose very intimate or sentimental words and designs while others seek to bare something offensive. The most popular lip tattoo designs include:
• Words: most lip tattoos consist of either one or two words. Some of the most common words chosen are peace, pain, chaos, ouch, lovely, trust, faith, beautiful and various obscenities.
• Names: a person’s pet name, nickname, initials or a lover’s name are all popular choices for lip tattoos.
• Symbols: symbols generally consist of basic shapes such as stars, hearts, crosses, peace signs and Japanese or Chinese symbols.
• Numbers: some people choose to have a lucky number, birth date, anniversary date or the number of a favorite sports star inked on the inside of their lip.
Lip Tattoo Aftercare
Lip tattoos are slightly more difficult to heal than traditional tattoos because of the excessive moisture inside of the mouth. These designs also have a tendency to fade due to the acidic, chemical content in the mouth. Individuals receiving lip tattoos usually report a strange taste as their lips are being inked. This taste typically lingers through the healing process but should not cause concern as it is simply the taste of blood and ink mixing together and will disappear within the first few days of healing. The following tips can help to insure that lip tattoos will heal without infection and with minimal fading so that future touch ups may be avoided.
• Keep the tattoo as dry as possible during the first 4 to 5 days while it heals. A folded piece of paper towel on the inside of the lip will help to keep the tattoo from rubbing against the teeth while also keeping excessive moisture away from the tattoo.
• Use an antimicrobial or antibacterial alcohol-free mouth rinse 4 to 5 times daily for the first few days—especially after eating, smoking or drinking anything other than water. Do not use any type of soap in an attempt to wash the tattoo.
• Apply a small amount of A&D ointment to the tattoo for the first few days to aide with healing, prevent infection and to keep the tattoo from scabbing. The use of any other ointments or lotions is not advised.
• Leave the tattoo alone. Do not rub, scratch or pick at the tattoo because this can cause the tattoo to fade and loose ink. This could also cause a possible infection.
• It is recommended to avoid alcohol and spicy/citrus foods while the tattoo is healing. Normal eating, drinking and mouth care can be resumed without the fear of fading or damaging the tattoo after 4 or 5 days.
Lip tattoos do have a tendency to fade or appear smudged over time but, with proper care during the healing process, can be kept minimal. If smudging or fading does occur, a simple touch up is all that is needed to make them look brand new again.
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