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Calf Tattoo Hurts to Walk? Here’s Why

Calf Tattoo Hurts to Walk

If you’ve ever had a calf tattoo, you know that it can sometimes be painful to walk afterward. But why is that?

It turns out that there are a few reasons why walking hurts after a calf tattoo. In this post, we’ll explore some of these and also touch on how to reduce the pain along with some FAQs.

If you’re experiencing pain after getting a calf tattoo, rest assured that it is usually temporary.

Table of Contents

Let’s dive right in 

Why Did My Calf Tattoo Hurt So Bad?

Getting a tattoo is a painful experience because your skin is being punctured by needles with ink over and over again, however, the pain threshold differs from person to person. 

Tattooing the calf is not very painful and isn’t a big deal to be worried about, compared with other parts of the body such as the ankle (one of the most painful areas to get tattooed!). This is because there are few nerve endings and more muscle and fat on the calf. 

If the calf tattoo experience was too painful to you it can be because of your low pain threshold or maybe the tattoo you got covers a great proportion of your leg. The larger the tattoo the more pain you have to endure.

Why Does It Hurt to Walk After a Calf Tattoo?

The reason for a “calf tattoo hurts to walk” can be from the swelling of the tattoo wound. This can last up to a week after getting the tattoo, it might even last longer if the wound got infected.

Pain relievers are often recommended by the tattoo artist and can be used to ease the pain. Once the wound is healed the pain will disappear. 

However, if it still hurts to walk after the tattoo is healed, you should probably talk to your doctor, because it might be an infection

Related: How to Thicken Your Blood Before a Tattoo

How Long Does It Take for a Calf Tattoo to Heal?

For your calf tattoo to fully heal it can take up to 2-4 months. 

Some stages take place while healing the tattoo. For the first week, you will be able to see swelling and redness from the tattoo.

Afterwards, it becomes dry and it will start to itch and flake but make sure that you don’t scratch it. 

Then, another 2-3 weeks later the tattoo would become dried out and itchiness would be gone. 

A few more weeks after that you should notice that the redness and swelling have reduced greatly and eventually it will disappear. 

Even after your tattoo is fully healed, make sure to take care of it.

Can You Walk after a Leg Tattoo?

Walking is completely fine but you need to understand that your fresh new tattoo is an open wound and it is prone to get infected also you should consider certain things and avoid them, for example;

Avoid Exercises until the tattoo is healed:

If your tattoo is fresh you better wait 2-3 days to start running or jogging, but you should avoid sweating and rubbing the tattoo against your cloth.

If you want to do workouts that target the area of your tattoo you should wait until the tattoo is fully healed so that it doesn’t affect the tattoo.

Exposing your tattoo to sunlight:

When the tattoo is exposed to the sun there is a risk that the tattoo will be bleached or faded, because of the UV rays being absorbed by the pigment of the tattoo(can take long periods of sun exposure but when the effects happen it will be too late). 

So it is best to avoid the sun or cover up the tattoo with baggy and long-sleeved clothing and make sure it doesn’t rub against the tattoo.

Don’t get the tattoo wet or soaked with water:

It is necessary to keep the tattoo clean even if it’s fresh or a couple of weeks old, getting the tattoo wet should be only for it to get clean.

Avoid swimming or any activities involving soaking the tattoo in water until the tattoo is healed (at least 3-4 weeks).


If it hurts to walk after a calf tattoo it’s because of the swelling around the tattoo. There might be more reasons but we can’t say for sure without inspecting it. 

Getting a calf tattoo is a pretty big deal, if it’s your decision, you should do it so be prepared to take care of it. We hope that this article gave you valuable information so that you can make sure to avoid dangers to your perfect tattoo.


Do Tattoos on the Calf Hurt?

The only painful part is when you get the tattoo which can depend on your pain threshold, it can hurt after from the swelling from the tattoo wound which usually lasts a week.

Can I Wear Jeans After a Calf Tattoo?

You should avoid wearing jeans after a calf tattoo and instead wear something baggy to make sure that your cloth doesn’t rub against the tattoo and to protect it from the sun.


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