125 Fantastic Rib Tattoo Ideas (with Meanings)

Rib tattoos are one of the most followed trends in the tattoo world. The design options are vast, and you can quickly determine whether you want to show them or not. Rib tattoo is an excellent way to show your passion for body modification without the threat of losing an employment opportunity.

While the image of tattoos has changed over the years, there are still many stigmas surrounding this form of self-expression. You can completely control when and where you would like to share your rib tattoos with people around you.

You can choose to get a small design, quotes, verses or a full tattoo over the rib area. Most rib tattoos are either quotes or a part of a larger back tattoo. Celebrities and pop stars are quite into the trend of flaunting rib tattoos; you can choose from one of their designs or go the unique route.

Before getting a tattoo on any part of the body make sure you know everything about it. From the meaning of the design to how the anatomy reacts to tattooing. The pain and healing times, in fact, how long it will take to complete the tattoo also depends on the design.

rib tattoo

Moreover, if you are planning to get geometric patterns or tribal tattoos, you may have to find a shop that specializes in that kind of art. If you are planning to get an elaborate design that will entail a larger wound over the body and is likely to be costly, save up.

There was a time when tattoos used to be a spur of the moment choice, but today, almost 75% of tattoos are informed choices. This is why you can delay the date of the tattoo and get it done at a well-known place rather than getting it done at a lower price.

Tattoos are not temporary choices, and it is necessary to invest in something you will be carrying with you for the rest of your life. Rib tattoos are an extremely personal business; people tend to get designs here that mean something to them.

Tattoo artists reveal that people who get a rib tattoo are often first-timers and their rib tattoo is likely to remain a secret. Of course, you can choose to show it off in a stunning swimsuit, but knowing exactly what you want to carry on your skin for the rest of your life is necessary.

Do your research, find out places and tattoo parlors that hold a good reputation and offer consultations before the actual tattoo- appointment. A consultation is essential when you are getting a specific placement for the first time.

You need to understand how a design works, how long the session will last and what to expect regarding pain. If you are a tattoo enthusiast and want an authentic Japanese or Chinese tattoo etched onto your ribs, you might even have to wait patiently on a waiting list for two years.

Make sure that the design you are choosing is done by someone who knows what they are doing. You do not want to end up with an adorable picture of your child etched into your body depicting a hideous creature. This happens when you do not choose the right tattoo artist. If someone does not specialize in portrait- tattoos do not get one because it is convenient.

rib tattoos   

How Should You Dress When Going To Your Appointment?

It is advised to wear loose fitting clothes can easily be pulled up to create the tattoo. Especially ladies should dress in clothes that allow the tattoo artist to etch the desired design on the rib area.


How Painful Is A Rib Tattoo?

Before you decide on getting a rib tattoo, it is advised that you understand the pain chart and how each placement reacts to the touch of the needle. This also depends on your pain tolerance and how well you can bear the sensation. On some parts of the body, the pain can be defined as more of a burning sensation rather than actual pain. But for the rib area makes sure you are committed enough to endure the pain.

The rib area is considered one of the most painful placements. This can be attributed to the fact that the rib area is constituted mainly of the bones and there is hardly any skin tissue or muscle to cushion the prick of the needle.

Much like an injury hurts more on the boney parts more, same applies to tattoos as well. Another important detail to remember is the fact that the more elaborate your design of choice is the more painful it will be. The time a tattoo takes to be printed depends on the details of the design and the expertise of the tattoo artist. Some artists consider their work as unique creations and like to take their time perfecting a masterpiece. Some well-known names in the tattoo world will even set up a yearlong session plan for the completion of your tattoo.

This is why consulting your tattoo artist beforehand is necessary. They can very well explain the pain chart and discuss your options with you.

The vibrations from the needle may even feel like waves going through your stomach and bones in the rib cage. For someone with low pain tolerance, this is not the place to start.

For The First Tattoo

If you are considering the rib area for your first tattoo, it is best to change your mind.  Most tattoo expert’s advice against getting the first tattoo on the rib cage area. This often leads to unbearable pain, as the person getting the tattoo is unfamiliar with the touch of the needle. In most cases, people stop the process midway as it becomes unbearable. It is best to start at a chubbier place.

The Rib-Tattoo Experience

The tattoo machine is designed to inject ink into the dermis using a needle that punctures the epidermis to do so. This is not a pleasant feeling, for some, it feels like something sharp is scrapping over their skin, for others the pain reaches an unbearable level.

The rib tattoo is a harrowing experience even for someone who gets tattooed on the regular. An elaborate design or a quote is going to be more painful than a single stroke tattoo.

rib tattoo designs

How Well Does A Rib Tattoo Heal

The healing process of any placement depends on how well you care for it. The aftercare can either help speed up the process or slow it down. There are a few things you can do to speed up the process and make sure that the rib tattoo heals well.

  1. After the first session, the skin is likely to be extraordinarily irritated and sensitive; most tattoo places cover up the area with a thin transparent covering to prevent any friction.
  2. Try to either wear loose fitting clothes that do not touch the wound or crop tops that allow the rib area to be exposed. Even after 4 to six weeks trying to keep any friction to a minimum.
  3. Do not sleep on the side where the rib tattoo is etched this can irritate the skin to an extreme extent and make it very painful.
  4. Once the wound starts healing, you will feel the urge to itch away; this is strictly prohibited instead of giving in a try to sooth the itch by applying lotions such as natural cocoa butter, etc.
  5. Follow the aftercare instructions to the T; you do not want excessive healing time on the rib area.
  6. You will be able to wash off the area generally after a few weeks, before that only clean as the tattoo artist advises.

More Information

It is necessary to know “everything” about a tattoo placement before you enter the tattoo parlor. Men should avoid wearing any innerwear until after four weeks, for ladies opt for innerwear that does not go down to the etched area and wear lighter fabrics. If possible, choose innerwear that has a sticking option rather than the traditional wear.

What About Bag Straps?

You need to be extremely careful not only with your clothes but your accessories as well. Nothing and we mean “Nothing” should rub against the tattoo especially during the first two weeks.

What Is The Normal Healing Time?

A rib tattoo will heal in four weeks. But this also depends on the size of the tattoo and your body’s response to wounds.

Will Food Help?

Eating immunity-boosting foods throughout the healing process try adding vitamin C and vitamin K to your diet to speed up the process and prevent infection.

Rib Tattoos And Pregnancy

This is subjective to the body of the wearer. For some, the rib tattoo stretches and changes permanently while for others it all returns to normal once the child is born. The enhance the elasticity in your skin tries adding collagen to your diet along with omega 3s this hips the skin to bounce back.

Weight Gain/Loss And Rib Tattoos

If you are opting for surgical options, then it is likely to change your rib tattoo. However, for slower and natural forms of weight gain/loss, the change will be negligible

What Are Some Design Ideas For A Rib Tattoo?

1.      Poems

Poems are one of the most followed trends in rib tattoos. You can also go for poems in other languages. Megan Fox has a poem etched on her rib cage area; you can gather some inspiration from her tattoo.

2.      Words Or Single Phrases

This is also an excellent tattoo for the rib area as it is not very elaborate and will not pain as much as a large design would. However, if a single word holds meaning for you then go for it.

3.      Nature

Try some colored tattoos inspired by nature. You can get animal silhouettes, or flowers etch etched here as well. You can also a get a tattoo inspired by your travels and animals that are native to that land. This is an awesome way to commemorate your travels.

4.      Letters

You can also get a tattoo of an alphabet that means something for you. This can also be done in any other language such as French or Arabic, etc.

5.      Heart Beats

You can get an ECG graph of your better half etched near the rib area close to the heart. This is a romantic gesture.

6.      Wave

This is single line tattoo that imprints the curve of a wave over the rib area. This is a very minimal tattoo that does not need much time to create or heal.

7.      Your Lucky Number

If you believe in such things, you can get your lucky number tattooed here as you do not need to share it with anyone and always carry it with you without explaining the details of your belief with anyone.

8.      A Special Date

A rib tattoo is a perfect place to etch a date that means a lot to you. It can be the day you got married, had your first child or achieved what you dreamt of.

9.      Water Color Art

Watercolor art is gaining a lot of recognition in the world of body modification. Most of these designs are unique and elaborate masterpieces that begin at the shoulder and go all the way down to the hip bone. This covers the rib cage area as well. You can also get a smaller design if you like and flaunt it during the summers in your favorite summer wear.

10.  Customized Designs

You can discuss your very own design with the tattoo artist and get it done over the rib cage areas. There are so many options you can choose from. The dragon tattoo with blue flames coming out of its mouth a fantastic rib tattoo design.