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Posted on Sep 11, 2018

What’s the ditch and why are people getting tattooed there?

What’s the sitch with this year’s hottest new tattoo locale, the ditch?

Once you start getting inked, it’s really hard to stop. Trust us. Whether you started with some floral tattoos, moved onto your favourite quote and are already planning your next masterpiece, there’s a reason why some people say tattoos are addictive. So, what’s the sitch with this year’s hottest new tattoo locale, the ditch?


It’s that super tickly part of your body that no one really knows the name of; the shallow dip in front of your elbow, behind your knee or under your arm that’s covered by a very thin thatch of skin. Scrolling through tattoo hashtags on Instagram for inspiration, you’ve probably seen more than a few of these without realizing it. Take a peek below for a quick refresher.


While these parts of the body are super ticklish normally, it’s a different story for tattooing them. InkedMag says it’s one of the toughest spots to make your mark on, due to the length of time it takes to heal, the amount of pain and the constant movement of the area. Clearly, none of these factors have done much to dissuade anyone—with a quick glance at Toronto-based artist Mr. Koo’s Instagram feed, he’s done at least 10 tattoos in or around this spot since January alone. They’re quickly taking over for the delicate wrist script that was über popular just a year ago, but don’t rush out to get one willy nilly—the artist notes that it’s a job best left to the pros. “I think many people with tattoos save it [for] last, but while traveling [from] convention to convention, I realized a lot of artists don’t tattoo this spot,” he says.


Fine line work, arguably the trendiest style of art for the ditch, is notorious for blowing out on the skin, meaning the lines were done too deeply and look blurry or fuzzy look over time—that’s why clients put their trust in Mr. Koo’s hands, because of his repertoire of clean, single-needled line work. But as any tattoo aficionado knows, the art is only as good as its aftercare. “[The most important thing] for ditch tattoos is moisturizing. It’s a hard spot to heal and a painful spot to get tattooed,” he says. “It’s also very technical for the artist to not blow out.” When it comes to pain, the ditch can be a little tougher to sit through, depending on the size of the piece and amount of shading. But take Mr. Koo’s advice with more than just a grain of salt: “Pain wise? Pain is temporary. Close your eyes and take it.” Pain is obviously not a deterrent for this delicate, easy-to-cover spot. It’s arguably one of the best spots for a first tattoo—it doesn’t look out of place if the rest of your arm is a blank canvas.

Now that tattoos are significantly less taboo in the professional world, Mr. Koo says people aren’t shying away from letting ink take up space on their forearms. “Hidden or not, it’s a sleeve pull away, but in this new generation, everyone is tattooed,” he says. “I never had visible tattoos until this year and I’m in this profession.” The delicate nature of most of these tattoos—much like the still-popular wrist pieces—make them pretty simple to cover up or hide as needed … And much easier to break the news to mom and dad.


by Meaghan Wray