Home Tattoo What is The Most Common Body Art: 3 Forms [With Risks]

What is The Most Common Body Art: 3 Forms [With Risks]

The most commonly used body art
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Body art offers a unique channel for self-expression, altering and adorning the human body. It can be temporary or permanent, subtle or bold, and publicly or privately displayed. Motivations for embracing body art vary, ranging from cultural and religious influences to aesthetics and politics.

Tattoos and body piercings stand as the most prevalent forms of body art. In this article, we will explore these common types of body art, delving into their historical significance and contemporary popularity.

Additionally, we will meticulously examine the associated risks and benefits, ensuring an informed perspective on the world of body art.

What is The Most Common Body Art: 3 Forms Explained

3 forms of body art explained

Discover the three most popular forms of body art. Let's delve into tattoos, body piercing, and body painting, the most commonly practiced artistic expressions on various body parts.


Tattoos are a form of body art that has existed for a long time. They are created by inserting ink into the skin with a needle. Tattoos can be done in different styles, colors, sizes, and body locations.

Many cultures have used them for thousands of years. Ancient Egypt, China, Japan, and Polynesia have evidence of tattoos dating back a long time. People get tattoos to show their identity, status, affiliation, protection, devotion, or memory. Some tattoos have symbolic or spiritual meanings, while others are just for decoration or self-expression.

Tattoos are a popular form of body art in Western countries, especially among young people. According to a 2021 survey, 26% of Americans have at least one tattoo, and 47% of millennials had one or more tattoos in 2019. Popular tattoo styles include realistic, abstract, minimalist, watercolor, dotwork, and blackwork, while popular themes include flowers, animals, stars, hearts, names, quotes, and tribal patterns.

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Body Piercing

Body piercing is a popular form of body art where holes are made in the skin or cartilage to insert jewelry or other objects. People get piercings in various places, such as the ears, nose, eyebrows, lips, tongue, nipples, navel, genitals, and other areas.

Throughout history, many cultures have practiced body piercing for different reasons. Ancient civilizations in Mesopotamia, India, Egypt, Greece, and Rome have early examples of body piercings. People used body piercings to show social status, wealth, beauty, sexuality, or religious beliefs. Some piercings have functional or medicinal benefits like acupuncture or ear stretching.

Even in modern society, body piercing remains popular, especially among young people. According to a 2018 study by Statista, 34% of Americans have a piercing other than their earlobe. Common types of body piercings include earlobe piercing (83%), helix piercing (19%), nostril piercing (19%), navel piercing (15%), and tongue piercing (9%).

Body Painting

Parts of the body that are commonly painted

Body painting is a kind of body art that involves using colored substances on the skin to create designs. It can be done with natural or synthetic materials like clay, charcoal, henna, paint, glitter, or makeup. Body painting can be temporary or semi-permanent, depending on the materials used.

For centuries, many cultures around the world have used body painting. They used it for different reasons like festivals, rituals, ceremonies, or warfare. Some body paintings have cultural or religious importance, while others aim to make someone look more beautiful or creative.

In today's society, body painting is popular in art, fashion, entertainment, and advertising. Famous artists like Yves Klein, Keith Haring, Veruschka, and Spencer Tunick have created stunning body paintings. Some common types of body painting include face painting, henna tattoos, UV painting, and camouflage painting.

Other Types of Body Art

In addition to tattoos, piercings, and body paintings, there are other types of body art that only a few people are familiar with. These include:

  • Branding: A form of body art where the skin is burned with a hot metal object to create a permanent scar.
  • Scarification: Means the skin is cut or scratched to create raised scars.
  • Dermal anchors: In this form of body art, small metal studs are implanted under the skin to attach jewelry.
  • Three-dimensional art: A form of body art in which objects are inserted under the skin to create bumps or shapes.
  • Beading: Body art in which small beads are embedded under the skin to provide texture or patterns.
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Risks and Benefits of Body Art

Getting a tattoo or body art can have good and bad effects on a person's body and mind. Here are a few risks and benefits to consider:

  • Risks: Body art can be risky for your health. It can cause infections, allergies, bleeding, nerve damage, or scars. It might also create problems in your social or work life, like discrimination, stigma, or regret. Body art can be expensive, painful, and hard to remove or change.
  • Benefits: Body art also has some good points. It lets you express yourself, be unique, and show your creativity. It can boost your self-esteem, give you confidence, and make you feel attractive. Body art can be a way to honor your culture, heritage, or beliefs. It can even be a form of therapy, helping you heal or cope with things.


Body art is a diverse and fascinating artistic expression that involves modifying, decorating, or transforming the human body. You can make it permanent or temporary, subtle or extreme, and personal or public.

People may choose body art for cultural, religious, aesthetic, or political reasons. Common types include tattoos, piercings, and paintings. These forms have historical and modern significance.

Body art has risks and benefits to physical and psychological well-being. Choose a safe artist. Express yourself, celebrate your identity, and explore creativity through body art.

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Matt Callard
I am a passionate traveler, as if traveling were my full-time job. I like to change my surroundings and environment, like changing desktop wallpaper. Nature increases the concentration in my writing, which helps brainstorming flow in my blood. I have a cat named Kitana. She is the most desperate about traveling, more than any other cat. How do I know? If I miss any tour in any week, she literally destroys my clothing with her wolverine nails.

I and my cat also participate in extreme activities like surfing, biking, hill tracking, paragliding, boating, etc. She was always there in my accidents, injuries, and stitches. She always sits on my lap when it hurts me most. The funniest part is that she has experienced all my tattoos. She sleeps on my blanket when I go through any painful experience.

My hobbies and lifestyle added many pain and injuries to my life. That is why I have a lot of experience in dealing with different levels of pain and burn. It influenced me to become a pain expert and share primary suggestions to handle any unwanted situations that hurt.


  • What is body art, and why do people do it?

    Body art is a way to express art by changing, adorning, or altering the human body. People choose body art for different reasons, like cultural, religious, aesthetic, or political purposes.

  • How do you choose a safe and reputable body artist?

    When choosing a body artist for your body art, it's crucial to prioritize safety and professionalism. Tips to consider:

    • Research: Evaluate their background, experience, portfolio, reviews, and credentials. Opt for licensed or certified artists specializing in your desired body art style.
    • Studio visit: Ensure cleanliness, hygiene, and safety standards. Look for sterile environments, proper equipment, and disposable materials that comply with local regulations.
    • Questioning: Ask about the process, risks, aftercare, and costs. A good artist will be honest, informative, and respectful while offering clear instructions for preparation and care.

  • What are the different styles and techniques of body art?

    Body art comes in various styles and techniques depending on its type, material, and purpose. Some common styles include:

    • Traditional: follows the conventions of a specific culture or region, like Japanese tattoos or Indian henna.
    • Realistic: aims to create lifelike representations of objects, people, or scenes.
    • Abstract: uses shapes, colors, or patterns without specific meanings.
    • Minimalist: uses simple elements to create a subtle or elegant effect.
    • Watercolor: uses soft or bright colors to create a fluid or painterly effect.
    • Dotwork: uses tiny dots to create shading or texture.
    • Blackwork: uses only black ink for contrast or depth.

  • How do you take care of your body art and prevent complications?

    Taking proper care of your body art is crucial for preserving its quality and longevity while minimizing the risk of infections and complications. Here are some essential tips on how to maintain your body art:

    • Follow the aftercare instructions provided by your body artist. Different types of body art require specific procedures and products. For instance, tattoos may involve washing, moisturizing, and covering for a few days, while body piercings may require cleaning, soaking, and rotating over several weeks.
    • Refrain from touching, scratching, picking, or rubbing your body art while it is healing. Engaging in these activities can lead to irritation, inflammation, or scarring. Always use clean hands and tools when handling your body art.
    • Avoid exposing your body art to direct sunlight, heat, water, chemicals, or friction during healing. These factors can cause fading, discoloration, or damage your body art. Shield your body art from these elements by using sunscreen, appropriate clothing, or bandages.

  • How do you remove your body art when you're unhappy with it?

    Removing or altering body art can be challenging, costly, or risky, depending on its type, size, and location. Common removal or alteration methods include:

    • Laser removal: using a high-intensity laser beam to break down tattoo ink particles. It can be effective but may require multiple sessions, cause pain, or leave scars.
    • Surgical removal: cutting out the skin or tissue where the body art is. It can be quick but may cause bleeding, infection, or scarring.
    • Cover-up: applying a new design over the old tattoo. It requires skill, planning, or compromise.
    • Jewelry change: replacing body piercings with different jewelry. It's simple but may require healing time, compatibility, or hygiene.

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