20 Pectus Excavatum Tattoo Ideas in 2022 – Tips, Pain & More

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In this article, I will talk about tattoos. People can use them to either hide or uniquely embrace the pectus excavatum deformity.

Those who choose to embrace the deformity are generally very confident individuals. Some are on a self-improvement journey, looking for ways to face their fears straight on. 

They want to show other people their deformity, even though they are anxious and ashamed. I have the utmost respect for these people. Without further ado, let’s see what this blog post is about.

Can You Tattoo Your Indented Chest?

Yes, it is possible to tattoo the pectus excavatum cavity area. However, the process can be challenging, especially if the indentation is severe.  

That’s because the artist can’t stretch the skin properly to get it inked at a proper angle.  

It will take more time to do a tattoo in these circumstances than in individuals with a normal chest. 

Don’t Hide It With Tattoos

I was very insecure about my deformity back in my early high school days. I even reached the point of being too afraid to take off my t-shirt while going for a swim at the beach.

Because I am very pale, I sometimes wore a t-shirt claiming it was for sun protection, while in reality, I was hiding my chest cavity. Even though I am pale, I wasn’t that much afraid of a sunburn.

I heavily considered getting a tattoo across my chest to cover the cavity as much as possible. However, I thought my parents would get mad at me, so I didn’t do it. I am very thankful for that.

I Lost Interest in Tattooing Myself Since I Improved My Deformity

Nowadays, my pectus excavatum and flared ribs are improved; I no longer have such insecurities. Interestingly, I’m not too fond of the idea of getting my chest tattooed anymore.

Looking back in time from today’s perspective, all I can do is laugh. I was taking my deformity too seriously.  

If you’re looking to get a tattoo to cover the deformity, I would highly recommend against it. Don’t be embarrassed by your uniqueness. You already look lovely. 

All a tattoo will do is bring people’s attention to your chest. This can make you more insecure and full of regrets that you now have permanent ink in your skin. 

Don’t Take the Easy Way Out

Getting a tattoo to cover up the indentation won’t fix your confidence issues. It is like cheating, in a way. You won’t fix the root cause of your psychological problems this way. Please, don’t look for the easy way out. 

Start a self-improvement journey that will help you fix your deepest insecurities.  

Don’t take the deformity’s appearance too seriously unless it causes you lung and heart problems.  

Deformity Can Become More Evident With Tattoos On It

Your deformity can become more evident by covering it up with ink. You can follow a non-surgical correction program consisting of corrective stretching, special pectus excavatum exercises, bracing, vacuum bell therapy, and breathing.  

Try this for at least a year. I guarantee that you will feel more secure in yourself. There is no need to put permanent ink on your skin.  

All it will make you are more self-conscious. Every time you look in the mirror, you’ll be reminded that you still have a deformity that you dislike.  

Should I Tattoo My Pectus? 

Getting a 3D tattoo on an inverted chest looks fabulous on some people.  

However, let me warn you about a problem with 3D tattoos that I have seen a few times. Let’s suppose you may experience negative physical symptoms caused by deformity, like shortness of breath while exercising, irregular heartbeat, or chest pains. In that case, you will need to fix the indentation. This is much more worrying than only having an aesthetically deformed chest.

When you repair the deformity surgically or non-surgically, your chest will become flat.  

Your tattoo won’t look 3D anymore, and you’ll live with a bizarre-looking tattoo for the rest of your life.  At least, you’ll have some hilarious story to share when you’re older, about the times when your chest had a hole in it. 

Do Tattoos on Your Chest Cavity Hurt? 

Even though I love tattoos, I still don’t have any. I can’t personally tell whether a tattoo on your sunken chest area hurts. 

However, I’ve been told that getting a sunken breastbone tattooed hurts a lot! 

According to Tattmag, some tattoo artists covered in ink refuse to get tattooed on the breastbone area.  

Very Little Fat

That’s because the area is very bony and has very little fat between the skin and periosteum. The tattoo machine’s vibrations severely affect the periosteum, which results in more pain.

Also, the tattoo needle will vibrate your indented breastbone, which will make you feel like it is going to sink more deeply.  

One guy told me that it felt like a “nettle sting,” and another one told me it felt like “burning hot stabbing pain.” 

Overall, it is not a very enjoyable feeling. 

Comparatively, the areas primarily covered in fat aren’t very painful.  

Sadly, most people with pectus excavatum are very skinny, which means there won’t be much padding to cushion your bones from the ink needle.  

Be Comfortable While Being Uncomfortable

Transform this pain into an advantage and power. This unpleasant feeling contains the possibility to learn to be comfortable in uncomfortable situations.

For example, suppose you’re able to endure this pain. In that case, the sense of applying a vacuum bell or a brace to fix your indentation will feel like a breeze. 

The pain will make you more resistant to future physical and mental pain. This is very important if you’re living with the adverse effects of pectus excavatum. 

Creative Tattoos

Let’s assume you are already very secure in your deformity. In that case, you can get very creative and get a cool pectus excavatum tattoo. 

I will share a few ideas that I think make a lot of sense.  

Hopefully, some of them will inspire you. 

Breastbone Tattoo 

The breastbone tattoo is ideal if you’re looking for something you can keep hidden while at work. You can only show it off when you take off your shirt.  

Lately, this type of tattoo is trendy, mainly because many celebrities, for example, Rihanna, have these types of tattoos. 

Before getting such a tattoo, you need to make a few considerations. 

Be Careful

This type of tattoo isn’t categorized as “beginner-friendly.” It would be best to get informed about what to expect, whether it hurts, what the inking procedure looks like, whether it looks good as a sunken chest tattoo, and how to care for it. 

Focus or Distract Away 

There are two directions you can follow. 

You either:

  • Focus on the abnormality 
  • Choose a design that distracts from it

For example, if you go with the first option, you can do something like a vortex, black hole, or something similar. 

Suppose you want the tattoo to distract the deformity. In that case, you need to get something bright tattooed on the left and right pectoral muscles. 

Or, you can go crazy with it and get a vast, frontal tattoo covering the entire front of your body. In this case, the deformity will be barely noticeable anymore.

That’s the case with Conor McGregor’s chest. Speculations are that he was very insecure about his chest wall appearance. Because of that, he decided to look more “manly” and get his entire chest tattooed with black ink. 

20 Tattoo Ideas For Pectus Excavatum

  • A suction-like surrealistic picture (in the Polygon art style or any style you like) that is inspired by something important in your life. 
  • A giant whirlpool that pulls everything in.
  • Donut, or a tire centered around the hollow in your sternum. 
  • Something in the horror approach, like zombies coming out of the indentation.
  • Animal taking a piece out of your chest, causing an indentation. 
  • A circular universe in intense colors with a lot of stars.
  • Blackhole with a spaceship getting stretched out and pulled into it, with the cavity as the center.
  • Pirates hide a treasure chest in the deepest part of your indentation. 
  • Your favorite cartoon character is being dragged into the cavity. 
  • 3D tattoo that utilizes the sunken chest in the artwork. For example, an optical illusion of a spider web in the cavity, spiders coming out of the dent. 
  • Tattoo a Nuss bar across your chest if you already had a Nuss procedure with a satisfying outcome. 
  • Triangles and various geometric shapes get pulled into the center of your cavity. Here is an example of this tattoo on Reddit. 
  • 3D wizard spell-inspired circular tattoo, something similar to this. 
  • An optical illusion tattoo makes the indentation look like it sinks into a hole into infinity. Be aware. This will make people stare at you every time. 
  • If you’re a sports fan, you can tattoo a small basketball, baseball, handball, tennis ball, football, etc. The possibilities here are endless. 
  • Tiny black and white realistic heart in the most in-depth part of the breastbone. 
  • A long zipper that opens just where the chest cavity is. 
  • A man with a shovel that looks like he digs a hole in your chest 
  • The surgical incision that starts to open 

Check out this video of a guy with pectus excavatum, showing his vast chest tattoo. 

Article by:

Mihail Veleski

My name is Mihail Veleski. I used to suffer from the pectus excavatum deformity during my teenage years.

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