115 Teardrop Tattoos With Remarkable History

Teardrop tattoos have been around for a very long time. People have been searching up the meanings of these tattoos for decades. If you are looking for a tattoo that holds plenty of mystery, then you can’t go wrong with the teardrop tattoo.

Some people believe that the teardrop tattoos come from prison, that it’s the place where they originate. There are a lot of theories around it.

There’s no doubt about it, there is a prison culture that comes with the prison tattoo. That it is connected to the practices and rituals that happen behind the bars of the prison. TV and movies have made that idea even more popular and people become fascinated with it even more.

People like these tattoos because it makes them feel dangerous and mysterious. People are intrigued by what goes on behind prison doors especially if they have never been part of that world. It allows them to be dangerous while still staying safe in their bubbles.

If you are looking for something fresh, something real with a backstory, then why not try these tattoos on for size. Check out these dangerously badass tattoos:

Double Drops

There are many ways to sport the teardrop tattoo. 

What do multiple teardrops mean?

A lot of people assume that the teardrop tattoo means that the person wearing it has committed murder and although that is true in some cases, it also means that it could represent a long prison term. The teardrops are sometimes just an outline and other times it’s a solid teardrop. If it’s an outline it could mean it represents an attempted murder. The outline can also mean that a friend in prison was murdered and the person is looking for revenge.


A Rapper Design

Rappers love rocking these tattoos because it gives them street cred. 

The Outline Tattoo

An outline teardrop can signify that there might have been an attempted murder, but again these rules aren’t set in stone. 

Heartwarming Piece

It’s possible that this tattoo signifies a loved one that has been lost because of the heart underneath it. 

What Tattoos in Prison mean?

One popular stereotype that we see in films and movies of life in prison is the teardrop tattoo. As soon as we see it, we assume that the person is a murderer and not even sorry about it because he’s proud;y showing off the tattoo. It’s like a right of passage. The first murder and if there are multiple teardrops, it means that the person has committed more than one.

This is seen as a prison thing and it’s often used to get people’s attention but it’s not just a prison thing. There is a lot of reality that comes into play when it comes to this tattoo.

Face tattoos used to be seen as something that delinquents did, the bad boys that snub their noses at authority. But these days, face tattoos are being worn by musicians and celebrities. Once upon a time, we would have never guessed that Justin Bieber would wear a face tattoo but he’s among a lot of celebrities like Post Malone who have been spirting it and they are more popular than ever. It’s no longer seen as something that just criminals do. This is where we get that idea of a special significance to prison tattoos.

There is a place for them in prison and it’s usually in regards to a right of passage. Sometimes it takes someone doing a crime or an act of violence to earn some ink. The teardrop tattoo is one of the most recognized ink in prison.

The Teardrop is a Complex Symbol

It seems that people in prison who have these tattoos are more clearly defined then people who have never been to prison. None of the rules are set in stone but it helps to understand what these tattoos are really about.

Face Tattoos

As we said before face tattoos are more popular these days then they have ever been before. 

Does It Matter What Side of The Face It’s On?

In prison, it does matter what side of the face it is on. The left side represents that an inmate has killed someone. It’s also been said that the one to one ratio of the teardrops means that it is one teardrop for every murder. We can’t help but do a double-take when we see someone sporting more than one teardrop.

It means something different if the teardrop is on the right side. These teardrops mean that it was the death of a loved one whether that was a friend or family member. We see a lot of celebrities with teardrops and this likely is what it means if the tattoo is on the right side.

Of course, when it comes to the teardrop tattoos, there are no specific rules and no one ever really knows why any specific person wears these types of tattoos. It’s usually very personal to the person and it’s best not to make assumptions as to why they have teardrop tattoos.

The Teardrop Symbol

This tattoo isn’t on the face. In this case, the tattoo is one the hand and it’s just placed by the cheek. 

Solid Marks

The teardrop signifies a loss in some way or another. 

A Sign of Sadness

Two teardrops in a bright blue shade that are placed on the hand. This is a great way to really show people how you feel. 

It’s Not Just For Boys

Most of the time we see tattoos like this on men but that’s not always the case. 

Multiple Drops

There are lots of different ways that you can recreate a teardrop tattoo. 

A Darker Tattoo Design

It’s a small tattoo design that will make a statement. 

Different Designs

These teardrops are elongated so they give a very different look. There are many ways that you can sport a tattoo like this. 

Tell Us How You Feel?

That seems to be the theme with a lot of these tattoos. There are people that use the teardrops to represent something going on in their lives. The great thing about tattoos is they allow us to express ourselves and this seems to be what’s going on with this particular tattoo. 

Teardrops Can Fit Anywhere

Teardrops are most popular on the face but that doesn’t mean you have to put them there. 

These drops are much larger than most that we have seen and this person has placed them on his arm. 

The Prison Look

There is the stereotype that prisoners get these tattoos because of who they have killed or deeds they have done while in prison but don’t assume that’s why someone has the tattoo. 

What To Do After Your Tattoo

You have your teardrop tattoo, now what do you do? Getting a tattoo isn’t just about walking into a shop and getting it done. There is aftercare involved so that your tattoo stays looking wonderful for your whole life. 

If you don’t take care of your tattoo, it can get damaged, or start to fade quicker than it should. Getting a tattoo is not the most important part, the aftercare is and that’s why you need to make sure you are following the rules. 

Now that your tattoo is complete, it’s time for the healing phase. Taking care of it means that your tattoo will always be in good shape. Sometimes your artist will provide you with aftercare instructions and sometimes they won’t.  That’s why we like to help you out in that area. If you are given instructions, it’s always best to follow those. Here are some great tips to get you started: 

What To Do To Promote Healing

Don’t Remove the Bandage – Not all artists will bandage your tattoos. Sometimes it depends on the size of the tattoos. Usually, smaller tattoos won’t be wrapped. But if your artist does out one on you, do not remove it for 24 hrs. Not everyone loves the bandage, they can be uncomfortable but they are used for a reason. Some bandages stay on for a few hours while others will stay for 24 hrs. There can be swelling after a tattoo which is why they will have you keep the bandage on. 

Keep The Tattoo Clean – The first thing you do after removing the bandage is to wash your tattoo. A good wash will do it good, but you need to make sure that you are careful while washing it. You want to clean it gently and if possible to use alcohol-free, unscented soap. 

Dry Your Tattoo – Once it’s clean, you need to dry the tattoo. Again, don’t rub it aggressively. Pat the tattoo dry instead of rubbing it. Some people use clean paper towel, but using your regular towels is okay to use as well. 

Add Some Lotion – Once the tattoo is dry, you want to add some lotion to it. You have to make sure the tattoo is completely dry first. The reason for this is that a dry tattoo will not promote healing. Keeping your tattoo moisturized will stop it from drying out and cracking over time. 

Repeat Repeat Repeat

These steps should be repeated until the tattoo has completely healed. The reason for this is that the tattoo needs to be clean to avoid infection. The moisturizer happens to be perfect for the healing process as throughout this time your tattoo will peel and the lotion will help. These are things to do to ensure that your tattoo lasts a long time. There will be a phase where the tattoo will start to peel and even scab over. Moisturizer will help you to get through this part and to make sure your tattoo always looks nice. This is the time when a tattoo can get infected because of bacteria and that’s why you need to make sure that it is clean and dry at all times. It can take between 2-4 weeks for a tattoo to heal and you need to be able to do these steps for the entire healing process. 

Leave the Scabs Alone – You might have the urge to pick at the scabs but you need to be careful that you don’t do that. You can cause an infection by picking at the tattoo not to mention you can actually change the way your tattoo looks by playing with the scabs. Tattoos have been ruined by someone not taking proper care of it. Fading can happen with your tattoo if you don’t take care of it properly. 

Don’t Be A Sunworshiper –

This is not the time to lay out in the sun without sunscreen. Your tattoo should not be exposed to direct sunlight. There are special sunscreens that you can wear that work with a tattoo but regular sunscreen works as well. 

Don’t Immerse Your Tattoo – It’s important for your tattoo to be clean but it’s quite another thing to immerse your tattoo in water. This is not the time to go into the lake, the pool, a hot tub or even have one of your favorite hot baths. It can’t be immersed in water for long periods of time. Bodies of water can contain bacteria that can cause infections to your tattoo. Showers are the best method of keeping your tattoo clean. 

Continue With Aftercare – As we said you should continue with the tattoo aftercare until the tattoo is completely healed. Even after the tattoo has healed, you should always keep it moisturized. 

If you are looking to represent some type of loss in your life, then the teardrop tattoo might be the type of tattoo that you are looking for. It’s not just about whether you have been to prison or not. It’s about loss and what a loved one can mean to you. That could be a great way to remember someone who has passed. 

You also don’t have to get the tattoo on your face. As we have seen, multiple people have gotten the tattoos on their hands to represent either loss or sadness in their own way. 

We hope that you enjoyed the article and found it inspiring to find your own tattoo. We would love to know what your favorites are, so comment below: 


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