Tattoo Pain Chart: Where It Hurts Most and Least, and More You Should Know

Tattoo Pain Chart: Where It Hurts Most and Least, and More You Should Know

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Tattoos are one of the most frequent forms of body art found all over the world. Research that was conducted in 2010 found that an astounding 38 percent of persons between the ages of 18 and 29 had at least one tattoo in their lifetime.

The question “Does it hurt to get a tattoo?” is one that naturally arises.

This is not a simple question to answer, despite the fact that the majority of individuals will respond with a positive affirmative.

When getting a tattoo, you will need to repeatedly puncture the top layer of your skin with a needle that is coated with color. In conclusion, getting a tattoo is almost always and unavoidably painful, but various people will report varying degrees of discomfort.

People who are born male have a greater tendency to experience and cope with pain in a different manner than those people who are biologically female. In addition, getting a tattoo causes varying degrees of discomfort in different areas of the body at different times.

We obtained anecdotal information from websites that were managed by people who work in the tattoo industry; nevertheless, there is no scientific data that indicates which parts of the body will feel the most pain when getting a tattoo and which will feel the least discomfort.

The areas of the body that have the most fat, the fewest nerve endings, and the thickest skin are thought to be the ones that are the least painful to have tattooed on. The areas of the body that have the least fat, the most nerve endings, and the thinnest skin are the ones that are the most painful to get tattooed. It hurts a lot, especially in the skeletal parts.

Continue reading to find out which areas are likely to cause the most and the least amount of discomfort.

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Pain chart for tattoos

Pain manifests itself in unique ways for each individual. The degree of discomfort that you feel after getting a tattoo can vary depending on its location, as well as your sexual orientation. In the following, we’re going to take a deeper look at the most painful and the least painful spots to get a tattoo.

Most painful

It’s possible that getting a tattoo on an area of your body that has a lot of nerve endings, is close to bones and doesn’t have much fat on them, or has very thin skin will be the most painful. Pain might range from moderate to severe in various regions.


Getting a tattoo in the armpit is one of the most painful areas to get a tattoo, if not the most painful place overall. When you get a tattoo here, you should be prepared for a great deal of discomfort. In point of fact, the vast majority of tattoo artists recommend that clients should not have armpit tattoos.

Chaîne ribcage

The majority of patients report that getting a tattoo on their rib cage is the second most painful part of the process. The discomfort here might be quite intense. Your ribcage is surrounded by skin that is incredibly thin, and there is far less fat here compared to the majority of other regions of your body.

Additionally, each time you breathe, you move your rib cage as well as the skin that is located above it. This can cause the sensation of having a tattoo placed in this area to be even more severe.

The shins and the ankles

Because your ankle bones and shinbones lie just beneath the thin layers of skin in these locations, getting a tattoo there is an extremely uncomfortable experience for you. Tattoos on the ankle and shin typically cause a great deal of discomfort. The level of discomfort is comparable to that generated by getting a tattoo over your rib cage.

The breasts and the nips

Because the nipples and breasts are such delicate places, getting a tattoo there can be an excruciatingly painful experience.



Your groyne is packed with nerve endings, and the needles used for tattoos have the potential to irritate them. The level of pain here might range from moderate to severe.

Or the kneecaps, if you will.

The bones of your elbows and kneecaps are exposed just beneath the skin in these locations of your body. When tattooing is done over bone, the vibrations that are created can cause high to severe levels of pain.

To the rear of the knees

When a tattoo is being applied to this or any other portion of your body, you should be prepared for a high level of discomfort. The skin in the region behind your knees is soft and stretchy, and it contains a lot of nerve endings. Because of these qualities, this area is highly sensitive to the needles used in tattooing.


Because your hip bones are so close to the surface of your skin, getting tattoos on your hips can be extremely painful. This is especially the case if you are really thin and have a smaller amount of fat around your hips, which acts as a cushion for your hip bones.

The head, neck, and back

It is common knowledge that tattoos on the neck and spine are among the most painful types of tattoos. This is due to the fact that the neck and spine are particularly sensitive places.

The cranium, the face, and the ears

In addition to the neck, the head, face, and ears have a large number of nerve endings that, if inflamed during the tattoo process, can result in excruciating agony. Because you don’t have a lot of fat on your head, face, and ears, this area of your body doesn’t provide much of a cushion for the tattoo needle.


In general, the skin on and around your lips is very flexible and has a great number of nerve endings. Getting a tattoo on your lips will almost surely result in a great deal of discomfort, and it may also cause bleeding, edoema, and bruising.

Hands, fingers, feet, and toes

It’s common practice to get tattoos on the exteriors, as well as the interiors, of the hands and feet, as well as the fingers and toes. Getting a tattoo anyplace on your hands or feet can be an excruciatingly painful experience. When a tattoo needle penetrates this area’s very thin skin, it may cause significant discomfort since it includes a high concentration of nerve endings.

In addition, the use of a tattoo needle might irritate the nerves in your hands and feet, which can cause the nerves to go through painful spasms that make getting a tattoo a very unpleasant experience.

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There is a possibility that getting a tattoo on your stomach could be quite painful.

The degree of discomfort that you feel is directly proportional to the state of your physical health. People who have a greater average body weight typically have skin that is laxer on their tummies than those who have lower average body weight.

A person who has skin that is more tightly stretched across their stomach will probably feel less pain than someone who has skin that is laxer in this location.

Inner bicep

Although the muscle that is found inside your inner bicep might lessen the amount of pain that is experienced when having a tattoo in this area, the skin in this region has a tendency to be loose and soft. A tattoo on the inner bicep can cause a significant amount of pain, however, it does not often cause severe pain for the majority of people.

Healing times for tattoos on this area of the body are typically much longer than those on other regions of the body.

Least excruciating

In general, areas that are padded with some fat, have tight skin, have few nerve endings, and are not adjacent to bones are the best candidates for getting a tattoo since they inflict the least amount of pain. The level of pain in these regions will range from mild to moderate.

The following are some of the less uncomfortable areas:

Upper part of the outer thigh

This region of the body has a low concentration of nerve terminals because it is well-padded with fat. In most people, getting a tattoo on the upper part of the outer thigh causes little to moderate discomfort at the most. This makes it one of the least painful sites on the body to receive a tattoo.


On your forearms, there is a significant amount of muscle in addition to thick skin, but very few nerve endings. In most cases, getting tattoos on the forearms causes only a slight to moderate level of discomfort.

Outside of the shoulders

Because the skin on the outside of your shoulders is thick and has few nerve endings, getting a tattoo there is one of the least painful areas on your body to do it. The pain level associated with getting a tattoo in this location is often low to low-moderate.

Outer bicep

Because the outer bicep has a lot of muscle but not a lot of nerve endings, it is an excellent location for a tattoo that will not cause a lot of discomfort because of its location. In most cases, getting a tattoo on the outside bicep causes only mild to moderate amounts of discomfort.


Because there is a substantial quantity of fat and muscle on the calves, in addition to a relatively low number of nerve endings, getting a tattoo on the calves is typically not too painful. You should anticipate experiencing low to low-moderate levels of pain in this location.

Back, both the upper and lower

Because the skin on your upper or lower back is thick and has few nerve endings, getting a tattoo there typically generates a level of discomfort that falls anywhere between low-moderate and moderate. The distance that your tattoo is from the bones and nerve endings in your spine and hips is directly correlated to the amount of pain that you will experience as a result.

Affected by pain are various factors

Your perception of pain can be influenced by a number of different factors, including the following:


According to the findings of several studies, those who are physiologically classified as females are able to feel the sensations of pain more keenly than men. There may be physiological and chemical variations between the bodies of men and women that contribute to this phenomenon.

On the other hand, research conducted by scientists has shown that females, in comparison to males, have a greater tolerance for discomfort.

Nevertheless, there is no concrete evidence to suggest that having a tattoo hurts more for women than it does for males, nor is the reverse true.


People who have had tattoos in the past may have a higher pressure pain tolerance than people who have never had a tattoo in their lives, according to research that was conducted by Trusted Source.

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Your age and weight both

Even though there isn’t any evidence to back it up, it’s plausible that getting tattoos gets more painful as you get older and heavier.

Older skin may be more susceptible to bruising or feeling pain than younger skin.

People who weigh more may have skin that is laxer, making it more susceptible to irritation from tattoos. On the other hand, those who have very little body fat might be more sensitive to discomfort.

What it feels like

How you react to pain and where on your body the tattoo is placed can have a significant impact on the experience of getting a tattoo.

Again, this has not been demonstrated in a scientific setting; yet, those who have tattoos are familiar with a variety of painful sensations.

When receiving a tattoo, most people will experience one or more of these broad sensations. If you are familiar with these feelings before getting a tattoo, it can give you an idea of what you can anticipate feeling during the tattooing process and how to determine when the pain you are experiencing is not typical.

The following are some of the most common types of tattoo pain:

Burning agony

The sensation of having something incredibly hot placed on your skin for an extended period of time is similar to the burning pain.

It is caused by a combination of your skin’s rawness and the repeated stress that results from a tattoo needle piercing your skin in the same location. It is most typically felt in regions where a tattoo artist has worked for a long period. It is also common in regions of the body that have a greater amount of subcutaneous fat.

The discomfort caused by burning is typically not severe, but it can be highly annoying.

A dull or constant ache in the background

Tattoo artists will tell you that this particular kind of discomfort is the ideal level for getting a tattoo done.

Your body’s natural response to being pricked by a needle is to begin creating stress hormones like adrenaline as soon as the needle begins to rev up with its loud buzz and the needle makes its initial contact with your skin. These hormones actually work to soften the pain, making it feel more like a constant aching in the background rather than a sharp stabbing sensation.

During the process of getting your tattoo, you could feel the dull ache shift or become more intense at some points. Distracting yourself with another activity while getting a tattoo, such as talking to your artist, listening to music, or watching television, increases the likelihood that you will remain in the dull pain phase for the duration of the procedure.

The itching discomfort

When receiving a tattoo, the majority of people describe the experience as feeling like they are being scratched. This form of discomfort can seem like an acute scratch that is travelling across the tattooed area as if a cat were dragging its claws across your skin. In other words, it is similar to the sensation of having a cat scratch your skin.

Even though this discomfort isn’t typically very severe, it can become rather uncomfortable if your tattoo artist works on the same spot for an extended period of time. When compared to the use of a single needle, the use of many needles at the same time typically results in a greater degree of discomfort. When your tattoo artist adds shade to your design, this is the situation that arises.

A burning or piercing sensation

The pain can be described as being similar to that caused by many individual bee stings. Typically, the pain associated with this condition is fairly severe, and it has the sensation that the needle is being pushed very deeply into the skin. It can be enough to make you want to back away from the tattoo needle at times.

When a tattoo artist is adding very fine detail to your tattoo or making the outline of your tattoo, you will most likely feel this kind of pain. This is because the tattoo artist is using fewer needles or even just one needle. Like the wrists and biceps, other body areas that have skin that is thinner or more tightly wound are more prone to suffer a sharp or stinging sensation.

Even while seasoned tattoo artists are aware of what they are doing, it is still feasible for beginners to botch up a fresh tattoo. If you are experiencing a sharp or stinging pain that is really acute, it is possible that the needles being used by your tattoo artist are being pushed too far into your skin.

This can result in a deformity known as a tattoo blowout, which is characterized by the ink of a tattoo spreading below the layers of skin that are intended to be tattooed. The final product is a tattoo that is excruciatingly painful and hazy.

Tattoo blowout can be avoided by employing the services of a tattoo artist with a great deal of competence and by avoiding getting inked on very thin skin.

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Vibrating pain

When obtaining a tattoo in an extremely bony spot, such as the following areas, you could feel a vibrating discomfort during the procedure.

wrist crease




When a tattoo needle pierces skin above the bone, the nerves in your bones may pick up the vibrating feeling, particularly if the needle is moving at a very high speed. This is especially likely to happen if the needle is moving very quickly. This results in a painful vibrating sensation.

Pain caused by vibration is typically not severe, but it does not feel like it is tickling either. If you have less skin and fat covering your bones, as well as if you are thinner overall, you will have a greater likelihood of experiencing vibrating pain.

How to lessen pain

In order to make getting a tattoo less painful, here are some helpful hints:

If you are having problems coping with the discomfort during the tattooing process, ask your tattoo artist to take breaks.

Make sure to pick a tattoo artist with a lot of expertise. Insist on seeing their certification first, and then thoroughly inspect their gear before hiring them. Your tattoo artist should always use clean gloves and equipment that has been sanitised before each client.

If you’re having a tattoo on your stomach, you shouldn’t eat anything before you go get it done.

After getting your tattoo done, it is important to ensure that you follow all of the aftercare instructions, such as washing your tattoo, covering it with loose clothing, and applying ointment and moisturiser. Doing so will help you feel less pain and lower your risk of developing issues.

Before you have your tattoo, you need to ensure that you’ve had adequate rest. It will be much easier for you to tolerate the discomfort of getting a tattoo if you have gotten a good night’s sleep the night before.

Maintain your sobriety for the tattoo. Consuming alcohol increases the risk of bleeding and bruising because it thins the blood. This can cause a great deal of discomfort and might even destroy your tattoo.

Drink plenty of water to keep your skin supple and tight, which will make getting a tattoo less painful.

Applying a numbing cream or lotion to your skin before having your tattoo will significantly cut down on the amount of discomfort you feel throughout the procedure. Examine the online selection of numbing products for tattoos.

Several things to think about

Although getting a tattoo might take anything from a few minutes to a few hours, once it’s there, it’s there for life. When considering getting a tattoo, pain should not be the only factor you think about. The process of removing a tattoo is far more time-consuming and uncomfortable, and the outcomes are unpredictable.

Before getting a tattoo, consider:

infection, allergic responses to dyes, scarring, and the possibility of contracting blood-borne illnesses are all potential outcomes.

whether you’ll be unhappy with the layout of your tattoo in the future.

whether or not the appearance of your tattoo could alter if you were to gain weight or if you become pregnant.

your desired location for the tattoo, as well as whether or not you want the option of covering it up with clothing.


Everyone feels some level of discomfort during the tattooing process. However, the amount of discomfort that you, as a person, feel while having a tattoo is dependent on a number of things. There are a number of factors that go into determining how painful getting a tattoo will be, including your sex, your skin condition, and the location of the tattoo.

Before you go to the tattoo parlour, you should make sure that you are well informed of the pain, problems, and hazards associated with tattoo regret.

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