Does it hurt to get a tattoo? This is the first question on the mind of any person who has decided to get tattooed. This article highlights key concerns and will help you to get ready for the tattooing process – both physically and mentally. Welcome to the club!
To begin, it is worth mentioning that everyone’s pain threshold is different and there is no universal pain relief.
However, this article will advise you of the factors which will help make the tattooing process more comfortable.
“As a tattoo artist, I know that women have a higher pain threshold than men. It is possible that a strong man can fall unconscious from the pain of getting inked on a painful area. While same thing can happen to women, I also remember a situation when a girl fell asleep while I was tattooing her ribs (usually a very painful zone). This shows that the amount of pain you can withstand depends on the person!”
Table of contents:
1. What does getting a tattoo feel like?
2. What are the factors that influence pain while getting tattooed?
3. The tattoo pain chart
4. Differences between the tattooing process for men and women
5. Useful tips before the tattooing process
6. How to cope with the pain
7. FAQ about tattoo pain
What does getting a tattoo feel like?
“When a needle touches your skin for the first time, you feel a crawling sensation under the skin – quite a thrilling sensation … It feels like a bee sting. It usually hurts at the start of the process and you feel uncomfortable for the first 10-15 minutes before you start to feel comfortable.”
The tattooing process causes itching, and a nagging pain because the needle penetrates into the top layer of skin. It can be very difficult to endure the pain while getting big tattoos, as they require a detailed rendering of every piece of the image.
It can be said that the pain during the tattooing process resembles the pain of a graze. But while a graze usually only hurts for a couple of minutes, during the tattooing process the skin can be worked on for several hours. You could say that a tattoo is actually a wound.
What are the factors that influence pain while getting tattooed?
- Fatigue (it is not recommended to get tattooed in the evening or after a hard day’s work).
- Women should not get a tattoo just before or during their period.
- It is better to have a snack before the procedure, especially when it is going to be a long session.
- Drink a lot of water.
- Tattoo complexity (simple generic tattoos are less painful, as are one-colour tattoos, because they take less time).
The tattoo pain chart. The most painful body parts to tattoo?
The most painful places to tattoo are areas of the body without fat, where the skin is very close to the bone, as well as body parts with sensitive skin or a large amount of nerve endings.
These areas include:
- the inside of the elbow;
- the skin around the nipples;
- the area under the chest muscles on the ribs;
- the skin behind the knees,
- the pelvic area.
- Regardless of the area, the bigger a tattoo is, the more painful it is.
- Tattoo artists consider the tattoo area carefully and will often offer to divide the process into several sessions.
- Women’s painful areas: armpits, the neck and face, the area around the nipples, wrists, the pelvic area, knees, the area above the shins and the area behind the knees. The least painful tattoo areas for women: the shoulders and forearms, shoulder blades, breasts, calf muscles and thighs.
- Men’s painful areas: the head, armpits, elbows, the chest and ribs, the pelvic area, shins, knees and soles. Painless areas: the shoulders and forearms, top of the thighs, shoulder blades and calf muscles.
Differences between the tattooing process for men and women
Is it painful for women to get a tattoo?
Women have a higher pain tolerance than men. This fact is acknowledged by many scientific studies. It can be applied to the tattooing process as well: women have fat deposited under the skin (their body fat percentage is higher than men’s) which makes the tattooing process less painful.
Useful tips before the tattooing process:
- Have a good rest and sleep.
- Have a meal earlier in the day.
- Speak to your friends who have already got a tattoo.
- Ask a tattoo artist any questions you may have.
- Choose the right clothes for the procedure.
- Read this article “How to Relieve Tattoo Pain? What Helps With Tattoo Pain? | Guide”.
Before your tattoo appointment it is NOT recommended to:
- Take medicine if there isn’t any urgent need. The majority of medicines (including painkillers) influence blood coagulability and can intensify its discharge. This makes the tattooing process very difficult.
- Drink alcohol the day before or on the day of an appointment .
- Visit tanning salons or beaches (the sun has a negative impact on the skin).
- Drink too much coffee or energy drinks.
How to relieve pain during the tattooing process?
We have prepared an article that provides tips how to relieve tattoo pain and make the tattooing process more comfortable. Find out more in this article: “How to Relieve Tattoo Pain? What Helps With Tattoo Pain? | Guide”.
The most frequently asked questions about tattoo pain and feedback:
Is it painful to get a tattoo on your hand, shoulder, forearm, wrist?
The least painful tattoo areas on an arm are the outer shoulder and forearm. The inner shoulder is more painful due to the sensitive skin in this area. The most painful area on an arm is the wrist. Wrists have many nerve endings and they don’t have any fat.
Is it painful to get a tattoo on your leg, thigh, sole, calf?
The least painful tattoos are on the outer thigh area and calves. But remember that tattoos on an area which is close to the bone, the inner thigh and the sole of the foot cause a lot of pain. Tattoos on the pelvic area and behind the knee are considered to be very painful. But these areas are rarely tattooed.
Is it painful to get a tattoo on your back?
The back isn’t the most painful tattoo area. But remember that if you choose a big full back tattoo drawing, you won’t escape from pain. The more time a procedure takes, the more discomfort a person feels.
Is it painful to get a tattoo on your collarbone?
Any tattoo done on a bony area of a body is considered to be painful. People usually prefer small-size tattoos on the collarbone because they don’t cause much pain.
Is it painful to get a tattoo on your breast?
The chest is a painful area for men, but less painful for women. For women, tattoos under the breasts are more painful.