In the world, tattoos are among the most popular body ornaments.

A 2010 study found that a staggering 38% of persons between the ages of 18 and 29 have had at least one tattoo.

Although most will answer “yes,” the truth is that this is a difficult question to answer.

Tattooing entails repeatedly puncturing the top layer of your skin with a fine needle coated with ink.

Therefore, getting a tattoo is always painful, however individual pain thresholds may vary.



Everyone experiences discomfort when getting a tattoo. However, there are things that can change how much discomfort you personally feel while getting tattooed.

The degree to which getting a tattoo hurts might vary depending on factors like sex, skin condition, and tattoo placement.

Before you go to the tattoo shop, be sure you are informed of the discomfort, hazards, and consequences associated with tattoo regret.


Males and females who are biologically different often experience and manage pain in different ways. Additionally, particular body areas are more painful to tattoo on than others.

We gathered anecdotal information from websites maintained by professionals in the tattoo industry because there isn’t any scientific proof that indicates which parts of the body will hurt the most and the least when getting inked.

The majority of people agree that areas with the thickest skin, the fattest, and the fewest nerve endings are the least painful places to have tattoos. The areas of the body that have the least fat, the most nerve endings, and the thinnest skin are the most painful to get tattooed. Usually, bony parts ache a lot.

Discover which areas are most and least likely to hurt by reading on.

Everybody has a distinct way of dealing with pain. Both the location of your tattoo and your sexual orientation can influence how painful it is. Here, we’ll examine in more detail the most and least uncomfortable tattoo locations.


Where’s it hurt the most?

Getting a tattoo on a portion of your body with numerous nerve endings, close to bones with little fat, or where your skin is extremely thin is probably the most painful option. These locations may experience moderate to severe pain.


The armpit is one of the most painful areas to receive a tattoo, if not the most painful spot. You will feel excruciating pain while getting a tattoo here. In fact, the majority of tattoo artists advise against getting tattoos in the armpit area.

Rib cage

For most people, getting a tattoo on their rib cage is definitely the second most painful part of the process. It may be quite painful here. The area around your ribcage has a much thinner skin and less fat than the majority of other areas of your body.

Additionally, your rib cage and the skin above it move when you breathe, which might intensify the sensation of having a tattoo here.

Shins and ankles

Your shinbones and ankle bones are located directly below the surface of your skin, making tattooing these areas exceedingly painful. Tattoos on the shins and ankles typically hurt a lot. It hurts about as much as getting a tattoo across your ribcage.

Breasts and nipples

Being tattooed on the breasts and nipples can be really painful because these are such sensitive places.


The nerve endings in your groin can be inflamed by tattoo needles. Here, pain ranges from high to severe.

Kneecaps or elbows

Your bones are located just below the skin in your kneecaps and elbows. Tattooing over the bone can cause high to severe pain due to vibrations.

Back of the knees

Another area of the body where getting a tattoo may cause you to feel excruciating agony is this one. Skin that is loose and stretchy and has a lot of nerve endings can be seen behind your knees. Due to these qualities, this area is extremely vulnerable to tattoo needles.


Hip tattoos can be really painful because your hip bones are right under your skin. This is particularly true if you have little fat around your hips to protect your hip bones from impact.

Neck and back

Due to the sensitive nature of the neck and spine, neck and spine tattoos are among the most painful tattoos.

Face, ears, and head

Your head, face, and ears all have numerous nerve endings that, like those in the neck, can be inflamed during tattooing and result in excruciating pain. Your head, face, and ears don’t have much fat, therefore there isn’t much of a cushion for the tattoo needle to rest on.


Your lips’ skin is typically supple and covered in nerve endings. An inked lip will almost surely result in excruciating agony, as well as possible bleeding, swelling, and bruises.

Feet, toes, fingers, and hands

Tattoos are frequently inked on the tops, insides, fingers, and toes of the hands, feet, and extremities. On your hands and feet, getting a tattoo anyplace can be excruciatingly painful. Here, the skin is extremely thin and is home to numerous nerve endings that can become painful when a tattoo needle is inserted into them.

Additionally, the discomfort of getting a tattoo is increased when a tattoo needle disturbs the nerves in your hands and feet, which can result in severe spasms.


Pain from high to severe may result from stomach tattoos. Your physical condition has an impact on how much pain you feel. Compared to those with lower body weights, those with higher body weights typically have looser skin on their stomachs.

An individual with tighter skin over their stomach will probably feel less pain than an individual with looser skin in this region.

Internal bicep

Although the muscle in your inner bicep can lessen the discomfort of getting a tattoo in this place, the skin in this region is typically flexible and soft. Although getting a tattoo on your inner bicep can be quite painful, it often doesn’t hurt that bad. Tattoos here typically heal more slowly than tattoos on other regions of the body.


Where is it hurt the least?

Tattooed areas with tight skin, little nerve endings, little fat padding, and a distance from the bones are likely to hurt the least. These locations will experience low to moderate pain.

Some of the areas that are least uncomfortable are:

Outside upper thigh

There are not many nerve endings in this area of the body, which is extensively cushioned with fat. One of the least painful areas to get a tattoo is on the upper outside of the thigh, with most people reporting low to low-moderate pain.


Your forearms are covered in thick skin, a lot of muscle, and few nerve endings. Tattoo pain on the forearms is often mild to low-moderate.

Beyond the shoulders

One of the least painful places to get a tattoo is on the outer part of your shoulders because of the thick skin and lack of nerve endings. Getting a tattoo here typically causes low to low-moderate pain.

Outside bicep

The outer bicep is a suitable location for a tattoo since it has a lot of muscle but few nerve endings, which makes it less painful. Pain from outer bicep tattoos is often mild to moderate.


Calf tattoos often don’t hurt too much because the calves have a lot of fat and muscle and few nerve endings. Here, you should only experience mild to low-moderate levels of pain.

Back, upper and lower

Because the skin on your upper or lower back is thick and has few nerve endings, getting a tattoo there typically produces low-moderate to considerable amounts of pain. The less discomfort you experience, the farther away the tattoo is from the spine and hip bones and nerve endings.


Factors influencing pain

Numerous factors could influence how painful you feel:


According to research, those who are naturally female feel pain more strongly than men do. The physical and chemical variations between the bodies of men and women may be the cause of this. On the other hand, researchers have discovered that women accept suffering more than males do.

There is no concrete evidence to support the idea that women or men endure greater pain when receiving tattoos, though.


According to ResearchTrusted Source, folks who get tattoos may have a higher pain threshold under pressure than those who have never gotten inked.

Weight and age

There is no evidence to suggest this, however, it general consensus says that getting a tattoo as you get older and heavier makes it more painful. In comparison to younger skin, older skin may be more prone to bruises or pain.

Skin that is looser and potentially more susceptible to tattoos may be present in heavier individuals. Conversely, those with extremely low body fat may also experience greater pain.


Getting one done, how does it feel?

How you react to pain and where your tattoo is placed can both have a big impact on how it feels to get tattooed. Again, there is no scientific evidence to support this, but the tattoo community is fully aware of some sorts of discomfort.

A few general feelings are experienced frequently when receiving a tattoo. Before getting a tattoo, becoming familiar with these feelings will help you anticipate how you’ll feel and learn how to recognize abnormal pain.

Among the common types of tattoo pain are:

Scalding pain

The sensation of burning pain is similar to having a very hot object rubbed firmly against your skin. It is typically felt in regions where a tattoo artist has spent a lot of time working and is brought on by a combination of your skin’s sensitivity and the repetitive stress from having a tattoo needle pierce your skin in the same spot. It also frequently occurs where there is more fat under the skin.

Although burning pain is typically not severe, it can be extremely annoying.

Dull or underlying ache

According to tattoo artists, this is the best type of agony you can experience while receiving a tattoo.

Your body reacts by beginning to produce stress chemicals like adrenaline as soon as the needle starts to buzz loudly and prick you in the skin. These hormones actually help to lessen the pain so that it only feels like a background discomfort.

It’s possible that this dull discomfort will occasionally shift or get worse during the tattooing process. If you engage in another activity while getting a tattoo, such as conversing with your tattoo artist, listening to music, or watching TV, you’re more likely to remain in the dull pain phase.

Painful scratching

The most frequent sensation associated with receiving a tattoo is itching pain. A cat’s claws could be dragging across your skin as you experience this type of pain, which can seem like an excruciating scratch traveling across the tattooed area.

While this discomfort is typically not severe, if your tattoo artist spends a lot of time on one spot, it may be very painful. Additionally, it typically hurts more when several needles are inserted simultaneously as opposed to just one. When your tattoo artist adds shading, this is what happens.

A stinging or acute pain

As many little bee stings as there are sharp or stinging pains. The discomfort from this type of procedure feels like the needle is piercing your skin deeply. Sometimes it’s enough to make you want to avoid getting a tattoo!

When a tattoo artist uses fewer needles—or just one needle—to add extremely fine detail or create the outline of your tattoo, this type of discomfort is most frequently experienced. Sharp or stinging pain is more likely to be felt in body areas like the wrists and biceps that have thinner or tighter skin.

Although skilled tattoo artists know what they’re doing, a new tattoo might be botched by amateurs. Extremely extreme sharp or stinging pain may indicate that your tattoo artist inserted the needles too far into your skin.

This can result in a condition known as a tattoo blowout, in which the ink of a tattoo only penetrates the very top layers of skin that should be tattooed. The ultimate effect is a tattoo that is extremely uncomfortable and hazy.

By using a tattoo artist with extensive knowledge and staying away from tattooing on skin that is too thin, you can prevent a tattoo blowout.

Throbbing pain

When having a tattoo done in an extremely bony location, such as these, you may feel a vibrating pain:

  • Outside wrist
  • elbows
  • ribs
  • ankles

Nerves in your bones may detect a vibrating feeling when a tattoo needle pierces skin above the bone, especially if the needle is traveling at a high pace. This results in severe throbbing pain.

Pain that vibrates rarely feels severe, but it also doesn’t exactly tickle. If you are thinner and have less skin and fat covering your bones, you are more prone to experience vibrating discomfort.


How to lessen the pain

Here are some pointers for reducing tattoo discomfort:

  • If the agony is too much for you to bear, request that your tattoo artist take breaks.
  • Pick a highly skilled tattoo artist. Demand to see their certification and do a preliminary equipment inspection. Always ask your tattoo artist to use sterile tools and clean gloves.
  • If you are having a tattoo on your stomach, avoid eating before the procedure.
  • After getting your tattoo, follow the aftercare recommendations carefully to minimize pain and the possibility of issues. These include washing your tattoo, covering it with loose clothing, and applying ointment and moisturizer.
  • Before getting your tattoo, make sure you’ve received enough sleep. Before getting a tattoo, getting enough sleep will help you tolerate the discomfort better.
  • Remain sober when getting inked. Alcohol thins the blood, which increases the risk of bleeding and bruising. This may cause severe pain and potentially damage your tattoo.
  • Drink plenty of water to keep your skin taut and supple and to lessen the pain of getting a tattoo.
  • To lessen the discomfort you feel during your tattoo, try applying a numbing cream to your skin first. Shop online for tattoo numbing supplies.

Before you have a tattoo, consider the following

Although getting a tattoo on your body might take anything from minutes to hours, they are permanent. The only factor should be pain while deciding whether to get a tattoo. A tattoo can be removed, but doing so takes significantly longer, hurts more, and has unpredictable outcomes.

Prior to having a tattoo, think about:

  • Threats from infections, dye allergies, scars, and blood-borne illnesses
  • whether you’ll regret the tattoo’s design.
  • Consider if your tattoo’s appearance might change if you put on weight or conceive a child.
  • where you want your tattoo to be placed and whether you want to be able to cover it up with clothing.


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