Yes, getting ink under your skin hurts. That’s undeniable. But tattooing pain varies from person to person because we not only have different thresholds of pain but depending on the area you’ll get the tattoo, the pain may slighter or harder. Also, starting with a full-back tattoo may be advisable in most cases.
Pain will always be part of the experience of tattooing, even at a sociological level, it is considered a rite of modern passage between youth and adulthood. It is a way of accepting one's maturity through pain. However, there’s no need to exaggerate.
We prepare you a list with the least and most sensitive body parts so that you make a fully-informed decision about where you want to get your tattoo as well as the possible discomfort that may occur after the ink session. Also finding an experienced tattoo artist that can ease the process can help tremendously.
Least Sensitive Parts of Your Body
Shoulders and arms are some of the least sensitive areas of the body to get a tattoo. Also, for muscular and plus size persons, getting ink can be less painful. On the other side, thinner people can be somewhat extra sensitive to needles.
Thighs are also considered to be less painful areas to get a tattoo. However, the natural presence of stretch marks in the area can increase the sensitivity since tattooing over scar tissue is usually more painful.
Even for those people who considered themselves highly tolerant of pain, starting with a small tattoo in a less sensitive area may be the best option when it comes to debut in the world of body art.
When you have never been tattooed and are not sure what to expect, it is a good idea to stick with the areas of the body that are considered a bit less sensitive. Even if you have a high tolerance for pain, this is something that may be new to you and it is better to see how much you can tolerate before choosing to get tattooed on a section of your body that is more sensitive.
The Most Sensitive Parts of Your Body
Areas of the body characteristically bonier such as feet, hands, ribs, even armpits have less adipose or muscular tissue for protection and are characteristically more sensitive. The rule seems to be: if you get tickling in an area of your body having your first tattoo there won’t be the best idea.
For tattooists as well as for customers, neck or rib cage tattoos are quite challenging. Not only the discomfort is substantial for the customer, but the tattoo artist must battle with getting it right while you're breathing, talking and possibly moving from time to time because of the pain. With each inhalation and exhalation, there is a risk of missing the needle and having to emphasize or correct the design. A rib cage Tattoo is something that shouldn’t be taken lightly and requires an experienced tattoo artist but is also recommended that the customer has experience being tattooed.
However, they are often requested by people who want to place a symbol close to their hearts or prefer to wear their art piece in a more discreet place. The closeness of skin and bones in this and other areas of the body generates some extra sensitivity that can create the sensation of being punctured in the bone, so the sensation can be quite different, but, if your dream is a rib cage tattoo, don’t quit, just keep in mind that it won’t be all hearts and flowers.
Ankles and feet are, for the same reasons, very sensitive areas to get a tattoo, paradoxically, they are popular areas, especially among women, who are looking for their first tattoo and, although it may be painful, they get through the process and love the results.
How long the pain will last
Of course, the most painful part of getting a tattoo is getting the ink under your skin using a needle that goes at a very high speed to place pigments permanently under the dermis. We know this for sure. Nevertheless, once the tattoo session is over considered the following healing process of skin inflammation to re-establish from the change that has occurred. Bruising, swelling and sensitivity in the tattooed area like sunburns, are some of the normal sensations that can arise for several days.
How to Ease the Pain of Getting a Tattoo
There are people who believe it is a good idea to get drunk before getting a tattoo so that they will not have to experience as much pain, but this is just a myth. Alcohol makes your blood thinner and that means you can start bleeding a bit too much while the tattoo artist is trying to ink your skin. It could cause a lot of frustration for you and for the artist.
Some people believe it is a good idea to get drunk before getting their first tattoo, but this is just a myth. Alcohol makes your blood thinner, meaning you’ll start bleeding unnecessarily while the tattoo artist is trying to work on you. It could cause a lot of frustration for you and the artist.
While it’s normal to experience some pain during this process, you can do a few different things to improve the experience and feel a bit more comfortable the whole time you are getting a tattoo on your skin.
Eat Before You go to Your Appointment
Getting a good night rest and a healthy meal with freshly squeezed orange juice before getting a tattoo is the best idea ever. Not only you’ll boost your immune system, but you will go to the tattoo parlor feeling much more relaxed and ready for the session.
The process of having a tattoo on the forearm can last between 3 to 6 hours depending on the level of detail and complexity, during all that time it is essential to stay hydrated and possibly you won’t be able to eat.
Feeling dizzy and dehydrated while performing a tattoo is a common phenomenon. It happens because the body is facing a constant "external threat" for a long time and reacts generating a mild fever. Preparing yourself to eat healthy and drinking lots of water can help you recover faster.
Some creams and ointments can reduce the pain of getting a tattoo. Check with your tattoo artist about its use and recommendations about these products before applying them because while applying a tattoo or starting to tattoo, the area is typically cleaned with alcohol and other products that could interact with the numbing ointment.
There is no such thing as a Pain-free Tattoo, it’s part of the experience, and in the long run, you'll feel proud of having endured the process and will be able to brag about having the design you've always dreamed.