How Much do Tattoos Hurt

By | February 8, 2014

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Many people would love to get tattoos but they fear the pain it causes. An adult can easily withstand the pain experienced during the tattoo making process. The intensity of the pain may vary from person to person. There are many factors which may affect the pain intensity. One important factor is the tattooist. The experience of the tattooist and his skill in inking the tattoo will determine how much he can lower the amount of pain. His/her way of doing the tattoo will determine how painful tattooing will be. The other factors are given in the following paragraphs.


Tattoo placement determines a lot about the pain. The areas near the bones, nerves and cartilage tend to hurt more than areas which have more muscle and fat. Tattoos which will hurt more are those made on the head, ribs, wrist, elbow, on the back near the spine, ankle and even foot tattoos. These areas are either bony or have nerves and cartilages. These areas will also take time to heal and will also pain during the healing process. So one must understand that they do hurt and be prepared to bear the pain. The areas which are rich in muscle and fat like thigh, calf, stomach, lips and upper arm are the least painful places to get a tattoo. So if you do not want to bear the pain then go for these places.

Size and Type

If the tattoo is small and is simple then obviously it will be completed in less time and of course the pain will also be for less time. In large-sized tattoos the work cannot be completed in one go as the skin becomes hard after some time. Hence in case of large tattoos you may need to take multiple sittings with the tattooist. This will cause more pain and tattoo healing will take more time. The next thing is the type of tattoo. If the tattoo is simple it will be completed soon, in turn causing less pain while a complex tattoo design will require more time for completion. Filling colors in tattoos, for instance, is painful for some.

Pain Threshold

Some people may experience a lot of pain during the making of a tattoo and some may feel less or no pain during the process. This is because some people have more sensitive nerves and skin than others. This may also depend upon the pain tolerance level of the person. Researches reveal that women are more tolerant towards pain than men.

Psychological Factors

Your psychology plays a very important role here. There are many people who fear the needle. Hence although they may not be in pain, they think they are. The fear of the pain tattoos cause may sometimes also lead to fainting, which is in fact not a result of tattoo pain, but of mere fear. Drop in sugar or salt levels in the body might cause a person to faint during a tattooing session. So, if you are going to get a tattoo, don’t think too much about the pain.

How to Reduce the Pain

Here are few tips which can help you reduce the pain to some extent.

  • Drink lots of water and keep yourself hydrated as it will help in healing.
  • Try not to look at the area which is being tattooed. People who have a fear of needles should follow this point.
  • Make yourself psychologically prepared for the tattoo. This will also reduce the fear of the needle and the pain.
  • Follow the instruction of your tattooist and take proper tattoo care. It will heal fast and will reduce the pain to a great extent.

So, decide when and where you would want to get a tattoo done. Make sure you go to a certified tattooist to get the best results and trusted service. Good luck!

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