Does it Hurt to Do a Tattoo? Tattoo Pain Chart

Does it Hurt to Do a Tattoo? Tattoo Pain Chart

The tattooing process can easily be an excellent illustration of one very popular phrase «beauty requires sacrifice». And sacrifices here do not mean financial or other aspects of the issue. We are talking specifically about the painful sensations directly related to the peculiarity of the tattooing process.

Pain is the main reason that often stops a person from getting his first tattoo. But is it really so scary?

Over the thousands of years of tattooing as a ritual and over the past decades as an art, people have concentrated experience in this area and formed the so-called «pain chart» that clearly illustrates the degree of pain during getting a tattoo on specific areas of the skin.

Pain and tattoo

Of course, do not forget that the very perception of pain is an exclusively subjective measure that depends on many individual reasons and characteristics of your organism, however, this chart will allow you to get a general idea and mentally prepare for the session.

Very painful

It is guaranteed that it will hurt you very much if you decide to get a tattoo:

- On the ribs;
- In the groin area;
- On the areolas of the nipples;
- On the inside of the elbow or knee joints.


Slightly less painful, but still strong will be the sensations when you choosing as a place for a new tattoo:

- Head;
- Neck;
- Face;
- Belly;
- Palm;
- Hand;
- Knee;
- Elbow;
- Back surface of ribs;
- Inner thigh;
- Feet;
- Ankle;
- Wrist.

Pain and tattoo

Tolerable pain

A little easier for most people to go through the process of tattooing on:

- Buttocks;
- The inner surface of the calves;
- The middle of the back;
- Clavicle;
- Shin.


The most «comfortable» parts of the body for a future tattoo will be:

- Caviar;
- Forearm;
- Biceps;
- Shoulder;
- Outer side of the thigh.

What does tattoo pain look like?

As we already said, painful sensations, as well as their intensity, are individual, however, in some ways people agree each other.

Most people notice an increase of pain sensation during lines working, since they are applied using point-grouped needle configurations and, during drawing a continuous line, the sensations are very similar to a real cut.

In the parts of the tattoo that require even the densest shade, the pain sensations become weaker. This is largely due to the distribution of the load on the skin due to the special configuration of the needles, more like a shovel or an art brush.

Pain and tattoo

However, you should not indulge yourself with empty hopes that on a session of 4 hours, all pain will be left behind immediately after the lines will be finished. Even the most persistent of people notice a gradual increase in pain throughout the session, with the highest point at the moment before its end.

After the artists tattooed the last millimeter of the tattoo and removes the tattoo machine aside, the pain suddenly leaves, leaving behind only aching sensations similar to a not too severe burn.

Differences in pain perception of men and women

Women are fragile and delicate creatures, but in terms of tolerance to pain, they are persistent like real warriors, in many ways superior to men in this regard.

This is largely due to the peculiarity of the structure of the skin. The zone of deposition of subcutaneous fatty tissue in women extends to almost the entire surface of the back, most of the thighs, legs, due to which the painful sensations when tattooing these parts of the body are much less intense than in men.

The only thing a woman needs to consider when planning a tattoo is the menstrual cycle. During the period of menstruation, as well as a week before it, the painful sensations can increase many times over, therefore, experts recommend refraining from visiting a tattoo parlor at this time.

In men, the most painless places are the forearms and legs.

Pain and tattoo

How to reduce pain during a tattoo session?

The pharmacological development of the tattoo industry from year to year replenishes the palette of pain relievers for a tattoo session.

However, most tattoo lovers, regardless of gender, age or pain threshold, go through a tattooing session without the use of any medication.

If you ask any seasoned tattooist or head-to-toe tattooed fan about how to prepare for an upcoming session to reduce pain, any of them will answer the following:

Before the session, you should refrain from using alcohol or other drugs. We also wrote about the dangers of alcohol for tattoo earlier.

Get a good sleep before your session. Lack of sleep is weakness, weakness is additional pain.

Have a hearty breakfast. A strong spirit is in a strong body.

During the session,distract from the process by dialogue with the artist, playing on the phone, listening your favorite music, and so on.

Try to relax and not worry. Calm is the best pain reliever. No wonder they say: «Fear has big eyes».

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