If you ask 10 different tattooed persons about where do tattoos hurt the most, you might end up getting 10 different answers. In fact, it is hard to make a universal list of most painful places to get a tattoo. The real answer to most painful tattoo spots lies in which body part is most sensitive to you?
A general rule of thumb is that whichever body part feels tickling the most will be most painful to get a tattoo. Different people have different sensitive areas. For example, some people can not handle tickling on the stomach while many others will find it uncontrollable to handle thigh or inner arm tickling.
Body parts that do not get much sunlight are often sensitive. So, most people (say 75 out of 100) will find them as the most painful tattoo places. After discussing with several tattoo artists, we compiled a list that includes 10 most painful places for a tattoo.
Before jumping to the list let me clear you few myths – First of all there is no difference in the pain of solid black ink and colored ink. People often think that a colored ink will hurt less than a black ink. It is actually the design that plays a major role in deciding tattoo pain.
For example, a dotwork tattoo (aka dotted tattoo) will hurt less because the needle didn’t come in contact as much while an outline tattoo will hurt more. You will get most pain during the filling process. A good tattoo artist will often numb the area during the filling process and even take a break if you find the pain unbearable.
When you get tattooed, the needle of tattoo gun penetrates about 1000 times per minute inside your skin. You can understand how painful it would be if someone is to pin you even once. So obviously body parts that are chubby and fatty (like the stomach) are less likely to hurt than areas that are bony like elbow and knees.
Secondly, it’s about mental state. I have seen people crying on paper cut and if you’re one among them then think before you get a tattoo. You might take it as a joke but a good diet, proper hydration, and fitness play a vital role in tattooing. People who are physically fit tend to be more focused while getting a tattoo. On the other hand, people who are not well hydrated and don’t care much about their physique can even pass out while getting tattooed.
So without delaying any further here we present you 10 most painful places to get a tattoo –
Most Painful Tattoo Spots
10. Neck –
Neck joins your head with your torso and 20 major nerves are running through it. You might have felt throat pain once in your life. Ever had a painful cough? It is nothing compared to the pain that you will get when the tattoo needle punctures your neck skin. Throat would be more painful than collarbone but don’t think that you can easily withstand the latter.
9. Inner Thigh –
The inside of the thigh is meaty yet it is considered painful to get a tattoo on inner thigh. This is because inner thigh is one of the most sensitive organs on our body. The nerves lead up to the groin so the pain you will feel while getting tattooed will be almost equal to the pain you will feel when you get kicked on b@lls.
8. Rib Cage –
The rib cage is close to our nervous system. It neither has muscle, nor fat and not even much skin. This makes it one of the most painful body parts to get a tattoo. You feel a lot of scratching when you get tattooed on rib cage. This is not the only problem. As rib is close to nervous system to whenever you breathe you will even more pain. Also the healing process is painful as well.
7. Inside of Knees –
Areas that are sweaty should not be considered for tattoos. Inside of Knees is one such area. The knees along with the elbows are one of the boniest parts on our body. While getting tattooed on inner knee you will feel like as if the tattoo gun is penetrating right inside your knee bone. The pain is beyond words to describe. In fact it is common for the client to pass out during the process.
6. Nips –
Chest tattoos are one of the most common choices but this doesn’t mean they are not painful. If you are getting tattooed on (or around) your nips then think again because the pain might be too high for you. One common Kung fu move is to pinch nips of the opponent to distract them for a moment. The victim will feel an unbearable sensation of pain and might even stay on the ground after this move. That is just one pinch on the nip, now think about the tattoo gun puncturing your nips 1000 times per minute – OUCH.
5. Armpits –
This list goes on weird as you will find body parts that are hardly considered for getting a tattoo. Ever thought of getting a tattoo on your armpits? As I said sweaty body parts will make the tattoo healing messy. But it’s not just the after-care that you should be worried about; Armpit tattoos are one of the most painful tattoos that you can get. Still if you go on get a tattoo on armpit then consider booking a long session because you might not be able to handle the pain in one go.
4. Head –
Some parts of the body should be avoided to get a tattoo. Head is one among them. Your skull is like a natural helmet that protects your brain from taking minor hits. Nature put it there for a reason. Why would you go against nature and pay for penetrating your own skull to get a tattoo piece? Their common practices among gangs to have tattoos because this will mean you are a tough guy. I will give you an honest advice – DO NOT TRY THEM.
3. Face –
You liked that Ryan Gosling tear tattoo from the movie The place beyond the pines? Or Justin Bieber’s tiny cross tattoo on his cheekbones? Just avoid them because face tattoos can be the worst tattoo you ever tried. There is a reason why people who go for face tattoo opt for small sizes. You will get instant tears no matter how tough you are and this will ruin the tattoo right on the spot.
2. Genitals –
You will be surprised to know that genital tattoos have a dedicated fan following. There are many people who have got their penis or vagina tattooed. If you are thinking the same then sit back and think about your decision. Why would you needle your most sensitive part? In fact, I don’t even have to tell you how painful it would be? Just the thought of it gives me chills.
1. Eyes –
Do people really get their eyeballs tattooed? Just search for scleral tattoos and you would surprise to see the number of people who have tried it. Tattooing near the sclera (white part of the eye) is even avoided by tattoo artist but still many people have tried it. The pain is indescribable but it’s not just about pain. A model named Catt Gallinger goes blind after trying a purple scleral tattoo. She even commented that she cried purple tears for straight two days after getting the tattoo. Getting a tattoo on eye would simply mean that you hate yourself and your body.
So these are the universally accepted most painful places to get a tattoo? But does the list stops right there? No.
You must keep in mind that getting a tattoo is a painful process irrespective of the body part you chose. The pain may be less or more depending on various factors but consider it as a part of the process.
There are several options that you can follow to minimize the pain. Numbing creams like Benzocaine and Derma numb is often used by good tattoo artists to numb the skin that is about to be tattooed.
If you feel an unbearable pain, then feel free to ask the tattoo artist to stop right there. Do not think that getting tattooed shows how tough you are. It is an art form. Many people pass out when they try relatively large tattoos on sensitive body parts.
If you are beginner then start with a small tattoo on body parts like back, chest or stomach. Most people withstand the pain on these body parts. A small tattoo will also give you an idea of how tolerant you are to the tattoo pain.