Most Painful Places to Get a Tattoo

If you’re getting a new tattoo, one of the most crucial decisions you’ll make is where your new ink will be — the location is probably based on your aesthetic preferences, but you should also consider your threshold for pain.

Some of your friends that already have tattoos may claim the process was either a breeze or that they left the parlor in tears, so how can you know which story to believe? How much pain a tattoo will cause is largely determined by where on your body you get it.

How well do you know pain or your tolerance for it? If you’ve gotten a tattoo, you probably have a pretty good idea. But if you’re considering a new tattoo, remember that the following are some of the most painful spots to get a tattoo:

  • Face, head and neck: Because there’s no fat and there are many nerve pockets on the face and neck, it’s typically a very painful place to get a tattoo.
  • Rib cage: This area of the body doesn’t have a lot of skin, muscle or fat to act as a buffer, so you can feel the scratch of the needle more. Also, the ribs move every time you breathe, which can heighten the pain during the tattooing process.
  • Armpit: The armpit may be an odd location for a tattoo, but the collection of glands and the axillary nerve make this skin incredibly sensitive to pain.
  • Inside of arm and wrist: Two of three main nerves stretch through your arm, under the inner elbow and down to the wrist, making these areas highly sensitive. The nerves are pinched when you’re tattooed, which causes pain through the entire arm, not just the affected area.
  • Inside of thigh: This area on your body isn’t as exposed, so it’s sensitive and may rub your other leg during the healing process, causing discomfort.
  • Ankles, feet , nd hands: The skin over these areas is thin and sensitive, so there’s no cushion between the bone and needle. For the hands, there are also many ligaments — the ink doesn’t stick to the area well, and the artist will have to go over the area multiple times for the design to show.

Most of these locations have details in common — they’re near many nerves or have little skin or fat to act as a cushion between you and the needle. So if you’re considering a new tattoo near the ribs, inner arm or feet, then be honest about how much pain you think you can handle. Otherwise, find a more comfortable place in a fattier area.

Why Does It Hurt to Get a Tattoo?

Why does getting a tattoo hurt even if it’s not in one of these painful locations? Tattoo artists have to get the ink deep enough within your skin that it can’t be washed away, but not so deep that it disappears in the layers — this leaves the perfect spot right next to your skin’s pain receptors. To achieve this perfection, modern tattooing tools push the needling into the skin 80 to 150 times per second.

Check Out MEDermis Laser Clinic for Removal Services

If you’ve got a tattoo that you no longer want in one of these locations, consult the experts at MEDermis Laser Clinic for laser tattoo removal. We have offices in San Antonio and Austin, TX. We can remove any of your tattoos safely and affordably using only the best technology available to minimize scarring and damaged skin. Schedule your free consultation today by completing our online contact form or our laser removal specialists at 512-637-5277 (Austin) or 210-402-4030 (San Antonio).