Tattoo Pain Chart: A scale of how much tattoos hurt - AuthorityTattoo (2023)

  • Written byDan Hunteron July 19, 2018
    Last updated: November 28, 2020
  • Clinically verified byDR. Jennifer T. Haley, MD, FAAD

All tattoos are painful, but some areas hurt a lot more than others. Take a look at our tattoo pain chart below to see where you might scream "Ouch!"

Tattoo Pain Chart

Where do tattoos hurt the most?

You may hear me repeat this saying a few times in this article, but it is so true; everyone feels pain differently!

While the areas in the pain table below are generally where people experience the most pain when getting tattooed, it doesn't mean that you will have the same painful experiences if you get tattooed in those areas.

You may find that some of the body parts on this pain table pose a problem getting tattooed and alternatively you may find that some of the typically less painful areas are a real struggle. it all depends on how your body responds to different types of pain in different areas.

Tattoo Pain Chart: A scale of how much tattoos hurt - AuthorityTattoo (1)

Ways to reduce tattoo pain

While it is inevitable that you will experience at least some form of pain and discomfort during your tattoo session, there are several things you can do to reduce the pain and enhance the tattooing experience:

Remember thatatGo through the pain to get a tattoo

Always remember that no one has ever managed to get a tattoo without feeling some kind of pain and/or discomfort.

Yes, some people experience more or less pain than others, depending on the various factors mentioned above, but everyone sits in the chair with at least some apprehension/anxiety, knowing that it's going to hurt at least a little.

Remember why you are getting a tattoo

Many of you reading this will get a tattoo that will be meaningful to you. If you struggle with pain during the session, always remember why you are getting the tattoo and how much it will mean to you when it's done. After all, pain is temporary, and your artwork is for life.

Will a few hours of pain and discomfort be worth it in the end? I think you will all agree that it definitely will be.Choose a tattoo that suits you and your life, don't choose one just because it will be a little less painful. Your future self will thank you.

educate yourself

It's always helpful to know what you're getting yourself into before you head into the studio to avoid unwanted shocks and surprises.

Read as much as you can about the entire tattooing process - this is extremely easy these days with the power of the internet. So you are well informed about every step of your tattooing day.

This should help ease any anxiety you may have and keep you relaxed ahead of the session.

If you're really worried about your first tattoo, ask the tattoo artist what their typical day is like in the studio so you know exactly what's going to happen throughout the day.

Eat well beforehand and eat snacks

Make sure you have a large, healthy meal about an hour before your session. This will raise your sugar levels and keep them high for the next few hours. A large meal should also keep you energized so you don't feel sluggish an hour or two into your session.

If you feel lethargic, dizzy, or slightly unwell during your session, eat something sugary. The tattoo needle constantly piercing your skin can cause your blood sugar to drop, which can lead to some of these unwanted side effects.

Remember to let your tattoo artist know if you're feeling unwell or dizzy and they'll stop and give you a break to get some fresh air and collect yourself.

Make sure you are well hydrated.

Water has so many benefits that it is impossible to list them all. Just make sure you get yours.recommended amount of waterin the days leading up to the session and you should feel a lot better during the session.

wear comfortable clothes

The goal is to feel as relaxed and comfortable as possible—and wearing loose, comfortable clothing should go a long way in helping you feel relaxed in the chair.

Being fussy and fidgety because your short shorts get stuck in your butt isn't going to help you when you're trying to focus on battling the pain barrier. Think smart. If you're getting a tattoo on your arm, it would probably be wise to show up at the studio in a vest or tank top.

Think positive

As mentioned earlier, a positive mindset helps a lot when going through painful and uncomfortable situations. Bring your best perspective to the situation and you'll walk away proud of your awesome new tattoo and the way you faced the day.

(Video) People Describe the Pain of Getting Tattoos | Under the Skin

Sleep well the night before

There is nothing worse than sitting around for hours with 2 hours of sleep or having a hangover. You will enjoy the experience much more when you are in the most optimal and energetic state possible.

A bad night's sleep before getting a tattoo can leave you tired, restless, and restless throughout the day, which doesn't help you or the tattoo artist — and you certainly won't be able to take the pain either.

Listen to your artist's instructions

Your tattoo artist will always know what is best for you and how to keep you as comfortable, relaxed and pain free as possible.

Follow all of your tattoo artist's advice and you'll look better during your session. If they tell you to go outside for 5 minutes and get some fresh air because you seem like you have problems, go and do it!

Get something to bite

An old classic tactic! You must have seen at least one war film where a soldier has to have an arm or leg amputated in the field without access to anesthetics - what do doctors do? Give the person something to bite!

While it's not as extreme compared to a soldier at war - and you won't look as tough doing it - having something to bite on during combat can really help with the pain. Relief for a while when the tattoo artist goes through a particularly sensitive area.

Alternatively, many people claim that they find some pain relief by sucking on a lollipop or chewing gum - so these methods might be worth trying if you start struggling.


The most effective way to manage the pain is to breathe in and out slowly and deeply, like women do when giving birth. It has been scientifically proven to reduce the perception of pain and not damage your teeth like biting on something.

Make sure the skin area is in good condition

You don't want to come to your session with ahuge bruise, cut or sunburn on the area of ​​skin to be tattooed - it will not be good if a needle penetrates the area thousands of times a minute. Be sure to take care of the best procedure and healing outcome ahead of the day.

Also, make sure your skin around the area is nice and smooth. A few weeks before the session, moisturize the area regularly and drink plenty of water to ensure your skin is well hydrated. The less tight and dry your skin is, the less pain you're likely to feel (the difference may be small, but in these situations every little bit helps).

Listen to music/audio book or watch TV (if available)

As a general rule, try to do whatever it takes to take your attention away from the pain for an extended period of time. Switching on and listening to your current favorite album can potentially take your mind off the pain for a while to give you a much-needed break from the constant discomfort of the tattoo needle.

Talk to your artist (if he doesn't mind)

Yes, some artists are less interested in chatting while tattooing you (focus and all), but most will be happy to chat with you during your session.

Personally, this is the only method I've found that works best when trying to relieve pain. Time flies when you find something interesting to talk to your artist about.

Practice controlled breathing/meditation

This may work well for some people and not for others. Personally, I struggle with controlled breathing as my focus isn't very high when tattooing, but many people claim it does wonders for them.

Try to breathe as deeply as possible and try to just focus on your breathing and nothing else. Take 10 deep breaths, count each breath, and repeat.

There are also several medication methods that you can learn/practice to see if they help with the pain. Again, this is very unpredictable for humans depending on how good they are at focusing on things like deep breathing and focus.

Try a numbing skin cream

Again, this doesn't work for everyone, but rubbing a tattoo-specific numbing cream into the skin area before applying the ink can definitely help preserve some of itTattoo Painabsent.

There are a variety of numbing creams that are safe to use on tattoos, including one of the most popular products below.

For people who want a little extra help dealing with the pain, a good tattoo numbing cream can really help ease the pain.

One of the most effective tattoo numbing products currently available on the market isZensa numbing cream, which contains the highest amount of lidocaine approved by the FDA for over-the-counter use. The feedback on this product from thousands of customers is simply exceptional.

Simply follow the instructions that come with the cream and apply just before you start tattooing, so you can expect a less painful and more comfortable tattooing experience. The amount of cream you get in one tube also ensures you have more than enough for a large tattoo.

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Always check if the numbing cream can be used specifically for tattoos. There are a number of numbing creams on the market that are for general use and some of these creams can affect your skin/blood in certain ways, thereby jeopardizing the outcome of your tattoo.

Side effects such as tightening/slacking of the skin and thickening/thinning of the blood can definitely cause your tattoo not to be what you want and as such it is always recommended that you check the packaging of any numbing cream you intend to use. to ensure the product is safe for tattoos.

All of the numbing creams recommended above can be used before tattooing.

Where do tattoos hurt the least?

The pain table below contains a selection of locations where tattoos are generally less painful compared to the areas listed above.

Depending on the specific area, the lower parts of the body tend to have more flesh/fatty tissue protecting the bone or less sensitive nerve endings branching around the skin (or both).

Also, when tattooed, these areas of pain tend to cause less psychological anxiety (spurring yourself into a lip or nipple tattoo is not an easy task). Feeling more relaxed and less nervous/tense often helps reduce the body's perception of pain.

Tattoo Pain Chart: A scale of how much tattoos hurt - AuthorityTattoo (2)

Will my tattoo definitely hurt?

unfortunately,All tattoos stab; There is no other way to work around this problem. No matter what pain chart your tattoo lands on, your skin is still being pierced hundreds of times a minute, and 99% of people will experience at least a little pain as their nerve endings spread to every inch of your body.

The biggest deciding factor is of course the actual onePlace to get a tattoo on your body. Chest tattoos almost always cause more pain than upper arm tattoos, for example.

But at the end of the day, tattoo pain charts and scales only give you a very rough idea of ​​how much your personal tattooing experience will hurt and how painful each pin prick will be against your nerves. terminations.

A person with a more pain sensitive body will generally experience more pain during a tattoo session than a person with a higher pain tolerance. However, it is acomplete myththat all tattoos cause excruciating pain.

If you want to get even more knowledge about tattoos and tattoo pain specifically, then visit ourthe most painful tattooseless painful tattoosGuides can help you.

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