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ToP 10 Most Painful Areas to Get a Tattoo: A Guide to Tattoo Pain by Body Part

tattoo pain spots


Tattoo getting is one of the individual actions that depend solely on the desire of a person and may contain symbolism. Whereas the actual result of the tattoo, whether it be a design created from scratch, a custom portrait, or a logo placed on human skin, is asserted as an expression of freedom, the process is painful varying with the location of the tattoo. Tattoo pain depends on one’s personal pain threshold, and the intricacy of the design, and, one cannot underestimate the region of the body where the tattoo is to be done. Here are the 10 most painful areas of the body for a tattoo, so you aren’t caught completely off guard if you’re getting a tattoo at one of these spots.

  1. Rib Cage

One of the most painful areas that are often recommended to be tattooed includes the rib cage. The skin here is thin and the areal has little fat to protect the skin from the tattoo needle. The first sensation that people experience is highly unique and focused because nerves are located close to bones; touching an area with fingers results in sharp pain. This part of the body may sometimes cause even the most experienced tattoo lovers to think twice.

  1. Spine

People with lower back tattoos are known to have the most painful tattoos. There is only a thin layer of skin over the spine and there is little muscle or fat on the bones to shield it, so the needle feels as if it is puncturing the bone. It is commonly reported as a throbbing and pulsating kind of pain, that extends throughout the body, and this is one of the most difficult areas for both the tattooer and the tattooed individual.

  1. Ankles and Shins

Foot tattoos, particularly the ankle area and the shin are extremely painful since these areas are less muscled with thin skin. The bone is almost just under the skin and the repeated puncture of the needle can hurt a lot when applying a sharp and biting sensation. Also, these parts of the body take longer to heal and when they do, they develop swellings and sometimes dark patches that cause more pain.

  1. Elbows

Tattooing over the elbow joint is extremely painful for example. The skin of the elbow area is thicker and can hardly stretch, so for one, it must use more force while piercing the skin with the needle. It also results in frequent shifting and flexing of the elbow which also proves to be a disadvantage in the said procedure since the skin has to be taut for the artist to duly tattoo.

  1. Knees

The knee area, in particular, the anterior and posterior surfaces, are good areas for tattooing. The front of the knee is a very hard area near the knee cap with little padding while the back part of the knee, or the knee pit as it can be called is a very sensitive area with many nerves and thin skin. Both areas are rather sensitive and can be extremely painful; some people mentioned that the burn and sting were reminiscent of the sensation one feels when getting tattooed on the back of the knee.

  1. Armpits

They are innervated and located in one of the sensitive areas of the human body with rather thin skin. The degree of pain that the clients feel with armpit tattoos can be described as severe or burning and may be unbearable. Also, the area of the armpits is very sensitive, and sweating is amplified, making it not very suitable for tattooing as well as affecting the process of healing.

  1. Hands and Fingers

Tattoos on hands and fingers have become so fashionable, though a painful area to have tattooed. The outer layer of both the hands and fingers is thin and contains many nerve endings which is why they are sensitive. This is because the bones and joints in the hands are relatively close to the skin’s surface, thus causing the sensation of pain. Moreover, hand tattoos usually fade quickly and need to be retouched very often because this area is very active.

  1. Feet and Toes

Hands fingers feet and toes are very important parts of the body because they are loaded with nerves and the skin is very thin. Tattooing these areas is quite painful since the feeling can best be described as stinging or burning. Swelling of the feet and toes is also common and this makes it possible for the discomfort to take longer to disappear when healing.

  1. Inner Bicep

To be more specific the inner bicep often referred to as the bicep art is a tender zone with many nerve forks and thin skin. The type of pain that is felt here is of a sharper and stronger kind as the needle here can be perceived in a better way. This area also requires the arm to be stretched out and this may cause discomfort especially when one is being impressed by the set tattoos for a long time.

  1. Chest

The chest especially around the sternum is tender to touch, this is due to the skin being thin and the sternum being close to the surface. The area that is most painful to tattoo is the region of the ribs, since the skin there is rather fatty, and the vibrations cause great discomfort during the work. The chest is also involved in breathing movements: during inhalation, it lifts, and during exhalation, it drops down, which may complicate the process.



Even though the discomfort of the procedure depends on the individual, some sites are considered to be more sensitive than others. It should be noted that if you are thinking of getting a tattoo in any of the above listed top 10 most painful places the above tips must be put into practice to enable one to prepare both mentally and physically to endure the pains that come with the tattoo. Consulting your tattoo artist about ways of minimizing the pain, proper hydration, and healthy conditions can alleviate the situation. Of course, the pain is temporary, but the art remains with the person for a lifetime, making the trial valuable for many tattoo lovers.


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