What Does a Tattoo Feel Like? [Most Painful & Less Painful Tattoo Areas]

The tattoo is one of the creative artworks on the body. People experience different feelings and emotions related to it. A tattoo may be a passion to someone whereas to another person, it is an expression or emotion.

If we have to discuss how it feels to undergo the tattoo process, which will require a lengthy article on the same. This article covers all the possible feelings, confusions, and experiences of people before, during, and after the tattoo.

We will stick to the subject in most of the article and shall discuss at length where we have researched people’s experiences with tattoo art.

Let’s begin with something interesting; nothing great comes free of cost! Tattoo is a beautiful art and other than money, you also need to deliver patience, cooperation and bear the pain of needles.

No matter how experienced your tattoo artist is, pain and perfection are both sides of a tattoo. If you are willing to accept the pain, expect perfect tattoo art results!

 What Does a Tattoo Feel Like?

Some feel like a poking sensation and to someone, the tattoo process feels like vibrations on the body. It depends on how sensitive your skin is and how it adapts to the thin needles.

No matter how good you are at controlling your emotions, expect some pricking sensation and vibrations on the skin. One of the important aspects to remember before you plan a tattoo is to prepare yourself for the tattoo.

Your mind should be able to adapt to tattoo art so that you are confident to bear the factors involved in the process. It’s a different feeling every time to get a tattoo on different parts of the body.

Once you have done your first tattoo, you are more confident and prepared for other tattoos on your body. You are aware of the level of patience and pain.

So far, we have discussed the negative side for you so that you accept tattoo artwork completely.

We cannot disagree that once you are through with the tattoo, the results are worth the pain and patience! It’s a different feeling to flaunt the tattoo wherever you go.

According to the experiences shared by tattooed people, below are some thoughts to share with you:

There is certainly some sort of discomfort while going for a tattoo. This discomfort is in the mind at first due to various thoughts and fear. Further, the comfort level is compromised while the process begins.

The part of the body, size of the tattoo, individual pain tolerance levels, skin type and sensitivity, and technique selected matter too. Thus, the feelings may vary from person to person.

How Does the Process of Tattoo Feel Like?

Choosing the right tattoo parlor and the right artist plays a vital role. Once you have found the right channel for your body art, you may remove the fear and confusion from the mind.

The stage of fear is gone as you are in the right hands now. You will be asked to fill certain consent forms and do the initial formality. You will realize the fear transforming into excitement slowly for the tattoo.

Your tattoo artist will make you experience the following:

  • He/she will clean the area and shave any hair off. The first step looks pretty cool to begin with and is not painful at all.
  • The stencil of the chosen tattoo is placed on the skin with the support of water or moisture stick. Your consent and go ahead is important here so that the tattoo artist can move further to the next steps. You can expect a tickling feeling instead of pain.
  • The main process of tattoo begins now. Once you have approved the stencil placement, the linework begins. This is the point when you feel pain, burning sensation, and needle pricking sensation. You may listen to music, take deep breaths, and stay cool. Don’t worry; you are not the first person to go through this. Moreover, your tattoo artist is there to be of assistance to you.
  • Post the outline of the tattoo, shading and coloring begin. Shading is usually less painful compared to the outline. However, the experiences may vary from individuals.
  • The professional will complete the tattoo process by applying an appointment to your skin and a bandage.
  • You will be given a list of instructions to follow so that you don’t feel any discomfort or inconvenience while the tattoo heals.
  • Some people experience sunburn like feeling on the tattoo for about a week or so. For anything unusual, you can always reach out to your artist and express how you feel.

Do Tattoos Always Hurt?

The procedure of tattoo involves needles. The needles filled with pigment are repeatedly pierced into the deeper layers of the skin.

Although tattoos may involve some pain, those with sensitive skin, thin skin, and the least fats on the body need to be more careful.

Pain is a broad subject to define especially when every individual reacts to it differently. Some are scared about even the thought of a tattoo and some enjoy this artwork on their whole body.

To most people, the pain is usually more when the process begins and it lasts for few minutes until the skin gets used to the needle.

It is similar to pain between a mild bruise and a cut. The size of your tattoo also decides the level of pain you will go through.

For instance, larger-sized tattoos and colored tattoos pain more. Even the detailed tattoos are more painful than the rest. Some people compare tattoo pain with bee stings or a nail scratch.

Does Color Tattoo Hurt More?

The process of a tattoo itself is somewhere painful but, if you have to compare your tattoo art with colors, lighter colored tattoos hurt more than the darker colored tattoos.

In some studies, professionals have also stated that the experience of the tattoo artist also matters if you have to define pain.

An experienced and efficient tattoo artist who is an expert in handling needles is least likely to cause you any pain while performing the art.

Thus, the demand for expert tattoo artists is more and appointments are booked months prior.

Other than just the colors, the placement of the tattoo and skin type also matters to decide the pain level. Some clients have experienced more pain in colored tattoos than the normal black ones.

The best solution is to get a small test done to know if you are able to bear the pain and how sensitive your skin is to adjust to the process.

We still suggest that you experience it by yourself as every individual reacts to the artwork differently regardless of the ink.

10 Steps to Get Used to Tattoo Pain

That’s a smart way to get hold of the pain. When you cannot ignore it, face it and when you have to face it, you must face it smartly! There are ways you can minimize the pain or get used to it confidently.

Let’s discuss this in the steps below:

  1. Choose a part of the body for tattoo placement that you can tolerate.
  2. The size and technique of the tattoo must be appropriate as well.
  3. Get a physical examination done to ensure you are mentally and physically fit for a tattoo. A physical examination will make you free from the fear of tattoos and related confusions as well.
  4. Get mentally prepared for basic and most commonly experienced feelings during the tattoo process like stinging, vibrating, dullness, burning, itching, scratching, and poking.
  5. Go to a licensed tattoo parlor only and book an appointment with a professional artist. Experienced professionals take less time to complete the tattoo than other artists.
  6. Sleep enough before and after the tattoo. Avoid taking blood-thinning medications.
  7. Avoid going for tattoos when you are unwell. Your body must be fit to bear the basic pain and swelling. Healing takes longer too, thus you need to be physically fit for a tattoo process.
  8. Eat well! You must feel good and stay hydrated all the time. Some tattoos take longer and so you must eat sufficient to sit for prolonged hours that include the preparation process for the tattoo as well.
  9. Wear loose clothing so that you don’t feel sprain or strain sitting for longer. Sometimes, the waiting period is longer than the tattoo process if your tattoo artist is busy with appointments.
  10. Keep your tattoo artist updated on the status of your tattoo. You may also ask if they can refer to any skin-numbing cream to settle the pain or burning sensation.

Where Are the Most Painful and Least Painful Areas for A Tattoo?

Before we explain the most and least painful spots for a tattoo, you need to remember that it is not the same for everyone. The pain level and tolerance level of the person go parallel to each other.

To some even the basic common tattoo area may look like a killer whereas to others, it may simply feel like a beard shaving feeling.

However, we agree that there is a certain consensus that speaks about body parts that hurt the most compared to the other areas for a tattoo.

According to the surveys, tattoos close to bone areas like ankles and ribs are more painful than tattoos done on fatty or fleshier areas of the body.

Tattoo experts have also stated that armpits and forehead are known to be the most painful places to most people for tattoos.

Some less painful areas for tattoo as expressed by experts are the outer shoulder, outer arm, buttocks, and calf. These areas on your body have fewer nerve endings and thus, the feeling of pain is tolerable by many.

23 Most Painful Tattoo Areas

  1. Armpit
  2. Ankles & Shin
  3. Nipples
  4. Breasts
  5. Groin
  6. Chin
  7. Rib cage
  8. Behind the knees
  9. Elbows
  10. Kneecaps
  11. Hips
  12. Head
  13. Forehead
  14. Face
  15. Ears
  16. Neck
  17. Spine
  18. Lips
  19. Fingers
  20. Toes
  21. Feet
  22. Stomach
  23. Inner bicep

7 Least Painful Tattoo Areas

  1. Forearm
  2. Outer shoulder area
  3. Outer bicep area
  4. Calves
  5. Upper and lower back
  6. Arms
  7. Hands

Final Words:

Consider all the possibilities of tattoo to understand your decision better. Until you are completely sure, going for a tattoo would be a naïve decision.

Get all your queries and confusion clear with your tattoo artist before you decide to go for a tattoo. You must be stress-free to be pain-free during your tattoo. Get excited now; you are performing one of the most desired body arts!