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Do Tattoos Hurt?

The short answer is of course tattoos hurt -- you're getting poked repeatedly with a needle. But there are actually several different factors that play into why tattoos hurt, where they hurt the most, and how you can reduce the discomfort.

How Does it Feel to Get a Tattoo?

Some people describe it as a sort of scratching. Others say they feel a sort of burning or a dull ache. On more sensitive spots, it may sting a little (but it shouldn't sting too much). You may also notice the vibrations of the machine, especially on a bony spot.

Where Do Tattoos Hurt the Most?

Typically, the most painful places to get tattooed have:

* the most bone

* the most nerve endings * thinner skin * minimal fat That's why your back is typically not too bad, but turn the corner to the side ribcage and you might need to bite down on a pillow and cry a little bit.

What Body Parts Hurt the Most to Get Tattooed?

While it varies from person to person, generally, the most painful places to get poked are your ribs, ankles, feet/toes, elbows, hands/fingers, kneecaps, neck, spine, armpit, shins, groin, breasts, nipples, behind the knees, hips, head, ears, face, lips, stomach, and inner bicep.

Where Does it Hurt Least to Get Tattooed?

If you're worried about the pain, you could always pick a spot that's the least painful. Typically, the least painful spots for a tattoo are forearms, outer thigh, shoulders, back, biceps, and calves.

What Makes Tattoos Hurt More or Less?

Ultimately, pain is subjective and varies greatly between person to person -- and maybe your biological sex. One study found, on average, biological females felt 20 percent more pain than biological males -- but another study found women tend to accept and deal with that pain better.

Other factors may also make it hurt more. If you get tattooed longer or you're feeling extra stressed, it may hurt more. Other research suggests your body adapts to the pain. People with more tattoos feel less pain than people getting their first poke. So logically, if you want your tattoo to hurt less, just get more tattoos. Logically.

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