No matter how the world has come and how developed technology today truly is, there’s one fact of life that has remained for millenniums and continues to persist up to today: getting tattoos are painful.

Whether you’re about to get your first tattoo or are running out of free space on your body because you have so many of them, the potential pain that you’ll be able to feel once a needle pierces your skin will always remain the same.

Now, while it may be clear that the answer to the “will getting a tattoo hurt” is an undeniable and resounding yes, it’s important to understand that getting inked in some parts will hurt more than others—so, the better question to ask is “how painful can getting a tattoo be?”

If you’re planning your next tattoo and persistently grimace at the mere thought of how painful it could possibly be, here are two important things to know:

  • There’s no such thing as a “painless” area on your body when you get a tattoo
  • Knowing which parts of the body will hurt the most and least when getting a tattoo will help with calming yourself down and making the experience more bearable

To help ease your curiosities before your next tattoo session, let’s go over various parts of the body and their corresponding pain levels in greater detail:

The most painful areas to get a tattoo on

Generally speaking, the areas of the skin with the most nerve endings are going to be the most painful ones to get a tattoo on because they’re more tender and sensitive than other areas in the body. Here’s a quick guide on the most painful areas on the body to get a tattoo in and their corresponding descriptions of pain:

Part of the body How painful is it?
The armpit If there was a scale of tattoo pain, then the armpit easily earns its place at the top. In spite of the fact that they’re quite rare, armpit tattoos have caused people to faint from the pain, which is why most artists strongly advise against them.
The ribs The rib cage can easily yield one of the most painful experiences because the skin around the ribs themselves is extremely thin and typically has lower fat levels.
The nipples and breasts Like armpit tattoos, nipple and breast tattoos are extremely rare but severely painful because they’re two of the most sensitive parts in the body.
The ankles and shins With minimal fat storage levels and lots of nerve endings, the ankles and shins are guaranteed to provide the same level of severe pain that you’d get with the rib cage if they get tatted on.
The head Regardless of whether you’re looking to get your forehead, cheeks, neck, or ears tattooed, you can expect severe levels of pain that may jolt you into an epiphany mid-session that getting inked on the head isn’t the smartest idea.

Parts of the body that can either be excruciatingly painful or tolerable

By some miracle of biology, there are actually some areas of the body that won’t have to be as painful as the others when it comes to tattoos, considering that you’re in shape and follow a healthy lifestyle, of course. Depending on whether you have a six-pack or a food baby, getting a tattoo in certain areas can either hurt intensely or be manageable:

Part of the body How painful is it?
The stomach With a pain scale that spans from “like a pinch” to “being stabbed,” getting tattooed on the stomach can either be a no-brainer or a no-go depending on how your body’s looking. If you’re in shape and have minimal fat around the stomach area, then it’s ideal to go for a stomach tattoo.
The inner bicep Similar to the stomach, the pain that you can potentially experience with getting a tattoo in the inner bicep can vary depending on whether you’re in shape or not.

The least painful parts of the body to get a tattoo on

Despite all the painful areas, there are actually several parts in the body that each yield low to moderate pain levels when you get a tattoo on them, such as:

Part of the body How painful is it?
The outer thigh With a thicker layer of skin and fewer nerve endings, the outer thigh is the perfect area to get inked on if you’re tired of having to embarrass yourself by crying on the chair out of pain.
The scapula Similarly, with the outer thigh, the scapula areas are the least painful areas to get tattooed on because of the lack of nerve endings and a thicker layer of skin. Nevertheless, make sure that you don’t go deep into the spine or near it!
Two-thirds of the arm (the shoulder and triceps) The arms are the first tattoo area for most people simply because it is nearly impossible to feel any copious amounts of pain if they’re tattooed on.

Final words

If you’re looking to get back in the chair and have some artwork worked into your skin sometime soon with your local tattoo artist, it always helps to know which parts of the body can hurt the most or least during a session.

Are you currently looking for a tattoo artist whose works are so good that they make the pain of getting inked well worth it? Look no further and schedule a session at one of Buffalo, New York’s finest tattoo parlors with Lucky Deville Tattoo Co. today! 

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