Does It Hurt When You Get A Tattoo?
We include products we think are useful for our readers. If you buy through links on this page, we may earn a small commission. Here’s our process. Tattoos are among the most common body decorations globally. According to a 2010 study , a whopping 38 percent of people 18 to 29 years old have been inked at least once in their lives.
A natural question to ask is, “Does getting a tattoo hurt?” While most people will say yes, in reality this is a complex question to answer. Tattooing involves repeatedly piercing your skin’s top layer with a sharp needle covered with pigment.
So getting a tattoo is generally always painful, though people may experience different levels of pain. People who are biologically male tend to experience and cope with pain differently from those who are biologically female. In addition, the various parts of the body experience different levels of pain when tattooed.
While there is no scientific evidence that says which areas of the body will feel the most and least pain when getting inked, we gathered anecdotal information from sites run by people in the tattoo industry.
Here’s the general consensus: The least painful places to get tattooed are those with the most fat, fewest nerve endings, and thickest skin. The most painful places to get tattooed are those with the least fat, most nerve endings, and thinnest skin. Bony areas usually hurt a lot.
- 1 What does getting a tattoo feel like?
- 2 Does getting your first tattoo hurt?
- 3 How much do tattoos cost?
- 4 Can I handle tattoo pain?
- 5 How do you prepare for a tattoo?
- 6 Can I take painkiller before tattoo?
- 7 What hurts more linework or shading?
What does getting a tattoo feel like?
– It’s no surprise that getting a tattoo often hurts. Getting one involves receiving many microwounds over a concentrated area of your body. But there are different sensations of pain. Just think of the difference in sensation between a bruise and a cut. Tattoo pain will usually be most severe during the first few minutes, after which your body should begin to adjust.
If your tattoo is particularly large or detailed, the pain can become intense again toward the end, when pain- and stress-dulling hormones called endorphins may begin to fade. Some people describe the pain as a pricking sensation.
Others say it feels like bee stings or being scratched. A thin needle is piercing your skin, so you can expect at least a little pricking sensation. As the needle moves closer to the bone, it may feel like a painful vibration.
How painful is getting a tattoo?
How bad do tattoos hurt? – There’s no one-size-fits-all answer when it comes to how much pain you’ll feel when getting tattooed. But if you’re wondering what type of pain to expect, Caranfa says the experience is comparable to the feeling of a cat scratch or a sunburn.
“Long periods of irritation and tenderness are what make you feel any discomfort,” Caranfa says. “The sensation of a tattoo needle is very dull compared to a syringe [and needle], it isn’t the needle that causes discomfort as much as it is prolonged tenderness of being tattooed.
” Importantly, different people will report varying experiences of pain based on their individual nervous systems and pain thresholds , says Channelle Charest , a California-based tattoo artist and Co-founder of tattoo scheduling platform Tatstat. Other factors that could affect pain during tattooing include:
- Age: Studies suggest aging decreases your pain sensitivity , meaning elderly people might experience less pain when getting tattooed. Researchers have yet to determine why this happens but note that the size of parts of the brain that process pain decreases with age.
- Sex: People who are biologically female are more likely to experience greater pain intensity, a lower pain threshold, and a lower tolerance for induced pain compared to people who are biologically male. However, research is still emerging.
- Psychological expectations : If you go into a tattoo expecting it to be an excruciating experience, this might affect how much pain you actually feel. Studies suggest that people who feel anxious about and “catastrophize” pain before a procedure often experience higher levels of pain intensity and distress than people with “neutral” pain expectations.
Fortunately, most of the discomfort you feel while getting tattooed will end when your tattoo artist puts down the tattoo gun. “The sensation is only when the needle is in you,” Caranfa says, adding that while it’s typical to experience some soreness, swelling, and itchiness in the days after getting tattooed, it’s “not debilitating.
Does getting your first tattoo hurt?
For those worried about pain, Lavriv says tattoo newbies should start small. ‘I always recommend getting a smaller piece — under an hour — as a first tattoo,’ she says. ‘ Tattoo pain is a very subjective thing and while it can feel like not a big deal to some people, it can be excruciating for others.
How do I prepare for tattoo pain?
What tattoo spot hurts the least?
Least painful to tattoo – The least painful places to get a tattoo are areas of your body with fewer nerve endings. Think outer shoulder, calf, buttocks, and outer arm. While people generally focus on the location on the body, Stanley Kovak , a cosmetic physician, theorizes that pain is more about size.
How much do tattoos cost?
Factors of Average Tattoo Prices – There is a lot that goes into figuring out the cost of your new tattoo. It isn’t a straight forward answer. Things like materials, size, location, and type of tattoo affect the price. On average you can expect to charge $50-100 for a small tattoo, up to $200 for a medium tattoo and over $250 for a large tattoo.
Is there a painless tattoo?
HUSH Numbing Spray – Anesthetics are introduced to the skin by way of tiny drops or mists. It works immediately upon skin contact, making it a perfect product in keeping a painless tattoo while the artist is concentrating on creating a mind-blowing masterpiece!.
Do tattoos bleed?
Yes, it is completely normal. The very experienced tattoo artists will always ensure that as much ink is packed to ensure most of it remains. Even if excess ink is packed in your skin, and some comes out with the bleeding, it is perfectly normal and there is no need for you to worry.
Can I handle tattoo pain?
Consider the location of your tattoo – People have different levels of pain tolerance. Pain from tattooing is generally tolerable. However, some areas of the body are more painful to tattoo. Areas near bones like knees, hands, feet, head, neck and ribcage are more sensitive.
How long does a small tattoo take?
Expect about half an hour to an hour for a simple, small tattoo. Keep in mind, however, a small tattoo with lots of color, line work, details, or a tricky placement could take several hours. Small tattoos are great for people who don’t want to go through a lengthy tattoo process, but still want some cool ink.
How do you prepare for a tattoo?
How do you know your pain tolerance?
Cold pressor method – The cold pressor test is one of the more popular ways to measure pain tolerance. It involves submerging your hand into a bucket of ice-cold water. You’ll tell whoever is administering the test when you start to feel pain. Your pain threshold is determined by the amount of time between the start of the test and your first report of pain.
- Once the pain becomes unbearable, you can remove your hand;
- The time between the test start and when your remove your hand is considered your pain tolerance;
- While this method is more popular than others, some experts question its reliability;
It’s often hard to maintain constant water temperature. Even small differences in water temperature can have a major effect on pain intensity and tolerance time.
Can I take painkiller before tattoo?
‘You can take things like over-the-counter painkillers, but the sharp pain you have at the surface of the skin will still likely be felt during the procedure. ‘ You can take acetaminophen (like Tylenol) or ibuprofen (like Advil) can help with any soreness that occurs in the hours after you get your tattoo, but there’s.
What hurts more linework or shading?
Tattoo Shading – Unlike outlining, shading isn’t necessary for every tattoo. Color and shading simply provide more dimension than line work. Contrary to what you might expect, many people report that the shading hurts significantly less than the outlining of the tattoo.
If you’ve already made it through your line work, pat yourself on the back. You’ve likely conquered the most painful part already. You can do this! That said, you should understand what is happening during the shading process.
It’s not the simple, single pass of an outline. Rather, your artist will be packing ink into your skin repeatedly, often for hours at a time, over the same area—which is why some people mistakenly expect it to be more uncomfortable than outlining. But remember: Outlining is very detailed, and your tattoo artist uses needles of a different size for the process.
What is tattoo pain similar to?
What Does Tattoo Pain Feel Like? – A needle being inserted and reinserted into your skin over and over again is never going to be pleasant, but how painful the tattooing process is will depend on the individual. What does tattoo pain feel like? Some people describe the sensation as a burning, razor-sharp pain, while others describe it as feeling like you’ve been cut.
- According to Mariah, you might feel “a pinch that may feel a bit intense in the beginning but [will] fade to nearly nothing after a while;
- ” Forte adds that it can feel like a slight stinging or pressure sensation, but that most people get used to over the course of the session;
“It depends on the person getting tattooed and the artist doing the tattoo,” adds Velvet. “Some clients love pain, some clients hate pain. ” While few people may feel excited about getting a shot at the doctor’s office, most people are extremely excited to get a tattoo, which can also influence the type of pain they experience, Forte points out.
“I’ve had people tell me they love the feeling but most people just grin and bear it,” he says. Admittedly, some people are also just better at dealing with pain. Imagine a tattoo pain tolerance chart. If you have high pain tolerance, you’ll likely sail through the tattoo process with an expected cringe or two, but without any intense pain.
If you have a low tolerance for pain, on the other hand, our experts advise that your first tattoo should be small and located in a relatively pain-free spot. For some people, the thrill of the pain even becomes addictive. Some people will seek out a new tattoo as frequently as they can to experience the rush.
Do tattoos feel good?
– When you’re injured or in pain, your body releases endorphins , natural chemicals that help relieve pain and contribute to feelings of pleasure. Your body also releases these at other times, such as when you’re working out, eating, or having sex. Tattoos cause at least some pain, even if you tolerate it well.
- The endorphins your body releases during tattooing can make you feel good and cause a euphoric feeling;
- This feeling may linger for a little while, and it’s not unusual to want to experience it again;
- The way endorphins affect your brain isn’t too different from the way chemical pain relievers such as opioids affect your brain;
They involve the same brain areas, so the “high” you get from endorphin release could seem similar to the feelings opioids produce. But an endorphin high happens naturally and isn’t as intense. Wanting to feel that euphoria could play a part in your desire for another tattoo, but there’s no scientific evidence to suggest you can develop an endorphin addiction, whether your endorphin rush is related to a tattoo or to something else.
Whats the most painful place to get a tattoo?
- Tattoo pain will vary depending on your age, sex, and pain threshold.
- The most painful spots to get a tattoo are your ribs, spine, fingers, and shins.
- The least painful spots to get a tattoo are your forearms, stomach, and outer thighs.
Getting a tattoo involves an ink-filled needle repeatedly puncturing your skin. Consequently, it’s not unusual to wonder how much pain you should expect when considering a tattoo. As it turns out, pain is a highly subjective experience , and how much discomfort you feel while getting tattoed can depend on a couple of factors including your biological sex, pain tolerance, and most importantly – the area of your body getting tattooed.
Is tattoo more painful than injection?
What does tattoo pain feel like? – Even though needles produce tattoos, it doesn’t feel like you’re getting stabbed. It’s nothing like getting a shot, either. The artist is actually drawing on your skin, so it feels like that — but more burn-y. You’ll feel pressure from the artist holding your skin in place and from the needles pressing down, too.
For tattoos on skin that’s right on top of a bone, it may feel like the needles are scraping your bones. (We know, it sounds awful, but it’s honestly not so bad. ) The size and scope of a tattoo make a big difference in how painful it is.
Tattoos with a lot of line work or shading are more painful than a small tattoo with just an outline. Larger tattoos may also take multiple sessions, and coming back when the first round has just barely healed may make the second session more painful than the first.
- The pain also depends on your artist and their skills;
- Someone who isn’t quite as proficient may not be as gentle on your skin;
- This is why researching your artist and studio beforehand is a no-brainer;
- But just remember — the pain doesn’t last;
Once the appointment is over, you may have some discomfort for a few days while your skin starts to heal. As long as the tattoo was done properly, the pain won’t last much longer than that.