Tattoos and Pain

Where is the least painful place to put a tattoo?

“My new tattoo hurts!”

Where is the most painful spot to put a tattoo?

If pain is a consideration, you must remember that any tattoo is painful during the application and healing process. Based on the number of ‘nerve endings’ under your skin, the actual amount of pain you feel will vary. Places like the hands, feet, arm pit, back of the knees, face/neck, and genital regions have a huge nerve supply and will therefore hurt more than the shoulder or calf.  The areas of the skin that physiologically need more sensation will be the same areas that will hurt more when you get a tattoo there.

Another issue is the blood supply.  Some areas of the body have a more robust blood supply than others, and if the skin is thinner there, you will see a lot more blood during the procedure.  Obviously if sterilization is not maintained, the more blood, the greater the chance of transmitting disease.  Tattoo parlor professionals are very knowledgeable about the regions of the body, infection control, and protecting you (and them) from disease.

Stay away from amateur tattooists and their equipment!

Everyone’s tolerance for pain is different, and everyone reacts differently. Start small, and go slow. Below is a quick overview of sensitive regions of the body, and a color key that shows the different variations of pain sensation in the body.

Here’s another pain scale from You get the point.

Then there are people who like the idea of pain or the perception of pain. Not sure why,  but it is what it is. . .

Remember, the pain will go away, but the tattoo is forever.

5 Responses to Tattoos and Pain

  • Lucille Rea says:

    I really enjoy the article post.Much thanks again. Will read on…

    • Flakka says:

      Thanks very much for your great cnomemts and links. The medical use is one that had not occurred to me, and I will definitely keep it in mind. I’m a little doubtful about the extent of the spiritual tradition, however. All of the Tibetans I spoke to (in Tibetan, in case you’re wondering) denied any such meaning to their tattoos, even those that were obvious religious symbols. Given how open most Tibetans are to discussing these ideas (I’ve had several conversations about the use of amulets, for example), it seems like people would be willing to discuss the religious meaning of their tattoos, if they felt there was any. That’s not to say that no Tibetans attach religious significance to their tattoos, just that my own limited experience with this indicates that the reasons Tibetans tattoo are more aesthetic than spiritual. I wish I had asked about medical reasons while I was in Kham, however, as that’s a really interesting point to pursue.Thanks again for the great cnomemts, and let’s keep in touch. The calligraphy is beautiful, by the way.

  • tensiometro says:

    Totally agree with you, about a week ago I wrote about the same in my blog!

  • tinnitus treatment says:

    Thanks again for the article. Really thank you! Really Cool.

  • Joetta Housey says:

    It’s hard to find knowledgeable people on this topic, but you sound like you know what you’re talking about! Thanks