How Much Does a Tattoo Hurt

How much does a tattoo hurt? It all depends upon who you ask, what kind of tattoo you're getting and where you plan to have it placed. Most importantly, it depends on your pain threshold level. In the end, a tattoo requires a needle to repeatedly stab into your skin, so there is bound to be some discomfort.

Type of Tattoo
The type of tattoo you choose to get has an obvious impact on how painful the process will be. A complicated sleeve tattoo with many colors is going to take much longer to create and heal than a small upper arm tattoo in a single hue. Remember, the healing process can be painful, too-this should be included in the overall pain equation. Quite simply, the longer it takes the tattoo to heal, the longer you'll be in pain.

Tattoo Placement
One of the main factors in how much a tattoo will hurt is the placement of the body art. Areas that are nerve and cartilage rich, or those located near bone, are going to cause more pain than areas that are rich in fat and muscle. A tattoo on your thigh or bottom will cause far less pain than a tattoo on your ankle or hand.

The least painful places to get a tattoo are the thigh, bottom, calf, stomach and upper arm. The most painful places to get a tattoo are the spine, foot, ankle, ribcage, wrist, elbow and head. It is also extremely painful to have your eyeball tattooed-believe it or not, eyeball tattoos do exist.

Pain Threshold
Pain is a relative term. What one person may feel is intolerable pain is something another person might describe as slight discomfort. This isn't in terms of just how much pain you can tolerate, but how much pain you actually feel. Some people's nerve endings are more sensitive, so they feel pain quickly. Other people have very tolerant nerve endings, and they literally don't feel the pain until a higher threshold has been reached.

The best way to measure your pain threshold is to think about the last time a doctor gave you a shot. This doesn't mean getting a shot and getting a tattoo are alike, but it does give a general idea of how well you deal with pain and needles. If it was a horrid experience that left you shaken, you'll probably find getting tattoo rather painful. If it was just a bland experience that you quickly forgot about, you'll probably find getting a tattoo very tolerable.

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