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. Read on to find out which spots are likely to be most and least painful.
Everyone experiences pain in different ways. The placement of your tattoo, as well as what your sex is, can affect the pain. Here, we’ll take a closer look at the most and least painful places to get tattooed. It’s likely most painful to get a tattoo on a part of your body with many nerve endings, close to bones without much fat, or where your skin is very thin. Pain in these areas may be high to severe. The armpit is among the most painful places, if not the most painful place, to get tattooed. The pain you’ll experience getting tattooed here is very severe. In fact, most tattoo artists advise against people getting armpit tattoos.
The rib cage is probably the second most painful place for most people to get tattooed. Pain here can be severe. The skin around your ribs is extremely thin, and there’s less fat here than on most other parts of your body. Also, every time you breathe, you move your rib cage and the skin above it, which can make the feeling of being tattooed here much more intense.
Your ankle bones and shinbones lie just beneath thin layers of skin, making it very painful to be tattooed in these areas. Ankle and shin tattoos usually cause severe pain. It’s about the same level of pain caused by tattooing over your rib cage. Nipples and breasts are extremely sensitive areas, so being tattooed here can cause severe pain. Your groin is filled with nerve endings that can be irritated by tattoo needles. Pain here can be high to severe.