How Much does a Tattoo Hurt?

How Much does a Tattoo Hurt?

Getting a tattoo is an exciting and transformative experience, but for many people, it can also be a painful one. Pain levels during the tattooing process can vary depending on a number of factors, including the location of the tattoo and an individual's pain threshold. In this article, we'll discuss the different tattoo pain levels, hard places to tattoo, and where it hurts most.

Pain Levels

The level of pain during a tattoo varies from person to person, but most people describe it as a sharp, burning sensation. The amount of pain can also vary depending on the location of the tattoo. Generally, areas with more nerve endings and less fatty tissue, such as the hands, feet, and ribs, tend to be more painful than areas with more cushioning, such as the thighs or upper arms.

Pain Threshold

Your pain threshold also plays a role in how much pain you experience during a tattoo. Some people have a higher pain tolerance than others, which means they can endure more pain before it becomes uncomfortable. However, even those with a high pain tolerance may still experience discomfort during a tattoo, especially in more sensitive areas.

Hard Places for a Tattoo

Some areas of the body are more difficult to tattoo than others. These areas often have thinner skin, less cushioning, or more intricate designs, which can make the tattooing process more challenging for the artist and more painful for the recipient.

Here are a few examples of hard places to tattoo:

  • Hands and fingers: Because of the small size and intricate designs that are often used on hand and finger tattoos, these areas can be especially painful.

  • Ribs and torso: The ribs and torso area can be painful due to the thin skin and proximity to bones.

  • Neck and throat: These areas are especially sensitive, and may require shorter sessions to manage pain levels.

Where it Hurts Most

When it comes to the most painful areas for a tattoo, there are a few areas that consistently rank high on the list. These areas include:

  • The ribcage and stomach: Due to the thin skin and proximity to bones, tattoos in these areas can be quite painful.

  • The feet: The soles of the feet are especially painful due to the many nerve endings in this area.

  • The hands and fingers: As mentioned earlier, the hands and fingers are sensitive areas that can be quite painful to tattoo.

  • The head and face: Tattoos on the head and face are often painful due to the thin skin and proximity to bones and nerve endings.


While pain is an unavoidable part of the tattooing process, it's important to remember that it's temporary and the end result is worth it. If you're concerned about pain levels during a tattoo, speak with your tattoo artist before the session to discuss techniques for managing pain, such as taking breaks or using numbing cream. By being prepared and communicating with your artist, you can minimize discomfort and enjoy the transformational experience of getting a new tattoo.

Tattoo Pain Chart