Does a tattoo hurt?

one of the most frequently asked tattoo questions : does a tattoo hurt?

The reason people often hesitate to get a tattoo is often because of the pain. How will it feel? Wouldn't it hurt less in another place? Is there anything I can do to reduce this pain? To answer all these troubled questions, in this Inksane blog we like to give some useful tips and tricks.

does a tattoos hurt?

Yes, getting a tattoo hurts. If only it were so easy... Several needles go in and out of the skin very quickly in order to get the ink into your skin as much as possible. This can be quite a painful process, but afterwards you can enjoy your beautiful tattoo for the rest of your life. You can get tattoos in all the places you can think of. But which places hurt the most? In general, places where there are a lot of nerve endings coming together are going to hurt more.

Below you can find some popular tattoo places where we explain whether they are doable or just dire.



Pain is something that everyone is going to experience differently. For some, a little prick at the doctor's office is nothing to worry about, while for others it is a very stressful and painful situation. Just like that prick, a tattoo experience can go very different from person to person. Therefore, the pain of a tattoo depends on your pain threshold. In general, there are some places that are known to hurt. Usually places where one will really tattoo on the bone really hurt. Some examples are your feet, knees and elbow. Below we discuss some pain points that can feel snappy when tattooing. Always keep in mind that pain is personal.

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Japanese elbow tattoo

Tattoo on the elbow

Contrary to what you might think, this place is not that painful. In the elbow there are not so many nerve endings which ensures that a tattoo in this place does not hurt super much. Some then say back that the pain is really unbearable. On the elbow itself, many experience rather a weird feeling because you feel your bone vibrating. Placing a tattoo on the elbow is not that simple. It is a body part that moves a lot, and that requires some creativity in terms of design choice.

tattoo black grey realism elephant Oleg Magnus

upper arm TATTOO

For many, the upper arm hurts the least. It only stings a little. Your experience with an upper arm tattoo also depends on the length of the session. Someone getting a small tattoo will not have much pain after 15 minutes compared to a half sleeve. The skin on your upper arm is very strong so the pain of a tattoo here is reasonably tolerable for most people.

fine line snake tattoo on back

Spinal tattoo

This is a tough one. There are mixed opinions about this place. Many say it's a painful spot, while there are others who say it's actually not that bad. When you get your entire back tattooed, there are often people who complain about the spot just before the crease to your armpit. That can hurt quite a bit.

papegaai rood kleurrealisme tattoo bovenbeen Alex Juk

thigh tattoo

This pain is really tolerable for many. With a large design, the pain is also going to move around more often, making it less intense and focused in one place. Many different types of designs can be placed on your thigh.

Japans masker rib tattoo kam azat

tattoo on ribs

The ribs are a really spicy place. It is easily one of the most painful places to get a tattoo. However, there can be a difference in how you are going to experience the pain due to the size of the design chosen. With small designs on the ribs, people can start to endure the pain more, it's over in no time but it does hurt. When you go for a large realistic design with many colors, like the Japanese mask below, you are going to have a lot of pain. The ribs are a suitable place for larger tattoos that look best on relatively flat skin. 

scheenbeen tattoo bio-organic hide roman

shin tattoo

Having a tattoo placed on your shin can feel quite spicy. After asking around, there are many who say it is quite a painful place. The stimulation may well cause your leg to start twitching, or you may also experience small shocks. This is another place that varies from person to person in terms of pain. The person of the tattoo below already had a very high pain threshold.


6 tips to reduce tattoo pain

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