Tattoo Pain Chart: Where It Hurts Most and Least, and More

Tattoo Pain Chart Where It Hurts Most and Least, and More

Are you planning to get a tattoo and not sure how much it will hurt? 

There’s no denying that getting a tattoo hurts. However, the pain level felt during tattooing varies greatly. Usually, it depends on the body part inked, the artist’s technique, and the individual’s pain threshold.

Wondering where do tattoos hurt the most? Keep reading till the end to find the answer and ways to ease or lessen the pain. 

Tattoos can be uncomfortable because the tattoo machine punctures the skin with tiny needles several times during the process. Regardless of where you get your tattoo or how much pain you can handle, you will experience some agony.

This guide will help you choose a tattoo location and prepare for the procedure.

Where Do They Hurt the Most to Least?

The level of pain felt during a tattooing session is subjective and differs from person to person and gender. While some people have a high threshold for pain in locations that are traditionally deemed more painful, others may find the experience more severe.

Furthermore, the tattoo artist’s expertise and technique might influence the level of pain experienced during the session.

Let’s look at the body parts that cause the most and least discomfort while getting a tattoo.

Areas Where Tattoos Hurt the Most

1. Armpit

The armpit is at the top of the body parts where tattoos hurt. You can experience severe pain while getting a tattoo in the armpits.

2. Rib cage

Here is the second most painful body part while having a tattoo. Pain can also be severe here because the skin around our ribs is fragile and has less fat deposit than other body parts.

Moreover, the movement around the rib cage while breathing can make the pain more hurtful.

3. Ankles 

Similar to the ribcage, the skin around the ankle bones is fragile, and it can be painful to have a tattoo there.

4. Nipples and Breasts

Nipples and breasts are usually susceptible parts of the body, so getting a tattoo here can be more painful.

5. Groin

The groin is the front part of your body, where it joins your legs. This part is filled with nerves; tattooing on this body part can cause severe pain.

6. Elbows or kneecap

Fragile layers of skin cover the bones on these body parts; while getting a tattoo, vibrations over the bones may cause unbearable pain.

7. Back of the Knees

Back of the knees

There is loose and stretchy skin behind the knees, and many nerves end there, too. These characteristics make this body part very sensitive.

8. Hips

Getting a tattoo on your hip can be very painful because the hip bones are close to the skin and lack cushioning, especially if you are thin.

9. Neck and Spine

Neck and spine tattoos are notorious for their level of pain due to their susceptibility.

10. Head, Face, and Ears

The head, face, and ears have many nerve endings that can be easily irritated during a tattoo. This irritation can cause severe pain. As these areas do not have a lot of fat, there is not much cushioning for the tattoo needle.

11. Lips

The skin on and around your lips contains many nerve endings and is loose. Getting a lip tattoo can be extremely painful and result in bleeding, swelling, and bruising.

12. Hands, Fingers, Feet, and Toes

Hand, foot, finger, and toe tattoos are famous but painful due to thin skin and nerve endings, and they cause severe pain.

13. Stomach

Stomach tattoos can be painful, and the amount of pain depends on body weight and skin tightness. People with higher body weights tend to have looser skin, which can increase pain. People with lower body weights and tighter skin experience less pain.

14. Inner Bicep

Inner bicep tattoos can be painful because the skin is soft and loose. The muscle can help reduce pain, but healing takes longer than in other areas.

Areas Where Tattoos Hurt the Least

Usually, the pain in these areas will be moderate. Some of the least painful spots include:

1. Upper Outer Thigh

The upper outer thigh is one of the least painful parts to get a tattoo due to its high-fat deposit and low nerve endings.

2. Forearm


Forearm tattoos commonly cause low to moderate pain due to the muscle and thick skin in the place, which has more infrequent nerve endings.

3. Outer Shoulders

The outer part of the shoulders has thicker skin with rarer nerve endings, making it one of the least painful areas to get a tattoo. 

4. Outer Bicep

Outer bicep tattoos cause little pain due to low nerve endings and high muscle concentration.

5. Calves

Calves have a significant amount of fat and muscle and few nerve endings, so tattoos in this area are usually not too painful. Expect low to low-moderate levels of pain.

6. Upper and Lower Back

Back tattoos cause moderate pain due to thick skin with few nerves. Less pain if distant from the spine and hips.

Factors That Can Influence the Pain While Getting a Tattoo

  • Gender
  • Age
  • Pain tolerance
  • Weight
  • Experience

How Can We Lessen the Pain?

  • Stay hydrated
  • Follow the proper aftercare instructions
  • Proper rest
  • Avoid liquor


Factors such as gender, skin condition, and tattoo placement can impact the level of pain you experience when getting a tattoo. Understanding the potential risks and complications of getting inked is important to avoid future regrets.

Now that you know where tattoos hurt the most and least, make a mindful decision to enjoy the process and slay. 

Image Source : canva

Was this article helpful?