It is considered that getting a tattoo is a painful process. However, it is one of the prejudices. How painful for you to get a tattoo will depend on your biological sex, your pain threshold, and even on your previous tattoo experience. In general, the fattest parts of our bodies are the least painful places for tattoos. Parts with thick skin and few nerve endings also supplement the list. But how aching is it to get a tattoo at one spot for a man and a woman? Read our article to understand it and to get some additional recommendations on how to make the process less painful.
Factors that affect pain
As we mentioned at the beginning of the article your biological gender is among the first factors to affect pain because of the different sex hormones that men and women have. In addition to this and the location of the tattoo, there are also other aspects that have an effect.
- Your pain threshold — the minimum point at which needles will cause you pain.
- The size of the tattoo — the bigger it is, the more painful it is to apply it.
- Your age — old skin is more susceptible to pain than the younger ones.
- Your weight — overweight people may have looser and more sensitive skin than people with a toned body therefore they can feel more pain. Pay attention that people with too low body fat can also be more susceptible to pain.
The least painful place to get a tattoo
As males and females have different pain thresholds, we have decided to make a chart, where you can see the least painful place to get a tattoo for your gender.
Chart of the least painful places to get a tattoo for male and female
Now we want to get you a full explanation of why these parts of the body are not so susceptible to pain.
- Outer shoulders — have a few nerve endings and thick skin. Here you will feel low or low-moderate pain.
- Outer bicep — has a lot of muscle but a few nerve endings. Thanks to its building, the bicep is the most popular spot to get the first tattoo as you will be less likely to feel the stab of the needles.
- Forearm — the skin is thick here and there are a lot of muscles. But be careful: the wrist area is more painful.
- Upper and lower back — the further your tattoo from the bones, the less pain it will bring you. As the outer shoulders, upper and lower back also have thick skin and a few nerve endings. However, men usually have less fat in the lower back area therefore for them this place is more painful.
- Upper outer thigh — here it is easy to endure pain. The thigh also has a small number of nerve endings but more fat than other parts.
- Calves — they not only have a few nerve endings but they also have more cushion to the stab of the needles the same as the bicep.
Tips on how to minimize pain
Some tips will help you feel less nervous before and minimize your pain during the process. Remember that you can feel different sorts of pain at the tattoo site for up to 30 days. The first week the tattoo can be sore and swollen. The second week you can feel that your tattoo burns but it will not be so irritating. And then the pain will gradually decrease. But if you want to minimize the pain during all these stages, follow our easy tips.
Before getting inked
- Choose an experienced artist. They usually need less time to make any kind of tattoo.
- Get enough sleep before the day X. So your organism will have enough force to deal with the pain.
- Avoid alcohol drinking. Instead of this, it is better to drink a lot of water. While alcohol thins your blood and increases pain sensitivity, water keeps your skin tight and in turn reduces the pain effect.
- Do not get a tattoo if you are sick. Illness lowers your resistance to pain.
- Eat a meal before getting a tattoo. But do not do this if you want to get a stomach tattoo. Eating a meal can minimize your nerves but your stomach will be more susceptible to needle stab.
During the process
- Do not hesitate to ask your artist to take breaks if you cannot deal with pain.
- Use skin-numbing products. They should contain 5% lidocaine. It is better to test the product on the small area of your skin 24 hours before getting a tattoo.
- Distract yourself. You can breathe deeply or listen to music. The main idea — it should make you less nervous.
- Communicate with your artist. For some people, communication is the best way not to feel pain because it also helps relax.
After the procedure
Follow all aftercare instructions that your artist has given to you. In most cases it includes washing your tattoo, wearing loose clothing, and applying moisturizer.
Where is the best place to get a tattoo?
Summarizing all our recommendations, here is a full list of the most painless places to get a tattoo.
- Outer shoulders
- Outer bicep
- Upper and lower back (less painful for women)
- Upper outer thigh
Getting a tattoo is a painful process, however, you can follow some advice to minimize your pain. There are places on our bodies that are less susceptible to the stab of the needles. They are outer shoulders, outer bicep, forearm, upper outer thigh, and calves. For women, the upper and lower back are also ideal spots for a painless tattoo.
But not only the location of a tattoo affects pain. Your pain threshold, the size of the tattoo, your age, and your weight are also important. Fortunately, there are some tips to minimize pain, which are divided into 3 categories: before getting a tattoo, during, and after the procedure.
🚶 What is the least painful place to get a tattoo?
Parts with thick skin and few nerve endings are the best to get a tattoo. Commonly they are outer shoulders, outer bicep, forearm, upper outer thigh, calves, upper, and lower back. In our article, you also can read how to minimize pain.
💊 Can I use numbing cream before a tattoo?
Yes, you can. We also recommend testing the product on the small area of your skin 24 hours before getting a tattoo.
❓ How can I prepare for my first tattoo?
There are some pieces of advice that will decrease your nerves. They are: get enough sleep the night before, avoid alcohol drinking but drink a lot of water, and eat a meal before getting a tattoo. Do not get a tattoo if you are sick. In our article, you can also read what to do during the process of tattooing.
⌛ How long does the pain from a tattoo last?
The first week is the most painful. Then the pain subsides but you can feel the low-moderate pain for up to a month.
🤔 How can I make tattoos hurt less?
First of all, choose an experienced artist. Communicate with him or her, you can even ask your artist to take breaks if you cannot deal with pain. Distract yourself by deep breathing or listening to music. Also, you can use skin-numbing products. You can also read in our article how to minimize pain after getting a tattoo.