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The Most Painful Zones of the Body for a Tattoo

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This article will take a look at some of the most painful areas on your body to get tattooed.

This article will take a look at some of the most painful areas on your body to get tattooed.

Ready to Get Inked Up?

If you're thinking about getting a tattoo in one of these spots, you might first want to know how painful it will be. Why? It could be due to the sensitivity of the skin, the lack of flesh in the area, or additional nerve endings there, but one thing is certain: you will feel the sting.

This article will take a look at the most painful zones on your body to get tattooed to help provide some guidance to those looking to get inked.

13 Most Painful Areas to Get Tattooed

  1. Rib Cage
  2. Armpits
  3. Shin and Ankle Bones
  4. Spine
  5. Eyelids
  6. Feet
  7. Chest and Breasts
  8. Lips, Mouth, and Gums
  9. Groin and Genitals
  10. Neck and Throat
  11. Head and Face
  12. Elbows, Knees, and Behind the Knees
  13. Hands and Fingers

1. Rib Cage

Anyone who's ever had even a slightly bruised rib can attest to how extremely sensitive this area can be. It can hurt to even just breathe sometimes when your ribs are not feeling their best.

Getting a tattoo on the thin skin that covers your rib cage is not for the faint of heart!

2. Armpits

This may come as a surprise—partly due to the fact that the armpit seems like a weird place to tattoo, as most people won't see it very easily, especially if you don't regularly shave it—but the armpit is an exceptionally painful area to tattoo. There are lots of nerves and the skin is quite sensitive.

So if you're thinking of getting inked in this curious area, just know that you're in for a really rough ride!

Shin bones—not to mention the knees and hands—are some of the most painful areas to get inked due to their thin and sensitive skin.

Shin bones—not to mention the knees and hands—are some of the most painful areas to get inked due to their thin and sensitive skin.

3. Shin and Ankle Bones

The skin covering your ankle and shin bones is stretched quite thin, so when you get inked there the needle is coming pretty close to your bone.

Think about how much it hurts to bump your shin or ankle on a dresser or doorway, but have that pain stretched out over a much longer period of time!

4. Spine

Your spine is one of the most sensitive (and massively important!) areas of your body, so it comes as little surprise that getting tattooed on this area of protruding bone is going to be a cause of some serious discomfort.

Only sign up for this one if you have the, well, spine to endure great pain at the cost of your art.

5. Eyelids

This has become popular over the last few years, especially in the media, but I really don't think I could ever feel comfortable knowing someone is sticking a needle right into my eyes. One bad move and a little thrust too deep could be the last of your vision.

Just as a preview of the pain, try poking your eye lightly with your own nail and see how it feels. Now imagine that times 100!

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6. Feet

The thin layers of skin and the boniness of the feet have absolutely no defense against a tattoo gun sticking into you repeatedly!

However, if you've got the courage to stick your foot out, these pieces look great with sandals, flip flops, and high heels. They really bring out a freshly painted pedicure too!

7. Chest and Breasts

Unless you have a bunch of body fat and/or muscle up top, then you can expect any chest tattoo to be a tough ordeal—and if you're particularly skinny, then it'll hurt even more!

These tattoos tend to be large and take a long time, so many people choose to do them in multiple sessions, starting with the most painful parts (closer to the center) first.

8. Lips, Mouth, and Gums

Can you imagine needles ripping into the inside of your lips? No way! Consider this area the most sensitive due to the tens of thousands of nerve endings that combine to make it one of the primary erogenous zones.

This may also be the toughest tattoo to ever show off, as nobody ever really sees your inner lips except the dentist. Even when you're naked, you can pretty much see a tattoo on any part of the body. This particular tattoo, though, will stay tucked away.

This is also the only place you will actually get to taste the tattoo—what flavor of ink would you like today?

Lip tattoos are both extremely painful and difficult to show off—so they're not recommended for just the casual tattoo enthusiast.

Lip tattoos are both extremely painful and difficult to show off—so they're not recommended for just the casual tattoo enthusiast.

9. Groin and Genitals

Ouch . . . Ouch . . . Ouch! Who? But why? This is a painful choice for obvious reasons; if you can handle that pressure in the privates, your pain receptors are just not functioning correctly!

It would be foolish to tamper with the area and risk any nerve damage, as this could cause trouble urinating or make it so things are just not working the way they should!

Nevertheless, it is a very popular body spot to tattoo, mostly for women. Men have also taken the daring act of a wild crazy tattoo ink up in this area. Of course, these works of art are mainly hidden from most people.

Some artists may be uncomfortable with some areas which are a bit more personal, so be sure you know who you are dealing with for the best tattoo experience.

10. Neck and Throat

This area is a difficult one. There are very important arteries in the throat that can be harmed if a professional makes a mistake.

Some people have been known to have trouble swallowing and speaking immediately after having a throat tattoo done. Hopefully, you aren't planning on shaving during the healing process, either; that will surely cause trouble.

Dragon tattoos on this man's head caused many painful moments!

Dragon tattoos on this man's head caused many painful moments!

11. Head and Face

Do you think migraines hurt? Try needles poking you continuously while scraping along the skin of your head. This will definitely give anyone a headache for a while after the artwork is freshly completed.

These tattoos have one great benefit though, if you want to cover it up for a while it's as easy as letting your hair grow over. See the dragon tattoos on this man's head, for instance—surely in a month or so of hair growing you won't be able to see it.

12. Elbows, Knees, and Behind the Knees

The connective tissues and bones surrounding the knees make them a super sensitive area for getting inked—and to make matters worse, these tend to take a longer time to heal than many others.

The back of the knee isn't much better either due to the abundance of nerve endings and the skin being quite loose and stretchy.

Similarly, the thin skin and sensitive nerve endings make getting a tattoo on your elbow very painful as well. You might even feel some additional pain down your arm as the vibrations of the needle are likely to trigger some intense discomfort in your bones.

13. Hands and Fingers

For those of you who think your hands or fingers are a good place to tattoo, it's a very painful spot. You might have trouble doing daily chores depending on the size of the piece and the exact location.

For example, do you want a tribal design or perhaps an entire rose with stem and petals to cover the back of your hand? That's probably going to make your job as a painter or drummer of your band somewhat difficult—at least during the healing process.

Plan ahead to schedule free time depending on the work being done, and discuss with your favorite artist before having it started.

Average Prices for Tattoos in the United States

Tattoo ArtistSmall, Palm-Sized Art PieceEntire Back Art Piece

Friendly Hook-Up

$30–$60

$400–$500

Standard Shop

$75–$95

$600–$1,100

High-Profile Artist

$120–$180

$800–$3,500

Flat Fees and Hourly Rates

Some artists will choose to charge a flat fee for the work they do, while others will charge you by the hour. This leads to various fluctuations in price ranges depending on the artist and the work to be completed. Some artists have been known to charge as little as $20 an hour, but some as much as $200–$300!

  • Pros and cons of the flat fee: You can get hours of work done for much less than if you pay by the hour, but you may also be charged double or triple for a piece that takes 40 minutes to complete.
  • Pros and cons of paying by the hour: You may have an artist take their time to stretch out the clock, thus paying more in the end. However, you can be sure they took their time on every detail.

More Information on Tattoo Pain and Care

© 2015 luisj305

Comments

luisj305 (author) from Florida on January 07, 2020:

@johnny p- these prices may vary depending on the area and shop, skill of artist etc. It is best to shop around before committing.

Johnny P on October 31, 2019:

Hahahahaha those prices are wayyy too low

Danatats on July 31, 2018:

What about above the eyebrow

rescuedwho on January 06, 2015:

I live in Richmond, VA and it's known for its tattooed population. Still, I think I'll abandon that inside-the-mouth tattoo idea.

Very entertaining and informative piece!

luisj305 (author) from Florida on January 03, 2015:

Thanks Sachin001, many of the artists have great artwork. I just don't know how the customers handle the pain!

Sachin from India on January 02, 2015:

Good hub ...

Never realized that people are so mad about tattooing. I just love watching these pictures. But cannot ever think about trying on my body.

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