Tattoo Pain Chart: The Most and Less Painful Places to Get a Tattoo

Tattoo Pain Chart

Tattoo pain can be a result of sex, gender, location, and threshold. The tattoo pain chart is a guide that can help people and women decide how painful a tattoo is.

Although tattoos are generally painful, everyone will feel different pain levels depending on their tolerance, body parts, and health. Most painful areas are those with more nerve endings and fat. They also have thinner, less sensitive skin, bony spots, and little fat.

Armpit, rib cage and ankle are the most painful areas to have a tattoo done. Finger, armpit, ankle, finger spine, spine, shins, groin, kneecap, elbow, wrist, foot, finger, spine, spine, hip, elbow, finger, bone, leg, hand, and elbow are also some of the worst. Forearm, shoulder, back, and thigh are the most painful spots for tattoos. These areas have fewer nerve endings and thicker skin.

If you are curious about what tattoos feel like, the majority of people describe it as a combination of a burning sensation and a sharp pricking sensation. It can be difficult to know where tattoos are most painful because there is so much pain.

We’ve put together this guide to help you find the worst places for tattoos. These charts are for males and females.

Least and Most Painful Places To Get A Tattoo

Table of Contents

  • 1

    The Tattoo Pain Chart

    • 1.1 Female Tattoo Pain Chart
    • 1.2 Male Tattoo Pain Chart

  • 2

    The Most Dangerous Places to Get a Tattoo

    • 2.1 Armpit
    • 2.2 Rib cage
    • 2.3 Ankles, Shin
    • 2.4 Breasts and Nipples
    • 2.5 Groin
    • 2.6 Keecap
    • 2.7 Neck & Spine
    • 2.8 Below The Knee
    • 2.9 Hip
    • 2.10 Ear, Head and Face
    • 2.11 Limes
    • 2.12 Fingers and Hands
    • 2.13 Feet & Toes
    • 2.14 Stomach
    • 2.15 Inner Bicep
    • 2.16 Inner thigh
    • 2.17 underboob
    • 2.18 Chest

  • 3

    The Best Places to Get a Tattoo

    • 3.1 forearm
    • 3.2 Shoulder
    • 3.3 Bicep
    • 3.4 Caf
    • 3.5 Lower and Upper Back
    • 3.6 Upper Outside Thigh

  • 4

    Tattoo Pain Factors

    • 4.1 Sex
    • 4.2 Weight and Age
    • 4.3 Experience
    • 4.4 Artists in Tattoo
    • 4.5 Endorphins

  • 5

    How does tattoo pain feel?

    • 5.1 The Burning Pain
    • 5.2 dull pain
    • 5.3 Scratching Pain
    • 5.4 Stinging Pain
    • 5.5 Vibrating pain

Tattoo Pain Table

There are many variables, but a tattoo pain map can be used to determine the amount of discomfort it would take to have a tattoo placed on an area.

Tattoo Pain Chart For Female

The tattoo pain chart below for a woman shows the most painful areas: the stomach, abdomen, kneecap, ankle, back, belly, pubic region, elbow, head, underboob and shin. Thicker skin has more fat, and less nerve endings than the areas that are most painful, such as the forearm, back and outer thighs.

Tattoo Pain Chart Female

Male Tattoo Chart

The tattoo pain chart below for a male shows the most sensitive areas to be inked: the butt, head and neck of the subject, as well as the foot, ankle, elbow, kneecap, and sternum. The most painful spots to get tattooed are the shoulder, arm and back as well as the chest, outer thighs, and chest.

Tattoo Pain Chart Male

The Most Dangerous Places to Get a Tattoo

These are the areas that have the highest number of nerve endings and the thinnest, most sensitive skin. They also contain the fewest fat deposits, most bony points, and the most vibrating. The most painful places to get tattooed are the armpit and rib cage as well as the breast, neck, neck, spin, ankle, knee, breast, groin and breast.


An armpit tattoo is one of the most sensitive places and will result in severe pain. It can also take quite a while to heal. The pain usually comes from the axillary nervous, which runs along the upper arm to the armpit. This spot can be ticklish, and thin skin may surround it. These symptoms could cause you to flinch as your artist works.

Lymph nodes may also be problematic because your body could cause swelling and irritation. Expert artists recommend against armpit tattoos, regardless of whether you are an experienced artist or not. You can keep your armpits clean by applying a gauze that is breathable and avoid tight clothes and deodorant.

Armpit Tattoo Pain

Rib cage

It is likely that the rib cage will be second in pain when you get tattooed. The skin surrounding the ribs, which is thin and just above several bones means that the pain will feel sharper and more stabbing than dull and aching.

People with high pain tolerance should avoid rib tattoos. There are many nerve endings and low levels of fat around the area. Also, breathing during the session can lead to severe pain.

Rib Cage Tattoo Pain

Ankles, Shin

Because there’s very little fat around these locations, an ankle or shin tattoo can cause intense pain. This area is sharp and can cause severe pain. It’s near bones so don’t get it padded with fat. The strong vibrations of the needles will make the nerve endings sensitive.

Repeated needle movement will cause your ankles and shinbones to ache. This can lead to your bones rattling. Large artwork will cause more pain so it is best to choose a simple, small design.

Ankle Tattoo Pain

Breasts and Nipples

Tattoos on the breasts and nipples are extremely painful. Although the pain is less than in bony areas such as the rib cage and shins, breast or nipple tattoos can cause nerve irritation and soreness.

The breast skin is more loosely packed with fat tissue than the rest of the body. This means that women who don’t have strong pectoral muscles will feel less pain. Notably, tattoos that are closer to the sternum can cause more pain because the skin is thinner and nearer the bone.

Breast Tattoo Pain Level


Because of its nerve endings, the groin can be very painful to tattoo. The genitals, which contain several lymph nodes and are also located in this part of your body, make it even more sensitive.

It can be difficult to maintain your skin clean and dry in this area. You can relieve this pressure by going commando for several days following your treatment. Avoid irritating lotions or scrubs while you heal.

Groin Tattoo Pain


Because the kneecap is unpadded, loose and stretchy, a tattoo can cause severe pain. It is more painful to heal than other parts of the body because your kneecap bends when you move.

You will feel sharp pain when the needle gets close to your bone. You’ll feel extreme pain from your patellar tendon, which runs to the shin, if you place the tattoo below the kneecap.

Kneecap Tattoo Pain

Neck & Spine

Because these areas are sensitive, the neck and spine can be among the most painful spots for tattoos. Because the spine has so many nerve endings, and because it is very thin, both men and women will feel pain from a spine tattoo. The pain around the spine, and lower back, will be lessened by the presence of fat and muscle. However the sensitive nerve endings can make it difficult to ink this area.

Because the Adam’s Apple can make neck tattoos painful, it is best to avoid them. For a more comfortable experience, you can place your design to either the back or side of your neck.

Neck Tattoo Pain

Behind The Knee

Because the skin behind your knee is very thin, and nerve endings are near the surface of the skin, a tattoo will create significant pain. You will also need to deal with the veins at the back and sensitive sciatic nerve running down the side of your leg.

This placement will likely cause you to feel the vibrations and pokes of the needle. Also, be prepared for painful rubbing every time that you get up from a chair.

Behind The Knee Tattoo Pain


A hip tattoo can cause extreme pain, but the exact location will determine how severe it will hurt. Because it is close to your hip, there’s little fat that can cushion the needle. This makes the area more painful, particularly if you are thin. The skin around this spot is thin and has many nerve endings.

You can reduce the pain by getting a tattoo placed on one side of the body, closer to your butt.

Hip Tattoo Pain

Ears, Head and Face

The ear, head and face tattoos are extremely painful and can be very uncomfortable for both men and women. The skin in these areas is very thin and contains little muscle or fat to help you. You will feel every poke and vibration as the artist does their work. To manage pain, it is best to do a large head tattoo on one side and a larger design across your entire face.

The pain of tattooing on the face, which is usually less severe than that on the head, can make it difficult to get a tattoo near your eyes, cheekbones, and mouth. Although the ears are less painful than the head, the back and lobes of the ear can cause extreme pain. There will be fewer fat cells available to ease the impact. A small tattoo behind your ear can make it more manageable.

Face Tattoo Pain


Lips are one of the most sensitive tattoo locations due to their loose skin and nerve endings. Your lips will be open throughout the appointment to prevent dryness or cracking. You should remain still throughout the procedure to reduce swelling, bleeding and bruising.

Because the size of the design you make will depend on how thick your lips are, those with thinner lips may experience difficulty because fat can help to buffer the pain. It can be difficult and painful to heal. To prevent infection, you will need to take care of what you eat and drink.

Lips Tattoo Pain

Fingers and Hands

Although it is very popular, finger and hand tattoos can be extremely painful. This painful area should not be allowed to form because the skin is thin around the bones. The constant sensation of needles stinging is not appreciated by this sensitive region.

Hand spasms can also be experienced, which may add to your discomfort. Add to that the fact there is very little fat or muscle in this region, and it’s a recipe for painful sessions.

Hand Tattoo Pain

Toes and Feet

It is painful to have a tattoo done on the feet or toes because they are sensitive areas. The vibrations from the needle will make it difficult to not flinch. Toe and foot tattoos can cause nerve irritations. The arch is a sensitive region.

Also, the thin skin is not padded with muscle or fat. It is also very close to many bones. This will only increase the pain. You may tolerate pain with a simple and small design. No matter how you express yourself, remember that it will be difficult to move your feet or walk.

Foot Tattoo Pain


The pain from a stomach tattoo is usually severe. This will depend on the type of body and your sex. Because the skin in the stomach is more loose and sensitive, people with higher body fat will experience more pain. The experience can be tolerated better by men and women who have high levels of muscle mass and are healthy. A thin stomach can cause intense pain, as the skin around the stomach is stretched and taut.

This placement has the advantage that it doesn’t require you to worry about any bone or cartilage that might increase how painful a tattoo is. Because it is so close to the genitals, the lower stomach can be the most sensitive. However, the stomach area near the ribs may also feel the worst.

Stomach Tattoo Pain

Inner Bicep

Although tattooing your inner bicep can be painful, the pain is somewhat manageable due to the greater muscle mass. Because the inner bicep is thin and loose, it can cause moderate to severe pain.

The elbow is located close to this area. These are both notoriously painful areas. You may feel some pain while your body rubs against your skin during the healing process. The outer bicep may be a better option if you are sensitive to pain or prefer a larger design.

Inner Bicep Tattoo Pain

Inner Thigh

Because of its high concentration of nerve endings running to the top, the inner thigh is always painful to tattoo. You will feel each movement of the needle because the skin around the inner thigh and lower legs is extremely thin.

Keep your ink as small as you can and away from your groin to minimize pain. To avoid irritation and fade, avoid wearing clothing that rubs on the ink while it heals.

Inner Thigh Tattoo Pain


Because there is almost no fat and muscle under the boob, it can be painful. You may also feel discomfort because the underboob is located above your breastbone and ribs.

You may feel uncomfortable swelling or bruising near your underboob. You’ll find a beautiful design that will catch everyone’s attention if you are able to tolerate it.

Underboob Tattoo Pain


Because the chest tattoo is located right next to the collarbone, sternum and nipples which are all sensitive and rich in nerve endings, they are painful. The skin of the upper chest tends to be thicker, so tattoos there should be easier to tolerate. However, because it is close to bones and lacks fat you won’t have much cushioning.

A tattoo placed on the chest of a female biological mother may be less painful because you will have breast support. A chest tattoo can cause extreme pain in a male biological father, even though they may be able to have some muscle mass there. You should be prepared for an intense and long session, as most of the designs you see are statements pieces.

Chest Tattoo Pain

The Most Painful Places to Get a Tattoo

Tattoos are most comfortable on the upper arms, shoulders, arms and outer bicep. These are the areas that have more sensitive skin and thicker flesh, which allows for the needle to be absorbed.


Because the forearm has thick, fatty skin and lots of muscle, it is the most comfortable place to have a tattoo. Forearm tattoos don’t have many nerve endings so they are popular for creative designs.

Because the radial nerve runs through the outer arm, the pain in the inner forearm is less severe than that of the inner. This can cause issues when you try to move the ink closer towards the elbow and wrist. The lower arm also allows your artist to see clearly, which will help them complete their work more efficiently.

Forearm Tattoo Pain


A shoulder tattoo can cause mild to moderate pain. Because the shoulder is covered with thick flesh and muscles, it will feel less painful than other areas. This is a great spot for larger designs. There are less nerve endings that can make you wistful and the skin is thick enough so it can withstand a longer session.

Although the pain in the back and front of the shoulder can be more severe, the location on the outside shoulder is great for new tattoo artists who are still learning how to tolerate it. The pain in this area is less for men because they have more muscle, while women should expect moderate to mild soreness.

Shoulder Tattoo Pain


The bicep, which is less painful than the other spots in this group, can be used to tattoo. It has fewer nerve endings as well as thicker muscle tissue. Although the inner and lower sections of the biceps are less painful due to thinner skin, the outer biceps can withstand the vibrations from a tattoo needle.

This area is more sensitive than sharp, so it should not be too painful. It’s a great place to wear a fashionable sleeve, or an expansive style.

Bicep Tattoo Pain


You should not feel any pain when getting a tattoo on your calf. Because the calf muscles are thick, they can be surrounded with fat and thick skin. This allows them to provide a buffer against needles. For large, vibrant artwork and bright designs, calf tattoos work well.

The area is far enough from bones to reduce any unpleasant rattling associated with some placements. As nerve endings are densely packed in the area of the ankle and back of your knee, you will feel more pain.

Calf Tattoo Pain

Lower and Upper Back

Tattoos on your upper or lower back are painful. However, the location will vary depending on how large the artwork is. A lower or upper back tattoo can cause mild to moderate pain due to the fact that there are less nerves and more muscle mass. This will cushion you from any needle.

You may feel rattling or vibrating pain if you are very thin and have a bony upper back. The lower back provides a greater buffer against the pain.

Back Tattoo Pain

Upper Outer Thigh

A tattoo on your upper extremity will not cause pain. This is due to the muscles that protects your bones and nerves. Your thigh skin is extremely thick, and it’s covered in fat. This provides support. The perfect spot for cool designs is the thigh.

Upper Outer Thigh Tattoo Pain

Factors that Affect Tattoo Pain

There are many things to take into consideration, but tattoo pain can vary depending on how you sex, your weight, your artist, and your adrenaline level.

Factors That Affect Tattoo Pain

Web Sex

Research has shown that although biological women feel more pain than their male counterparts, they are able to bear tattoos better. Experts suggest that this could be due to testosterone, which is believed to reduce pain and allow men to cope with extreme suffering and injuries more efficiently. Because biological men feel greater pain in the neck, upper thigh, and hips than their counterparts, this could also be due to lower body fat.

Age and weight

Because their skin is stronger, tattoos are easier to manage for younger people. As we age, our skin becomes thinner and less resilient to the ink. The skin of younger people is more elastic, so it absorbs ink better and doesn’t need as many needles to get a bright result. You may have a different experience. Studies show that people older than 25 can manage pain better than those younger.

How much pain you experience can be affected by your weight. People at the extremes of the scale may feel more discomfort than people at a normal weight. People who are overweight may feel more pain from ink bleeding. This is also true for people who are underweight and have less fat.


The rule is that the more tattoos you have, the less intense the pain will be. Because you will have developed a good pain tolerance, and become used to the feeling of needles hitting skin and vibrating close to bones. If you have had multiple tattoos before, your chances of squirming or flailing are lower. This will also reduce the frequency that your artist has to remove them.

Personal threshold will affect how you respond to pain. It depends on many factors. However, an ink-loving person will be more sensitive to pain than someone who is just starting their first body art.

How Much Do Tattoos Hurt


How much pain you feel can be affected by the tattoo artist’s skills, experience and aesthetic. Some tattoo artists can be very heavy handed while others can use their needles with care.

Although slower artists are more painful than those who work faster, you may have to suffer the pain for longer. Your artist may struggle initially to adjust to pressure if they are new to the field. You should also keep in mind that artists who aren’t experienced will be slow and may not respond quickly to pressure.

Cheap tattoos can seem like bargains, but it’s important to make sure you visit an artist who has clean tools and is skilled in adapting to your needs.


The hormone endorphins, which can reduce the pain of tattoos by allowing you to be happy while your skin is being pounded with needles, will help. The pituitary gland is responsible for this chemical reaction. It occurs when the brain senses the pain in your skin.

Although endorphins won’t relieve pain, they can be used in conjunction with numbing creams and over-the-counter pain medications to help reduce pain.

How does tattoo pain feel?

Although a needle repeatedly penetrating into your skin will not feel great, it will affect how painful you are. Some describe tattoo pain like a burning sensation. Others feel it’s more like your skin is being cut one thousand times per minute. Tattoo pain can be severe at the most painful places, and moderately unpleasant in the best. Your pain tolerance, artist skill, placement, and design all play a role in how much your tattoo hurts.

What Does Tattoo Pain Feel Like


While getting tattoos, you will feel burning pain. The repeated stabbing motions of the needle can cause burning sensations to your skin. This pain is common on areas with loose or fatty skin and can last for a while during tattoo sessions. Although the pain is not severe, it can be uncomfortable and wear you out.

Dull Pain

It’s the most difficult to deal with, and is easy to overlook. It usually occurs after the initial few needle prods. As adrenaline and other hormones begin to show, it slowly subsides into background pain.

Although you will still feel some pain, it can shift into sharper pain later in the session. It is possible to keep the pain away by talking with a friend or watching television. You should be prepared for the pain-inhibiting hormones of large designs to start to wear off, and that things will hurt even more at the end.

Crying Pain

When you get inked, it is common to feel like a scratching sensation. This type of pain is not unpleasant and can often be tolerated by most people.

The scratching sensation occurs when the artist has been in one place for some time, whether they are shading or adding depth to their design. This pain can be felt with one needle but it is more severe when you use multiple needles to increase ink.

Sharp Stinging Pain

It can sometimes feel uncontrollable and feel like a bee sting beneath your skin. The pain can be quite severe and it is often felt by tattoo artists when they are doing intricate work with a single needle, or drawing an outline of your design. It may be felt when tattoos are done on thin skin areas such as the wrists, ankles and inner biceps.

Vibrating Pain

When you get tattooed on an area that has many bones, such as the wrist, ankle, ankle, or shin, vibrations can cause pain. Vibration from the needle causes nerves to vibrate against the surrounding area. Although the pain is not severe, it can be uncomfortable and strange for first-timers.

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