Back Tattoos: What To Expect

Back Tattoos: What To Expect

Sep 02, 2022 | Bridget Reed

It’s no secret that the back is a popular spot for tattoos. Many people opt to get ink on their back because it’s an easy place to cover if they have jobs where they can’t show tattoos, but they still want to incorporate a beautiful piece of art onto their bodies. 

Other people love using their back as a canvas because it is a large area where they can get a big, detailed piece. No matter why you’re considering getting a tattoo on your back, HUSH is here to ensure it’s as pain-free as possible.

Keep reading to learn about the sensitivity levels of different areas of your back and sides. Then, we’ll cover some common back tattoos and their meaning, as well as how to prepare for your back tattoo before, during, and after your sessions.

How Much Do Back Tattoos Hurt?

Back Tattoos

Everyone has a different pain tolerance. Some people might feel pain in areas other people don’t, and vice versa. 

Mostly, people feel the most pain in areas with the most nerve endings, the least amount of fat, and the thinnest skin. Think super bony areas and joints — places that tickle, too! People also notice that tattoos on areas with more fat and few nerve endings hurt way less (think: thicc).

Overall, pain tolerance varies from person to person. Even if you’re super sensitive, don’t let that stop you from getting that back tattoo you’ve always wanted. With HUSH, even the most sensitive spots can get adorned with beautiful artwork — without the major ouch.

If you plan to get a tattoo on your entire back, you will probably notice certain spots hurt worse than others. A full-back tattoo or other larger back piece might even take multiple sessions. 

You can always communicate with your tattoo artist when you need a break and prep for your session with our Session Bundle to numb it out.

Upper Back Tattoos


If you’re looking to get a tattoo on your upper back, you should know a few things about the pain levels of each location before choosing where to get your tattoo. Many people find that a shoulder tattoo has a relatively low pain level, especially on the outer shoulders. The skin is very thick on this part of the body. However, on a bonier area like the shoulder blades, you might experience some more pain. 

Neck tattoos, on the other hand, can be super painful. Neck tattoos are a popular choice for people with long hair because they can choose to cover them whenever they want or wear their hair up to show them off. However, there are tons of nerve endings in the back of the neck, making it super sensitive. Try out a topical anesthetic so you can chill during your session — without the pain.

Mid Back Tattoos

Back Tattoos: What to Expect

Mid-back tattoos can serve up a bit more zing than other areas — especially if you’re looking to get one on your sides or ribs. Think about it: your sides and ribs are already super sensitive and ticklish since there’s not much fat or muscle to protect the bone. Now imagine your being tickled by needles.

That doesn’t mean you should steer clear of a side or rib tattoo on your mid-back. With our Numbing Cream for tattoos, you’ll be cool as a cucumber while you sit for a dope side piece.

Lower Back Tattoos

Back Tattoos: What to Expect

Lower back tattoos — a total classic! Especially in the late 90s and early 2000s, the lower back tattoo was ultra popular for a couple of reasons. 

First, they’re pretty easy for you to decide when and when not to show them off. Plus, since there’s usually thicker skin and fewer nerve endings in your lower back, it’s not as painful as tattoos closer to bones or thinner skin. We’re hoping for a full resurgence of this classic.

Spine Tattoos

A big, badass tattoo running the length of your spine is an awesome idea, but it’s also one of the most painful areas you can choose. There’s not a lot of protection on your spine, which can make this spot more sensitive. 

But spine tattoos don’t have to be scary. It can be smooth sailing if you prep for your session with a numbing agent.

What Are Some Popular Back Tattoo Ideas?

Back Tattoos

Now that you’ve determined where your piece of art will live, it’s time to decide what tattoo design you want and how big you’ll want it. Do you want a large tattoo to cover your entire back, a small back tattoo that peeks out of a swimsuit, or the classic lower back tattoo? 

Below are a few popular design ideas for your next piece of art. There’s no such thing as the best back tattoo; only the tattoo style and design that you like the best. 

Whether you want a minimalist design, something to celebrate your loved ones, or simply a badass eye-catching art piece like a wolf or lion, make sure you love it before proceeding with your session.

Mandala Tattoos

You might consider a mandala if you’re looking for a large geometric tattoo for your back. Most often, these intricate designs use black ink. 

The word mandala is Sanskrit for “circle,” which you can see incorporated into these designs. Often, people get mandala tattoos to represent balance, peace, and unity.

Angel Wing Tattoos

A popular tattoo for the shoulder blades is angel wings. Sometimes, people opt for an angel back tattoo to pay tribute to a loved one that they have lost. 

Other times, people do this as a religious gesture. An angel wing tattoo on the shoulder blades will likely have some areas that are more sensitive than others, but by using a numbing spray or topical anesthetic, you can reduce this pain.

Back Tattoos

Flower Tattoos

A popular choice on many parts of the body is a flower tattoo. People love flower tattoos because they can come in many shapes, sizes, styles, and levels of intricacy. 

Different flowers are often associated with birth months, locations, or other meaningful elements in a person’s life. Whether you go for a watercolor daisy or a bright, bold sunflower, HUSH has got you covered at every stage of your tattoo.

Cultural Tattoos

Some people also opt for tattoos that relate to their culture. For example, someone might get a Japanese back tattoo of a koi fish or other symbol related to their culture or heritage. A Chinese dragon tattoo is another common choice to celebrate a person’s roots.

How Can I Prepare for a Back Tattoo?

You can take several steps to prep for your back tattoo. First, you’ll want to ensure that the spot you’re tattooing is clean and free of hair. For a back tattoo, you might need a friend or partner to help you get rid of hair — just make sure they don’t get too creative and shave their own design into it.

Next, clean up the area with our CBD Foam Soap. You’ll want to arrive at your tattoo appointment with dry, clean skin, and our soap removes any yuck from the surface of your tattoo. If your back tattoo spot is tricky to reach, have someone help you out.

Also, eat and drink enough food and water before your appointment. Especially if you’re going for a larger back piece, you’ll want to be satiated and hydrated to keep feeling good throughout your session. 

Also, wear comfortable clothing that can easily give your tattoo artist access to the location.

How Can I Take Care of My Skin During a Back Tattoo?

Back Tattoos

Even if you have a high tolerance level, why choose pain? Our Numbing Gel and Numbing Cream will ensure you stay comfortable during your longest sessions. 

Getting tattoos doesn’t have to mean a world of pain! Check out our Session Bundle to protect your skin and help your tattoo session be a breeze.

Numbing Gel

Our Numbing Gel uses lidocaine, a local anesthetic, to numb wherever you put it. We recommend applying a thick layer to your tattoo location 30 to 60 minutes before your session and wrapping it in saran wrap to let the numbing work its magic. 

We also include aloe, calendula, and chamomile extracts to soothe your skin during intense tattoo sessions and menthol to help cool your skin. These natural botanicals soothe feelings of inflammation and irritation. 

Numbing Cream

Are you struggling with sensitive skin? Our Numbing Cream is just for you. But being built for sensitivity doesn’t mean you get any less numbing power. We still use maximum strength lidocaine to keep your skin cool and comfortable. 

Just like our gel, you should spread on a healthy layer of cream wherever you plan to get a tattoo. Then, wrap it up in plastic and let it sit for about an hour before your session for maximum results. 

We also include a mix of botanicals in our cream to encourage skin health. Aloe leaf extract helps soothe the skin, all while boosting collagen production. Calendula helps calm swelling and redness and has cleansing properties that help keep your skin fresh. We also use deionized water to ensure the ingredients live in a pure environment. 

What Does Aftercare for a Back Tattoo Look Like?

Back Tattoos

After your tattoo, your artist will have specific advice on how to take care of it. You’ll want to keep your fresh ink out of the sun. After it has healed, you will still want to make sure to apply sunscreen to your tattoos to keep them looking fresh for years to come. 

And definitely keep your tattoos clean during the healing process. Our CBD Foam Soap, designed especially for fresh tattoos, can remove any yuck from the wound and soothe discomfort. Don’t worry — there’s no THC in our soap, just 100 mg of organic CBD to soothe your skin while it is healing. 

We pair this with aloe, calendula, green tea, and other botanicals to calm freshly tattooed skin while keeping it nice and clean. 

Let’s face it: new tattoos don’t always feel awesome. But our Numbing Spray is here to provide a cooling relief to fresh tattoos. Follow it up with our CBD Healing Balm to melt away irritation and itchiness that can arise during the healing process. 

You can also use our balm on healed tattoos to enhance color and moisturize the skin. By pairing powerful CBD extract with moisturizing agents like shea butter, mango seed butter, and sunflower seed oil, your new and old tattoos will keep looking fresh.


Back Tattoos

When it comes to body art on your back, certain spots are definitely more painful than others. If you opt for a tattoo on your neck or down your spine, you’ll likely experience more ouch than somewhere like your outer shoulder or lower back.

But we support you getting your perfect tattoo in the place that speaks to you! That’s why we created different products that can help support you when preparing, during your session, and in the aftercare process. We all want our tattoos to stay vibrant for years, so make sure you take care of your skin before and after your tattoo.

When picking out your perfect tattoo, just like choosing your location — pick something that means something to you and that you’ll want to show off for a long time.



Simple Effective Ways to Care for Skin Wounds and Incisions | PMC

Tattoos and Their Meanings | CBSA 

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

Back Tattoo Pain: Upper, Lower and Central Areas | Authority Tattoo

85 Mind-Blowing Mandala Tattoos And Their Meaning | Authority Tattoo

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