The Least Painful Places to Get a Tattoo

The Least Painful Places to Get a Tattoo

Aug 26, 2021 | brookline agency

When you’re thinking about getting a tattoo, you know there’s an element of discomfort to consider. Some people believe that the pain of a tattoo is an inevitable - or even important - part of the tattoo process. Others expect some pain but are looking for ways to minimize their discomfort. There are a few primary ways to reduce the pain associated with tattoos: to use a tattoo numbing product and to pick one of the least painful places to get a tattoo. To understand the least painful places to get a tattoo, you’ll want to understand the factors that can make getting a tattoo feel more or less painful. These are some of the most important determinants of how painful a tattoo will be:

Thickness of Fat

In general, the more fat an area has, the less painful the tattoo will be. Fat provides a cushion. This is one reason tattoos on the hands, knees, or ankles are reportedly so painful - these places often have almost no fat on them.

The Thickness of the Skin

tattoo artist making a tattoo on a shoulder

In the same way that having more fat can help a tattoo feel less painful, having thicker skin can do the same. Thicker skin can protect the underlying nerves and bones from feeling the needles as intensely.

The Density of Nerve Endings

Regardless of how much fat you have, or how thick the skin is in certain areas, a primary factor in how painful your tattoo will be is how many nerve endings are in the area. Places with fewer nerve endings will likely be less painful when tattooed. Keep in mind that everyone experiences pain differently, so there are no absolute rules or guarantees with tattoo pain. However, reports from those being tattooed tend to be fairly consistent in terms of what locations are the most and least painful. Here are the places that people often report are among the least painful places to get a tattoo:

The Forearm

tattoo artist tattooing a forearm tattoo

If you think you see a lot of forearm tattoos, you’re not wrong. First, the forearm is an area that’s often uncovered by clothing, so you’re more likely to see someone’s tattoo there. Second, it is one of the more comfortable places to get a tattoo. The forearm has a relatively low density of nerve endings, and the skin is fairly thick.

The Bicep

Like the forearms, the outside of the bicep has a low number of nerve endings and generally is muscular. These 2 factors help the bicep to be one of the least painful places to get a tattoo. A few inches further though, and everything changes. Although it’s near the bicep, the armpit is such a painful area for getting a tattoo that most tattoo artists recommend against getting inked there.

The Outer Thighs

The outer thigh is often high in fat and muscle, as compared to the rest of the body. For these reasons, an outer thigh tattoo is one of the less painful places to get a tattoo. The inner thighs are much more sensitive though.

The Calves

Although the calves don’t have as much fat as the thighs, they are muscular with thick skin. The calves are on the list of least painful places to get a tattoo - and are a great place to show off your ink in nice weather.

The Back

Back neck tattoo of a woman

Parts of the back can be low-pain areas as well. This is especially true if you have more fat on your body, which can protect the bones and nerve endings. A tattoo placed close to your spine or hip bones will be more painful than one in a more padded area of the back. No matter where you get a tattoo, there’s the potential for pain. After all, needles are puncturing your skin thousands of times. The best way to combat the pain of a tattoo is with the best tattoo numbing products. The right product can numb the skin just before your session, and provide hours of relief. HUSH’s tattoo numbing gel not only allows you to be comfortable during your tattoo session, but it also reduces redness, itching, and irritation. View HUSH’s store to shop for tattoo numbing products.

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