Getting a Tattoo? These Are The Most Painful Spots

Getting a tattoo is a huge decision that shouldn’t be taken lightly, considering they’re fairly permanent. It can also be painful. The pain comes from a lack of cushion of the muscle or fat within certain areas, therefore causing the needles to consistently go over thin layers of skin and bone repeatedly. When it’s just skin and bones, know that it’s going to hurt much more.

As a side note, when considering any tattoo on any area of the body, it’s important to consider its visibility as well as your job and/or place of business and how acceptable a visible tattoo is in your workplace. Though tattoos are becoming much more acceptable, it’s still important to be aware of placement and the level of professionalism your job requires. You may want to consider less visible areas. With that said, here are eight of the most painful spots on the body to get tattooed.

1. Your elbow

a man with tattoos

Your elbow would not be comfortable to get tattooed. | iStock.com

The elbow is a very rough area to get tattooed. Not only is it incredibly bony, which makes it hurt more, but in order to keep the proportions of the tattoo and ink packed properly, you’re going to need to sit at an awkward angle, bending your arm every which way. When it’s all said and done, your elbow will swell like crazy — but you’ll have a pretty rad tattoo.

2. Your hands

Couple in love holding hands

Get ready for some pain for a hand tattoo. | iStock.com/betyarlaca

This is an incredibly rough area to have tattooed for several reasons; first, having your hand tattooed makes it incredibly hard to cover up if an occasion ever pops up that you need to cover your tats, and second, the hands, fingers, and knuckles are especially bony and filled with ligaments making it incredibly painful to get tatted in the area. Add to this the fact that the skin on your hands is thin, making it much more painful as well.

3. Your feet

Female feet standing on acupressure mat

Foot tattoos really hurt. | iStock.com/Sasha_Suzi

Getting your feet tattooed is a pretty painful experience. Generally, the feet are pretty manageable at first, but as the tattoo session goes on, it really starts to hurt. The tops of your feet are sure to be the worst, and be prepared if you’re having a piece done with some serious shading and highlighting.

4. The back of your knee

man with tattooed muscular body

This guy probably went through some pain for all of those tats. | iStock.com

Though getting the front of the knee tattooed is not overly common, it’s not nearly as painful as getting inked at the back of your knee. Similar to your elbow ditch, aka the inner part of your elbow, the back of the knee is layered with thin, malleable skin and a significant lack of muscle, which means more pain for you.

5. Your inner arm

Young couple with matching tattoos kissing

An inner arm tattoo would hurt. | iStock.com

The inner arm is really going to hurt. The thinness of the skin is again the culprit and the nerves will react instantly to any needle, making it feel as though you’re scratching a burn.

6. Your chest

man crawling through water

It would be seriously painful to get a chest tattoo. | iStock.com

The chest is a very common and cool area for men to get tattooed. There is a tremendous amount of bone in the chest. Unless you’re really working on those pectorals, the skin is going to be thin and directly against that bony chest area. The vibrations of the needles are sure to be very noticeably felt on this area.

7. Your sternum

close-up on a man's stomach as he rubs it

Your sternum wouldn’t be too comfortable. | iStock.com

Ah, the sternum. The sternum is painful for similar reasons as the chest, but the sternum also extends down to the stomach causing the painful vibrations from the chest extended downwards, as well. Definitely not pleasant.

8. Your ribs

Woman Stomach Ache

Can you imagine getting your ribs tattooed? | iStock.com/champja

The ribs are rough. The outline, the shading, and the highlighting are all equally painful when you’re getting your ribs tattooed. The skin is so thin over this already highly sensitive area and the bones are spread out leaving areas of grooves and direct bone for the needles to graze over. You’re definitely going to need several breaks to get through a rib session.

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