We all have different pain thresholds, however we all share similarities that determine the probability, sensitivity and intensity where and how we feel the pain. When discussing the most painful places to get a tattoo we should keep in mind three basic factors – how thin the skin is, how close to the bone and how many nerve endings there are in that area.

In general, the areas containing the most nerve endings are most sensitive to touch, the more nerves or closeness to the bones the greater the chance of strong pain. With this in mind, we bring you a list of the most painful places to get tattooed.

Behind the ear – this is popular but oversensitive place which, if you decide to get it tattooed, could winkle out an occasional tear. If you were to analyze this place you would notice a bone and a super thin layer of skin that covers it. In this case many tattoo artists use local anesthetic in a form of a cream to reduce the pain.

painful body areas in placing a tattoo

As the reputation of the tattoos grows so do the tattoo designs. Today many of them go over the spine. This is an elegant tattoo sample which can be an amazing fashion accessory, but in order to get this kind of tattoo you would have to endure quite a lot of pain. Just like with the behind the ear tattoo, the bones of the spine are really close to the skin.

Yet another example of a painful tattoo is a rib cage tattoo. Larger tattoos that stretch from the chest to the hips can look incredibly sexy, but this is highly sensitive area which can be problematic during tattooing. When tattooing this area tattoo artists are accustomed to having more breaks as the pain can become really difficult to handle. If this is the kind of tattoo you want, feel free to ask your tattoo master to give you a few extra brakes in the case the pain becomes unbearable.

Having an ankle or a foot tattooed is growing more and more popular, but it is also a painful spot as there is no layer of fat or muscle between the bones and the skin. We are of course talking about the upper part of the foot; if you however want to tattoo the sole, nerve endings will represent the problem – this area is usually extremely sensitive to touch of fingertips let alone a needle.

Elbow is similar to feet. On the outer part the bone is covered with a thin layer of skin and on the inner part is an area covered with sensitive nerve endings.

Some other particularly painful places are the inner side of the wrist, lips, eyelids and arcade.

Given that pain magnifies where the bone is close to skin it is, naturally, the opposite with the least painful tattoos. These would be areas where the skin is thicker or has a lot of fat and muscle so choose your tattoo accordingly, but not solely on the amount of pain. Sometimes it is good to endure some pain in order to get what you really want.

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