Do Tattoos Really Hurt? Your Questions Answered

Lots of people worry about getting a tattoo for one big reason: pain. To cut to the chase, do tattoos really hurt? The simple and short answer is yes, tattoos will hurt, but it all depends on who, where, and what.


Learn all you need to know about what to expect when it comes to tattoo pain in our guide!

Do Tattoos Really Hurt? Your Questions Answered

Tattoo Pain Meter
Searching Google whether or not tattoos really hurt can make you into a hypochondriac. You’ll go from reading “You’re a wimp” to terrible horror stories of blood and gore. But not to worry, you won’t find any of that here.

Are tattoos painful? Like mentioned above, it depends. There are several factors that go into play when deciding whether or not a tattoo will be painful.

Tattoo Pain: Who
Depending on who you talk to, the answer to “Are tattoos painful?” can vary greatly.
If you’re speaking to an experienced tattoo enthusiast who has tattoos on the fingers or head, he will most likely have a higher pain tolerance than you.


On the other hand (no pun intended), there are people who will recount how badly it stung when they first got their tattoo. First timers might experience getting a tattoo a little bit more harshly than people who know what to expect because your adrenaline punches a lot less when you know what’s coming.

Tattoo Pain: Where
Whether or not tattoos will hurt also depends on which part of the body you’re getting tattooed. Remember that any sensitive areas of your body (ticklish much?) will be more painful than other areas.

In addition, body parts that have bone just underneath or have thin skin will place you more at risk for experiencing pain.

If your goal is to avoid pain at all costs, it’s best not to get a tattoo though. No matter where your tattoo is, you can expect it to sting a little.

Tattoo Pain: What
A third but very important factor of tattoo pain is how the artist tattoos you, or what methods are used. Traditional tattooing with a machine is pretty rough on your nervous system, which results in a spike in adrenaline and endorphins (which is one reason tattoos are highly addictive!)
Tattoo “guns” are also loud and kinda scary, which makes the feeling of pain that much more real when you’re under the needle.

Some tattoo artists specialize in hand poking however, which is much more gentle on the body, skin, and nervous system. People also have different opinions on the pain difference between machine tattooing and hand poking, but with hand poking the artist is in way more control. Plus, there’s no noisy machine vibrating and cutting away at your skin!


Do Tattoos Really Hurt?
Yes, tattoos really do hurt but the difference between ‘hurt’ and ‘really hurt’ all depends on who, where, and what. If you’re on the fence about getting a tattoo but hesitate because of the pain factor, just remember everyone is different so you won’t really know unless you just try it! (Wink).