Tattoos – Which Areas Of The Body Hurt The Most

Tattoos are done by repeatedly piercing your skin’s top layer with a sharp needle covered with pigment so it will inevitably cause pain and discomfort. When discussing getting a tattoo the most popular question that gets asked is “how painful is it?”.

Well, everyone’s pain level is different but when it comes to tattoos, which areas of the body hurt the most to get inked?

Rib cage and chest

As the skin is very thin over the rib cage and chest area, as well as being directly over the bone where there is less fat, getting tattooed on this area of your body can be extremely painful. It is so sensitive to pain because the needle will be felt by the nerve ends.  Due to your rib cage and chest moving as you breathe while you get your tattoo, it can make it even more uncomfortable for you to sit through, as well as difficult for your tattoo artist!  

Tattoo enthusiasts reckon that the pain doesn’t ease whilst tattooing this area of the body either. Although in other areas of your body you may get used to the pain, with the ribcage and chest, the pain is persistent, unless you use tattoo numbing cream. 


The armpit is the location of glands and lymph nodes which is why it is one of the most painful places to get a tattoo. It is also where the axillary nerve runs through, which is responsible for feeling and movement of the shoulder and arm.The healing process will therefore take longer and be more painful than with a typical tattoo. 

A lot of tattoo artists will even advise against getting a tattoo under your armpit as regardless of if you have a high pain threshold, it can be hard to endure. 


The pain during the tattooing process on lips is known to cause a stinging sensation. This is because the surface is extremely thin, delicate and flexible with lots of nerve endings. As a sensitive area it is likely to bleed more compared to other parts of the body when tattooed, and it can cause bruising or swelling following the procedure. 


There isn’t much fat to cushion the needle strokes when you get tattoos on your feet. The needle will work really close to your bone and because of the large number of nerves near, your feet can even start to spasm. Due to the shape and curves of feet, it can also cause issues with your tattoo artist’s work as they aren’t able to get full precision to complete clean tattoos. Some tattoo artists just won’t attempt to tattoo the top of your foot because of the uneven surfaces causing poor results following the longer than usual healing process. 

Breast and nipples

In general, the breast and nipples are a sensitive area of the body anyway. Although there is a lot of muscle, there are also a lot of nerve endings which can make them painful spots to have tattooed. The pain is amplified, especially the closer to the nipple that the tattoo goes. 

Neck and spine 

Movement of the tattoo needle can stimulate big nerves on the back and side of the neck. As well as your bones being close to the skin down your spine, there are numerous nerves along here which can increase the levels of pain you experience. The front of your neck is especially painful as some designs go as far down as the clavicle which has thin, sensitive skin with not a lot of cushioning over the bone. 


This is not an area of your body to get tattooed if you have low pain tolerance. Many tattoo lovers describe the experience of getting art on your head as feeling like someone is drilling into your skill. Why these tattoos hurt so much is because of the lack of thick skin surrounding your skull so you can feel the needle etching beneath the skin, coming in close contact to nerve endings. 

Even the mental pain can be a challenge, as the vibrations and noise on the head can cause extreme discomfort.

Numb the pain with TKTX Tattoo

You don’t have to put off getting a tattoo just because of the fear of painful areas. With TKTX Tattoo numbing cream, you apply it to your skin before your tattoo appointment to numb your skin, so you won’t feel any pain during your sitting! 

For tattoos, our yellow numbing cream is the best option. It is the strongest tattoo numbing cream of the deep numbs, with the ability to last between 3-5 hours. It penetrates deep into the skin to manipulate the nerve endings and blood vessels. 

Although it’s a water-based formula that doesn’t leave the skin oily or affect the artwork, we always recommend telling your tattoo artist that you’re using TKTX Tattoo numbing cream beforehand. 


No products in the basket.