What are the most painful tattoo areas.‘ our Norwich Tattooists tell all!

As a collective of busy artists, this burning question is at the top of list along with ‘How much does a tattoo cost?’ and ‘Do you do walk-ins?’

We all know that getting a tattoo hurts. Ink is basically injected into a person’s skin using a tattoo machine or tattoo gun as you may have heard it called, moving a solid needle that’s or group of needles formed in a cartridge up and down to puncture the skin between 50 and 3,000 times per minute, so experience tells us, there’s going to be an element of discomfort. We’ll talk  a lot more about the process of how a tattoo works in another blog, but for today, you’re here to find out more about the most painful tattoo areas, and you may not be surprised to know there’s actually quite a few. If you’re heading to see one the Norwich tattooist and perhaps it’s your first voyage into the world of ink, then you may want to consider easing your way in, with perhaps a smaller piece or placement on an area that is known to be less painful.

Tattoo pain is a wholly individual thing and levels depend on a combination of tolerance levels and where exactly on the body you’ve chosen to be inked. choose to get tattooed.  Fleshy, soft parts of the body are the better choices for ink if you want less uncomfortableness. Locations over boney body parts and where heavy nerve endings are located can be much more uncomfortable. Tolerance levels can vary dramatically. Our Norwich Tattooists see some people handling even the notorious places like warriors, while it’s not uncommon for customers to occasionally feel faint or extremely uncomfortable even on the best of locations.It’s very subjective and no two people have the same experience.

Even the most painful tattoo areas are are manageable and it’s something you soon get used to. Many people claim they are addicted to being tattooed or having body modification. It’s not strictly true, but the physical feelings linked to being inked can be a big driving force is a big part of what drives them to seek more. Getting a tattoo releases two substances in the body, adrenaline and endorphins. These help temporarily relieve pain and also cause positive emotional responses and for some people, it’s the start of a very progressive journey with clients returning many times to our Norwich Tattooists. ON the other side, So, if you’re looking forward to your first tattoo, don’t worry too much. You won;t come out of the studio with a habit and an unquenchable thirst to have every single part of your skin inked.

The Most Painful Tattoo Areas

Shin Tattoos

 Areas with less fat or skin cause a fair bit of pain and the more you work the area. Writing this blog does make my eyes water just a  little.  Working on shins Shin can be psychologically more painful than the pain itself. The area is close to bone so the mere thought of a needle hitting that bone makes us feel a bit funny, especially because of the rattle. When the needles pierce the skin around a shin, the lack of cushioning and body fat cause a rapid vibration movement of the needles causing the person getting tattooed to feel like the needle is thrashing around on the bone itself. This feelin radiates across the whole shin area making it one of the most painful tattoo areas

most painful tattoo areas


With almost 28,000 #armpittattoo hashtags on instagram, it’s an on-trend design as strange as it sounds. Armpit tattoo may sound a but people are getting armpit inked. This is one of the painful tattoo locations as the axillary nerve and glands congregate around this area. There is a potential real risk associated with armpit related to lymph nodes. Tattoo pigments will travel through the lymphatic system. The whole lymph node system is huge in the armpit area are abundant in the armpit area. Ink could pigment those lymph nodes, which in turn can confuse diagnosis for some cancers, including people who have melanomas.

Black Dagger Norwich

Neck Tattoo

At Black Dagger Tattoo, our Norwich Tattooists have seen a big increase in neck tattoos in both male and female clients tend to be one of the more painful tattoo areas. Again, there’s lots of nerves band sensitive skin meaning it’s going to smart. Quite how much will rsst on the exact location of your ink. Having a tattoo on the front of the neck and throat is generally going to smart…. a lot. If the tattoo goes down the throat are towards the point of the clavicle, then the pain will in most cases, become even more painful, where as the side of the neck tends to be more tolerable, because the amount of nevers drop off considerably towards the side of the neck. The rise in celebrity tattoos and particularly international footballer neck tattoos, has caused a big surge in popularity, especially on the back of the neck. The skin has a tendency to be pretty thin in this location and there’s no forgetting that the spine and head have a shed load of nerves going into this area, so it’s great for the pain receptors to pass that all important information to the brain and let you know just how much it hurts. If you’re really worried about how much a neck tattoo is going to hurt, then a good suggestion is to get one in a less painful part of the body.

Norwich tattooists blog

Norwich tattooists blog

Norwich tattooists blog

Black Dagger Tattoo Shop

Black Dagger Tattoo Shop

Black Dagger Tattoo Shop

Foot Tattoos

Foot tattoos are super popular at the moment, especially during the warmer weather with lots of female clients wanting ink to show off with their beachwear and sandals. There is very limited  muscle on the foot. In fact, it’s pretty much just skin on bone, especially around the top of your foot. Feet are as you will know, at the extreme end of the body, so blood will flow to this area. When you’re tattooed, feet bleed so be prepared for more blood and possibly pain during tattooing as it is one of the painful tattoo areas. If you don’t keep the area clean throughout the healing process, there’s a high chance infection could occur and with that, an increased risk of  scarring. The sole of the foot is a seriously painful area to be atattooed and the chances of the body rejecting the tattoo on such a hard area of skin which has a lot of daily usage is extremely high. The sole of the foot isn’t recommended as a good place to have a tattoo.



On the top of the pain scale, we give you the rib tattoo. Our Norwich Tattooists often hear the murmurs of discontent and fidgety movement because it’s not easy to sit still on long rib sessions. The boney rib area skin isn’t thick and the needles working directly on the bone make for hard work and painful ink. Most people opt for large rib pieces,  meaning a high tolerance for pain is needed or run the risk of leaving with an unfinished piece. Our artists concur that for those clients entering the world of ink for the first time, should swerve the rib area as a place for a first tattoo.  If you really want a rib tattoo, go for it, but expect it to hurt.  Always keep in mind that the pain level of rib tattoos is entirely dependent on the person receiving it.

Elbow Ditch Tattoos

The ditch looks kind of easy to tattoo but in reality, it actually poses one of the toughest areas of the body to get right. It’s situated on the inner part of the arm, a kind of reverse elbow and the area of the arm that bends when you flex your biceps. It’s a potential big healing area areas take a longer time to heal because of the constant movement and bending, but when it’s complete, tattoos on the ditch look bangingly good. The ditch is one of those locations where the nerve endings cause the pain o feel like a whole different part of the arm is being tattooed. The body is and brain are very strange beasts.


It’s up there near if not at the top and likened to having your flesh eaten from the inside.  Elbow tattoos are bad for two-fold reasons. Firstly, it definitely rates on the most painful tattoo areas and secondly, the elbow is synonymous for fading based on most people rest on their elbows during the course of going about their everyday lives. There’s minimum protection here, so not much fat and muscle. When tattooing this area, the skin needs to be tight, so the bone is very close to the skin, hence, more pain.

We hope that the areas we’ve covered may help you decide on the location for your next tattoo. In =fact, it may just make you want to take the plunge and try something completely daring.

To find out more about our full list of Tattoo Artists, our body piercing services and Laser Tattoo Removal procedures, why not head back to the Black Dagger Tattoo Norwich homepage where we have lots of information.
You can also call the studio on Tel: 01603 436883 or email: blackdaggertattoonorwich@gmail.com
This blog was brought to you by Lee Blanchflower, Content creator for Black Dagger Tattoo Studio

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