Does A Belly Button Tattoo Hurt?

Getting your first tattoo can always be tricky, especially if you do not have a high pain threshold like me. Although I loved the concept of a tattoo, the thought of having a sharp needle piercing the top layer of my skin was quite daunting. I was determined to find out Does A Belly Button Tattoo Hurt?

A belly button tattoo is less painful since fewer bones and cartilage are around. However, the tattoo artist will require that you do a breathing exercise so that he can get a straight line. It might be less painful, but you will require more energy and patience.

Let’s get a deeper insight on why belly button tattoos are less painful, as well as the reasons you should and should not get a belly button tattoo so that you can make an informed decision.

Why Is A Belly Button Tattoo Less Painful?

Although there is no scientific evidence that a tattoo on any specific part of the body is more painful than the other, your pain threshold and the tattoo’s placement can greatly affect how it feels to get inked. Certain types of pain are well known in the tattoo community. 

When it comes to the belly button, it tends to be padded with some fat, less bone, and cartilage; hence it is said to be less painful. You might experience moderate to mild pain depending on your pain threshold.

Reasons To Get A Belly Button Tattoo

There are many reasons people choose to get a belly button tattoo; for some, it is just a personal preference that helps define their individuality and heritage. For others, it is just a fashion statement. Whatever your reason is for opting for a belly button tattoo, here are some of the common reasons why it is suggested;

A Belly Button Tattoo Is Less Painful

I opted to get a belly button tattoo because it is a commonly known fact tattooing on any area with more fat and less bone and cartilage will be less painful.

A Belly Button Tattoo Can Be Easily Displayed

A person getting a tattoo would rarely like to cover it up; besides, it would be a waste of the pain and the artist’s talent. Many people opt to get a belly button tattoo to show them off, especially if they have a flat tummy. It is also an area on your body to display your tattoo without revealing too much to others.

You Can Hide A Belly Button Tattoo

Although people get tattoos to show them off, some are more conservative. Having a tattoo on my belly button gives me the flexibility to cover it up when I am having business meetings without fear of being frowned upon. I can also confidently expose it when I am in a less formal environment around friends.

A Belly Button Tattoo Goes Well With A Navel Piercing

 It is the perfect place to display both, especially since the tattoo and piercing complement one another.

A Belly Button Tattoo Draws Attention To Well Defined Abs

Getting a belly button tattoo is a bonus if you have well-defined abs. If your abs do not draw attention, your belly button tattoo definitely will.

Disadvantages Of Getting A Belly Button Tattoo

A tattoo is permanent, and once you are inked, it would be a shame to have endured the pain and time, as well as finances, only to cover it up. Hence, you must be aware of why a belly button tattoo is not the best option to make the best possible decision. Below are some of those reasons;

A Belly Button Tattoo Can Get Distorted Over Time

It is important to understand that as life changes, so does your body. A belly button tattoo can become distorted over time if you experience body changes due to pregnancy, weight loss, or weight gain.

A Belly Button Tattoo Can Be Painful

Although a belly button tattoo is said to be less painful, there is a possibility that people that are thinner or more muscular can experience more pain. It entirely depends on the individual’s body.

A Belly Button Tattoo Can Be Affected Due To Plastic Surgery

You never know what life holds, and at some stage, you might want to do a tummy tuck; a new belly button is often created in the process, which means the tattoo will no longer be visible.

A Belly Button Tattoo Does Not Suit All Body Types

When opting for a tattoo, you don’t have to worry about weight issues. In the case of a belly button tattoo, it looks better if you have a flat stomach or muscular abs. The belly button tattoo might not have the desired effect if you have a round belly.

Having A Belly Button Tattoo Will Require Much Patience

You cannot just lay back and expect the tattoo artist to do all the work; you will also have to assist him in continuous breathing to draw straight lines. Perhaps that is why it seems less painful as one’s energy is focused on breathing. A friend once told me that her tattoo on her belly button took at least 4 hours. You have to have a lot of patience and energy to go through that.

Tips To Minimize Belly Button Tattoo Pain

Here are some tips that will hopefully help minimize the pain;

  • Liase with your tattoo artist about taking breaks if your pain becomes too much to handle.
  • Before choosing a tattoo artist, ensure that you see their certification. You should also request to check out their equipment beforehand.
  • It is advisable not to eat before getting a belly button tattoo.
  • It is important to follow a tattoo aftercare routine such as the washing of the tattoo and the applying of ointment and moisture to reduce pain and the risks of complications.
  • Avoid alcohol as it tends to thin your blood and can cause bleeding and bruising, which can cause further pain.
  • You need to stay hydrated and ensure that your skin is supple and tight to reduce the pain of a tattoo.
  • Apply a tattoo numbing cream or spray beforehand, which will help reduce the amount of pain experienced. You can purchase these products online on Amazon.

What To Consider Before Getting A  Belly Button Tattoo?

A tattoo lasts a lifetime, and it is, therefore, important to ensure that you consider the following factors before making a decision;

  • With the decision to have a tattoo, there are also risks of infection, allergic reactions to dyes, scarring, and blood-borne diseases.
  • It would help if you were 100% confident about the placement of the tattoo and the design so that you have no regrets later.
  • During pregnancy, belly button tattoos can become distorted. Your tattoo on your belly button can also completely disappear if you have plastic surgery to remove belly fat.
  • When you get a belly button tattoo, will you want to expose it or want the option of hiding it under clothing.


Although belly button tattoos are less painful, it entirely depends on your pain threshold. Many people see it as less painful than the other tattoos they have had. If it is your first tattoo, the chances are you might end up experiencing pain, as it is proven that with tattooing comes a certain degree of pain.


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