Is There A Painless Tattoo?

Tattoos are growing in popularity, and the stigma surrounding tattoos have also begun to fade. However, one thing that remains is the fear of experiencing pain when getting a tattoo. So, naturally, you might wonder if there is such a thing as a painless tattoo?

Various people are working to create a genuinely painless tattoo. However, for now, the most common way to get a permanent tattoo is with a needle gun. While there isn’t a completely painless tattoo, factors such as location influence the pain of a tattoo. There are also ways to reduce the pain.

Fortunately, there are multiple ways to minimize the pain of a tattoo. We’ll share tips for reducing the pain you experience when getting a tattoo. We’ll also discuss which areas on your body have the highest pain tolerance for a tattoo.

Is There A Painless Permanent Tattoo?

Scientists are persistently looking for a painless tattoo option for cosmetic and medicinal purposes. There are prototypes in the making to deliver an effective, painless, permanent tattoo. One group is working with micro-jet injection technology. This technology uses a fine micro-jet to deliver the ink to your skin. It will cause much less pain and carries less risk than traditional tattooing techniques.

Another group is working to develop a blow dart tattoo machine that uses focused air and vibrations to deliver the tattoo ink to your skin. This technique will also offer a painless alternative to traditional tattoos. It may be one of the leading techniques for getting a tattoo in the future.

While these tattooing techniques may replace traditional tattoos in the future, they are only concept ideas for the moment. Some methods are currently being tested, but none are used on a large scale. Therefore, if you want to get a permanent tattoo today, you will have to deal with the needles and pain that comes with it.

Fortunately, several tips help to reduce the pain you experience when getting a tattoo. In addition, where you decide to get a tattoo on your body affects the pain you experience from it. So, where does a tattoo hurt the most? And where does it hurt the least?

The Best Spot To Get A Tattoo (And The Worst)

The pain you experience when getting a tattoo is dependent on many things. However, where you get a tattoo is one of the most significant contributors to your tattoo’s pain. Areas with thin skin, close to the bone, or where many nerves run underneath the skin tend to be more sensitive. Getting a tattoo in these areas will thus cause more pain.

  • On the shin.
  • The armpit
  • The face and neck.
  • The groin area.
  • On or along the spine.
  • On the ankle or foot.
  • On toes and fingers.
  • Ribcage
  • Clavicle

Although these areas typically hurt most when getting tattooed, it doesn’t mean you cannot get a tattoo in one of these places. Every person’s pain tolerance differs. Therefore, you might not experience the same pain as someone else would.

However, if you’re getting your first tattoo and the pain is a significant consideration, getting a tattoo in a less sensitive area might be a better option. Areas known to be less painful when getting a tattoo include:

  • Thigh
  • Calve
  • Stomach
  • Outer shoulder
  • Bicep

In addition to the area where you get the tattoo, your gender and body type also influences the pain you experience. For example, if you have more body fat, you’ll likely experience less pain when getting a tattoo as more fat is under your skin. The fat ensures the needle doesn’t come as close to your bone and nerves. Therefore, the tattoo won’t hurt as much.

Furthermore, there is some debate surrounding how your gender influences your pain tolerance. For example, some studies suggest that females naturally have higher pain tolerance. In contrast, other studies have shown that males generally experience tattoos as less painful.

However, regardless of your gender, it is generally true that people who have had a tattoo done before consider them less painful than those who are getting their first tattoos.

Therefore, if you’re in the process of getting your first tattoo, you might be interested to know how you can reduce the pain thereof. In the next section, we will discuss tips recommended by tattooists to minimize the pain of getting a tattoo.

How To Make A Tattoo Hurt Less

The best people to ask about reducing the pain of getting a tattoo are those who do it for a living. Therefore, we have asked various tattoo artists to share their tips for reducing the pain of getting a tattoo. So, here is what to do when getting a tattoo.

1. Book Your Tattoo In The Morning

Most tattooists recommend booking your tattoo in the early morning if possible. There are two primary reasons for this. The first is that your body has more adrenaline in the morning, which helps suppress pain. Second, you are more alert in the morning and have more energy and stamina to sit through a tattoo session.

2. Hydrate Before And During The Session

Ensuring that you are adequately hydrated before and during your tattoo session will help keep your skin tight and plump. This, in turn, helps reduce the pain of getting a tattoo as the needle gun hurts more on loose skin.

Another huge tip when getting a tattoo is to do so while sober. Alcohol and painkillers thin the blood, causing more bleeding while getting a tattoo. This causes your tattoo to hurt more and possibly result in a deformed tattoo.

3. Eat Before Getting The Tattoo

Another critical tip when getting a tattoo is to do so after eating. Food will give your body the energy and stamina to endure the tattoo process. In addition, eating a good meal will boost your mood and keep you from feeling faint.

However, if your tattoo is located on your stomach, eat a smaller meal ahead of time to prevent feeling uncomfortable while getting your tattoo.

4. Use Tattoo Numbing Cream

Some tattoo artists recommend Tattoo numbing cream. It works by numbing the skin and makes the tattoo hurt less. However, tattoo numbing cream only works for a short period and takes a while before it starts to work. Therefore, it can cause your session to last longer, and the cream might work out before the tattoo is done.

5. Focus On Something Other Than The Pain

Many tattooists recommend keeping your mind focused on something other than the pain. For example, watch TV, listen to music, or chat with your tattoo artist while they work. This will distract you from thinking of the pain and help your tattoo hurt less.

6. Take A Break If You Need To

Finally, if you feel the pain is too much to bear, ask your tattooist for a quick break. Go to the bathroom or take a few minutes to relax before continuing. Keep focused on the result and watch as your tattoo blossoms into a beautiful piece of art. 


Although many people are researching and developing ways to create a painless tattoo, most tattoos now require the use of a tattoo gun, and this involves some pain. However, a tattoo can hurt more or less depending on the area you get the tattoo and your body shape.

In addition, there are various tips to reduce the pain of getting a tattoo, such as staying hydrated, getting your tattoo in the morning, and keeping your mind focused on something other than the tattoo. You can also try numbing cream to reduce the pain of getting a tattoo.

Some of my favorite designs, tattoo books, and aftercare products, selected for you

working on tattoo at my studio
Working at the studio on one of my projects

Thank you for reading my article, I hope that you have found it helpful. If you would have trouble finding ideas for your tattoo, wonder what is meaning of design that you have found or what to buy for aftercare, to make sure that your tattoo will be healing quickly and easily, here are some of my favorite products in one place, hope that this will also help.

Design and tattoo ideas

For some ideas you can have a look at those 3 books with hundreds of designs that I use with my clients, they are available on Amazon for Kindle or in classic, paper version (links below):

Tattoo meaning

If you would like to read more about the meaning of different tattoo styles and designs before you will decide what you would like to have, I can recommend a book that was really useful for me when I was starting my tattoo adventure – it’s “Conscious Ink: The Hidden Meaning of Tattoos” by Lisa Barretta (through the link you can find it on Amazon for around $10).

Tattoo aftercare

The skin at the tattoo site often dries out. To prevent it and speed up healing for my clients, I usually recommend one of those tattoo aftercare balms (you can find them on Amazon):


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