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Seven of the Most Painful Places to Get a Tattoo

Published by Maria Elle in Offbeat
February 18th, 2008

Tattoos are painful under any circumstances, but here are the most painful spots to get your new work of art.

Obviously, pain tolerance varies greatly from person to person, but here are some of the places that are generally painful.

  1. The Ankle or The Top of the Foot

    Look at your foot. The skin looks thin? Precisely why it really, really hurts. The layer of fat there is almost non-existent, and it leaves just nerves and skin to take the pain.

  2. Er, You Know Where

    That particular place absolutely kills for men. I shan’t elaborate, but I’m sure you can imagine why.

  3. The Eyebrows

    Fancy having permanently shaped eyebrows? You’ll have to suffer for it. Apart from no fat, you’ve got plenty of nerves and a lovely layer of muscle there.

  4. The Chest or Rib Cage

    This place again, has no fat. If you can feel your rib cage with a little bit of tummy sucking-in, chances are it’s going to hurt. Either put on some weight, or ditch the idea of getting a tattoo here.

  5. The Elbow

    Haven’t a clue why you would want a tattoo on your elbow, but if you fancy one, you have been forewarned

  6. The Eyelid

    I don’t recommend trying this one. You could permanently damage you eye, and the paper-thin skin that is the eye lid can be damaged by the needle hurting the delicate blood vessels in there.

  7. Knuckles

    I must say, having love on one hand and hate on the other looks very, very fetching indeed. Be prepared to suffer for beauty (or the ability to make bouncers cower) however.

So there you have it. Seven of the most painful places to get a tattoo.

Liked it
  1. Glynis
    Posted May 24, 2008 at 11:16 am

    I am a coward! I have always wanted a little monkey tattoo on my ankle and have never done anything about it, after reading this Maria I never will! Good read thanks

  2. MariaElle
    Posted May 26, 2008 at 7:23 am

    lol, sorry!
    Thank you!

  3. frankee
    Posted July 16, 2008 at 12:03 pm

    Wooops! Read this too late.
    Just got a Nicole Richie style one of my ankle-foot. He started at the front & I thought that killed…Wow when he got to the side and back I was leaving dents in my lips. Didnt hurt the second after he stopped thought so it’s all good.


  4. elbow
    Posted July 31, 2008 at 1:26 pm

    i want to get one on my foot i think they look awesome and eay to hide but now im scared too :(

  5. hahaha
    Posted August 22, 2008 at 6:14 am

    it is not that painful on your foot, i have a tattoo of 2 words written on the side of my foot going from big toe to ankle bone and it barely hurt at all. It was more of an irritating scratch than anything, i say go for it.

  6. Kiara
    Posted October 22, 2008 at 6:05 am

    I have a butterfly on my ankle, I must say that I was in so much of anticipation of just pain and suffering but after the artist started, I had to ask him if he started at all. It didnt hurt at all! There was this one time it hurt when he had to shade in the tattoo over my tendon but other than that, it never hurt as much as everyone says it does…

  7. Lindsey
    Posted November 8, 2008 at 8:45 pm

    What about by the calf, on the side of your leg? I think i’m going in about two weeks. It’ll be my first and last tattoo, so I was just curious.

  8. lindsey
    Posted January 1, 2009 at 10:04 am

    i have one on both sides of my chest it killed the collar bone wasnt bad although the closer to the nipple he got hurt.

    Posted February 4, 2009 at 9:22 pm

    I got a griffin on the right side of my lower back. I recomend this spot because there is more fat and it’s easily concealed. It did hurt, but it wasn’t too bad :D .

  10. O J simpson
    Posted April 5, 2009 at 9:26 pm

    i got a tatto of the two women i killed on my right buttcheek

  11. jennifer
    Posted June 26, 2009 at 8:15 pm

    I have three tattoos, one of my stomach, lower back and inside of my ankle running up my calf. I have to say they were all different, the one of my back was sore cos the artist dug too deep and bled really bad and scarred, stomach was quite sensitive and the one on my lwg was easy peasy, quite enjoyed the pain actually. Going in to get a full sleeve in a few weeks and really nervous bout that, heard the inner arm, under arm pit is the worst, is that true????

  12. Clare
    Posted November 13, 2009 at 2:01 pm

    I got a candy wrapper on the inside of my ankle. i have a really low pain threshold and i’m terrified of needles, but somehow it wasn’t as bad as I thought it was going to be! As it was my first tattoo i winced when he first put the gun to my ankle, and I’ll admit I was wimpering for the first 10 minutes of the outline, but I just sat back and let it happen. The shading was pretty painful though. What are people’s takes on butt tattoos? Painful?

  13. Posted January 12, 2010 at 11:46 pm

    Best advice before getting a tattoo is to stay off the booze for 24 hours beforehand, get a good sleep, you always feel better after a relaxing sleep, no sunbed sessions beforehand, look after your skin, dont get cold or hot. You will still feel it but believe me if you look after yourself beforehand you feel the benefits during the session.

  14. mark
    Posted March 8, 2010 at 6:35 pm

    having tattoos is only as painful as somones pain thresh hold! i have a tattoo on my wrist, the same type of place as the ancle. no pain! i get a bit tired of people putting a scare on things! the only scary thing about it is its for life girls look on the bright side having a tattoo is not painful like having a baby. i say bite the bullet and go for it if it hurts its only for a little bit until your body gets used to the sensation. and yes its a sensation nothing other then! ps the thoat is the most painfull place to have one done!

  15. lolol
    Posted April 11, 2010 at 4:30 am

    i got one on my lower hip for my 16th birthday to cover up a home job, and it was just like bad sunburn !!

  16. Keisha
    Posted May 19, 2010 at 9:19 pm

    I got a tattoo on the back of my neck for my 15th birthday. My brother done it for me where he is a tattoo artist. At first i was so scared and nervous bc im terrified of needles and i can’t stand any type of pain at all. When he first started giving it to me it hurt not alot but it stung alot. But after about 10 mins. my neck went numb and i couldent feel a thing it actually felt pretty good and didnt hurt after the first few moments. Im going this wekend to get another one on the top of my foot. Im so excited. If you want a tattoo dont hesitate go for it. There rly not tht bad and they look awsome!

  17. Hannah
    Posted August 16, 2010 at 1:10 pm

    i have 9 tats…one on each forearm one on my wrist one that takes up my whole calf one on my foot on on my upper back one on my shoulder one one on the middle of my back and one right below that and i can honestly say the most painful of them all was the one on my left forearm.

  18. Shirley Farr
    Posted September 23, 2010 at 11:23 am

    I am just back from having a tattoo on my foot, going round my ankle bone and curving up to the top of my foot. The ank;le part was tolerable a bit stingy. The top of my foot was the sorest. Before having a tattoo just ask yourself how much you want it.?…..
    If you have set your mind on it go for it. The pain only lasts a short time. Depending on the size of the tattoo.

  19. Posted May 28, 2011 at 12:39 pm

    [...] Seven of the Most Painful Places to Get a Tattoo | PurpleSlinkyTattoos are painful under any circumstances, but here are the most painful spots to get your new work of art. … The Ankle or The Top of the Foot … Er, You Know Where… [...]

  20. Tyler
    Posted May 26, 2012 at 9:36 am

    I got a tat on my ribs and I weigh about 120 didn’t hurt to bad so if ur skinny don’t ditch the idea it’s not bad

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