How much will my new tattoo hurt?
Pain is a personal thing so no one can tell you how bad it will hurt you.
However the tattoo community has come up with a definite consensus on new tattoo pain levels, how much will it hurt and the types of pain you might experience.
- Burning pain. After an artist works on the same area of your body for a while, your skin might feel raw and inflamed, leading to a burning sensation. This feeling is also common in areas with more fat. Though not the most intense pain, you can certainly feel it.
- Dull or background pain. When the needle buzzes and pricks your skin, your body produces stress hormones like adrenaline to counter the pain. According to researchers this can dull the sensation for the first couple of hours. Chatting with your artist, watching TV, or distracting your mind. Even with virtual reality in 2021 a study claimed it may cause the pain to fade into the background.
- Scratching pain. Getting a tattoo is often compared to a cat repeatedly scratching you. Though it’s not the most intense pain ever, it can get a lttle too much especially if your artist uses multiple needles, like when shading. This also tends to happen away from bony or ultra-sensitive areas.
- Sharp or stinging pain. On the more sensitive parts of your body with more nerve endings and thinner skin (like the inside of your wrist), what once felt like cat scratches might feel like bee stings. This can be intense and may feel like the needle’s digging deep. This also tends to happen when the artist is doing fine details. However, too much stinging can indicate that an inexperienced artist is pushing the needle too deeply into your skin. This can lead to a problem called tattoo blowout.
- Vibrating pain. There is nothing like a needle vibrating against your bones and reverberating through your whole body. You might feel this vibration on your outer wrist, elbows, ribs, and ankles – especially when the needle’s moving fast. If you have less fat over your bones, you’re more likely to experience this.
How to reduce pain.
Taking steps to minimize pain doesn’t make you weak – it makes you smart!
How to cope with new tattoo pain levels and how much will it hurt?
- Pick a quality artist. Check their past work, reviews from previous customers, and certifications beforehand. Going to an experienced pro minimizes the risk of undue pain or complications like infections and a raised, inflamed tat.
- Take breaks. Ask your artist if it’s okay to take a break when you’re struggling. A compassionate artist will understand. Larger tattoos are often broken up into several sessions, but you can also request to get your tattoo done in more sessions if you need a break
- No booze. Alcohol thins your blood and can cause bleeding, bruising, and excess pain during the experience. For that reason, quality tattoo studio’s won’t take boozed-up customers.
- Get sleep and minimize stress. Resting up and minimizing stress before getting tattooed might help ease pain on the big day. Breathe in, breathe out!
- Consider a numbing product. Numbing creams or sprays can take the edge off, especially in sensitive spots. Just talk to your artist about it beforehand. Some tattoo artists actually offer these products, while others have a personal preference of not tattooing people who use them.
Getting a tattoo hurts! But how much tattoo pain affects you is personal.
Factors like where you get the tattoo, male or female, pain tolerance and whether you’ve had one before might make a difference
To avoid undue pain and complications, pick a skilled, experienced artist with the certifications and portfolio to prove it. Prioritizing a quality aftercare can also help ensure that your new body art heals up beautifully and painlessly.