5 Tips how to minimize the pain of tattoos

You can’t predict the exact level of pain you’ll experience while getting a tattoo. Preparing mentally and physically might reduce the pain. However, approaching the process with extreme fear can intensify the discomfort.

3D Color tattoo of an eye on the left forearm

Tattoos cause pain because they involve piercing the skin, a universally recognized unpleasant experience. Regardless of the tattoo’s size or location, pain is inevitable. However, your pain tolerance can significantly influence how much pain you feel. A high pain tolerance might mean you experience little to no discomfort.

During tattooing, needles rapidly puncture the skin at various depths. The outline tends to be the most painful part, requiring deeper and more precise needlework, especially when infusing a lot of black ink. Shading is usually less painful, as it doesn’t require deep skin penetration.

Prison tattoo gun

People often describe the pain of tattooing as a scratchy sensation or a mild burn. Tattoos on areas with less fat, like the wrist or chest, tend to hurt more. Arms and legs, with more fat and muscle, generally rank lower on the pain scale.

While pain is a given with tattoos, you can take steps to lessen it. Here are some tips for managing tattoo pain:

  1. Avoid alcohol and drugs before your session. They thin your blood, leading to increased bleeding.
  2. Build a rapport with your tattoo artist. Comfort and trust in your artist can help reduce pain.
  3. Come in with a calm and determined mindset. Remember, a beautiful tattoo takes time to create, and rushing art is never a good idea.
  4. If the pain becomes too much, inform your tattoo artist immediately. They need to know this critical information. You can take a break or even spread the tattooing process over several sessions.
  5. Listening to music can be a great distraction. By focusing on the music, you might find yourself less preoccupied with the pain of getting tattooed.
Black and Gray Tattoo of a male Warrior on the right shoulder


Effectively managing the pain of tattoos is crucial for a comfortable experience. By preparing mentally, trusting your artist, and using distractions like music, you can significantly lessen the discomfort. Remember, a great tattoo is worth the effort, and pain management is key to achieving your desired result.