Pain when tattooing

Synonyms in a broader sense

scientifically also tatooing = tattoo
English: tattoo


Hardly any general statements can be made about the pain that can arise when getting a tattoo. In principle, they mainly depend on a person's individual sensitivity to pain and the part of the body on which the tattoo is applied.

Do you already have a freshly tattooed tattoo? Read more on the topic: Aftercare for tattoo.
Find out more about the topic: Tattooing an eye - is that possible?


First of all, of course, it has to be said that tattoos are made by bringing the color for the tattoo under the skin. Since this injures the skin and creates a wound, it is only logical that the process of tattooing cannot be entirely painless.
Nevertheless, everyone feels the pain, not only when tattooing, but in principle, to different degrees. While some describe the process of tattooing as simply uncomfortable or as lightly pressing or rubbing, there are others who tear tears in their eyes and who perceive the pain as almost unbearable. In addition, of course, it always depends on the form of the day in which you are at the time of the tattoo.
Depending on the other mental and physical state, there may be an increased or decreased sensation of pain.

In addition to individual factors, they are also decisive Job, on which the tattoo is stung, with how severe the pain is described during this process. Basically the following applies:

The worst pain occurs in the places where the skin is relatively direct bone covered, so little Subcutaneous tissue is present (which is why it usually hurts Thigh or upper arm for example much less than on shoulder blade or the Sole of the foot).

The thickness of the skin at the punctured area also plays a role. It can also be said that there are certain "sensitive areas“There are for every person to whom he is more sensitive to pain, which partly also differed from person to person. Often the Insides of the arms or. legs or the Kidney area called. In general, the pain is most severe with a tattoo in the Intimate area perceived.


In principle, pain when tattooing is felt to different degrees.

Apart from the pain, which is practically a “symptom” of tattooing, the area where the tattoo is stabbed can also bleed.
In normal cases, however, this should only be a very small amount of bleeding that will quickly subside by itself. If the tattoo is not properly pierced or if dirt gets into the wound, the tattoo can ignite.
This is also sometimes painful, reddening, swelling and overheating of the affected area. Systemic reactions such as fever only occur in very extreme cases. Occasionally a tattoo can also lead to an allergic reaction, for example if there is an allergy to the dye used.
In such a case, pain, reddening and overheating can occur, and the surrounding skin can also change accordingly.


Since the pain when getting a tattoo is a natural reaction of the body, the person concerned usually expects it and it usually disappears quickly after the process of tattooing, it almost never requires therapy. However, if they are extremely strong and last longer, you can of course do one Painkiller take, preferably the one that you otherwise feel is best for yourself personally (among other things, aspirin, Paracetamol or Ibuprofen). However, should pain persist longer and there are also signs of a inflammation or allergy develop, you should consult a doctor and, if necessary, discuss a therapy with him (for example, the use of Anti-inflammatories how Cortisone or antiallergic agents like Antihistamines in question).


It is quite normal that it hurts when getting a tattoo and therefore no cause for concern (except for people who are worried about this pain in themselves). Normally, however, the pain only lasts during the tattooing process and possibly for a short time afterwards and can therefore be tolerated by most of them. Consequential damage are extremely rare in healthy people.

Reduce pain

The most important rule of pain control is to eat before tattooing to gain energy and increase pain tolerance.

A simple way to get better through pain is to control your breathing. Similar to pregnant women during childbirth, breathing technique can reduce the sensation of pain. By taking calm deep breathing while tattooing, you relax in the tattoo artist's chair and the pain is felt to be less severe. A deep inhalation should be followed by an exhalation phase that is twice as long as the previous inhalation. This controlled breathing slows down the heartbeat and relaxes the muscles. The effect occurs after the first correctly exhaled exhalation and increases with each breathing cycle.

Chewing a stress ball or chewing gum also helps to cope with the pain.

In addition, while tattooing, one can distract oneself from the pain with music, reading or a movie. In addition to breathing, meditation can also help you cope with the pain.

Read more on the topic: meditation

There is also a cream that can be used to numb the area of ​​the body locally. The Emla cream contains the anesthetic ingredients lidocaine or Prilocainethat numb the sensation and conduction of pain. Some tattoo artists use this cream, others advise against it as it softens the skin and makes it harder to get the tattoo.

Read more on the topic: Emla cream

Many people resort to the homeopathic remedy Arnica and swear by the anti-inflammatory, pain-relieving and hemostatic effects. In addition to relieving pain, Arnica has the positive side effect that the freshly pierced area swells and heals more quickly. However, one should seek advice when buying Arnica Globuli, as there are different potentised mixtures and the potencies should be individually adapted to the person.

Taking ibuprofen during the session will also reduce the swelling and pain. However, it does not completely erase the pain, ibuprofen only reduces the pain intensity. When taking ibuprofen while tattooing, care must be taken to ensure that the maximum daily dose is not exceeded. However, the effectiveness of ibuprofen for pain relief when tattooing is much debated.

Taking Novalgin is not recommended, especially if you do not know whether you can tolerate the drug. Novalgin often triggers strong side effects.

From centrally acting strong painkillers (Tilidine, Valeron) is not advisable, especially since they require a prescription and can cause significant, very serious side effects if incorrectly dosed.

Back tattooing pain

The pain in the back is usually felt differently.

The pain everyone feels while getting a tattoo is different. Of the move includes many areas that too innervated to different degrees and individually with Muscles or fat are reinforced.

The Pain intensity increases with the Duration of tattooing. Areas that are heavily innervated, such as the ribs and theirs, are particularly painful Gaps and places where the bone is almost immediately under the skin.

Out Experience reports it can be seen that the back pain fluctuate greatly may depending where to tattoo becomes. in the lower back and the Lumbar region will the pain as very strong whereas many others report that the Shoulder area less painful is.

There are many in general different opinions on pain intensity Finding a tattoo on the back, they range from barely painful to very painful and are probably most likely due to that personal pain sensation traced back.

Especially when tattooing on the back it is important to keep the muscles as relaxed as possible in order to Tension pain to prevent. That’s why are here especially Breathing techniques and Meditation exercises recommended, which are distracting and relaxing. It is with flat tattoos on the back not recommended also use anesthetic ointments over a large area.

Pain tattooing on ankle

The ankle is a place where every experience report from extreme pain reported while tattooing. The skin at this point is particularly thin and follow it without a large layer of padding the bony structures of the Lower leg bones, the ankle and the Foot bones.

Additionally run on the ankle numerous ducts of nerves and vessels in and under the skin.

This is also the case at this point Sensation of pain very individual and so, in contrast to many reports, this point can also be perceived as not very painful.

It is also important at the ankle Breathing exercises staying relaxed while tattooing to keep leg from twitching. The use of others pain relievers should be carefully discussed in consultation with the tattoo artist.

Pain tattooing on wrist

The Pain intensity at The wrist and skin can be very high when tattooing. The hand is very well supplied with nerves, because you need your hands to feel a lot of things. Therefore, stitches a few millimeters apart can also be perceived individually. Also at this point is the Skin very thin and you quickly land on the bone or the Tendonswho feed the hand.

Especially about the Inside of the wristwhere you can also feel the tendons, the pain is said to be the worst. At this point, too, it applies that pain relievers, the side effects should be.

Pain tattooing shoulder

Tattoos in the shoulder area are very popular due to the possibility of covering them with clothing if necessary. Tattoos can take on very different shapes and dimensions and accordingly differ in the duration and intensity of the session.

The perception of pain varies greatly from person to person and depends, among other things, on the current condition and previous experience. People who already have several tattoos on their bodies may already know the feeling better and may no longer find it painful. Others, on the other hand, have already had painful experiences at the tattoo artist and may be sensitized when they visit again.

In principle, one can say that the shoulder area is a sensitive area, since in most cases there is only a thin layer of fat between the skin and the muscles and touch or pain sensors are quickly irritated when the tattoo is pierced. However, this does not always have to result in a painful sensation. Many describe the piercing of the tattoo as being easy to bear and not necessarily uncomfortable.

Nevertheless, you should be prepared for the fact that piercing a tattoo can be unpleasant, which is usually reasonable if you would like to have the tattoo.


There are some rules that, if followed, are believed to help at least alleviate some of the pain associated with tattooing.

First of all, it is important that you are good rested (and sober!) is and best well strengthened (so eat something beforehand!) goes to the tattoo appointment so that the Cycle does not fail and the body does not have other "construction sites“Has to take care of at the time of the tattoo. Attitude can also do a lot to reduce the pain. After all, you get the tattoo voluntarily and should look forward to it.
With a positive attitude one can definitely achieve a positive effect on pain. You will never be able to completely prevent the pain that occurs with a tattoo - unless you decide against it at the last moment Tattoo.