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Asian Style Chest Tattoo

Visual Tattoo Pain Chart - Do tattoos Hurt?

Do tattoos Hurt? One of the most common questions that we get here at Chronic Ink is “Do tattoos Hurt?”.

Now the short answer yes - tattoos do hurt - but how much depends on many different factors like the length of time for your tattooing session, your person thresholds for pain, the style of the tattoo you are getting and the location on your body where you are placing the tattoo.

We reached out to a few of our tattoos artists to see what they think on the topic.

Where Is The Least Painful Place to Get A Tattoo?

There is no simple answer to this question, and it will change for everybody based on their pain tolerance. One part of the body may be more sensitive for one person than the other. Generally speaking though, forearms, the back of the neck, and shoulders have been considered some of the least painful places to get tattooed by many people. Joanna Roman - a fine line tattoo artist at Chronic Ink - said “The least painful - surprisingly - was behind my ear. Which I thought it would hurt more, just because it's essentially on your skull. I thought it would be worse but that one I barely felt. You feel a little bit of vibrating but that was really really easy for me.” Illustrative Forearm Tattoo

Where Is the Most Painful Place to Get A Tattoo?

Just like the least painful place, the most painful place to get a tattoo his highly personal. Some people are better at handling the pain than others and the tattooing needles don’t seem to bother them at all. Through asking our clients and fans on social media there was a pretty strong consensus that getting tattooed in your armpits, back of the knees or elbow ditch, and the palm of your hands, were some of the worst locations when it came to tattoo pain. Winson Tsai - a tattoo artist at Chronic Ink - says “Palm of the hand that was a next level next level of pain for me. One and a half hour tattoo, Zeke did it for me and I swear it felt like at least three hours. I was in the hyperbolic pain chamber.” Courtney - a piercer at Chronic Ink - says “My thing is mind over matter if you go into it thinking it's going to be the worst thing in the world, it's probably going to be the worst thing in the world.” Chest Tattoo

What Is The Best Place to Get Your First Tattoo?

When it comes to getting your first tattoo, don’t let the thought of pain steer you away from the location on your body you really want to place your body art. Although some areas may hurt more than others the length of the tattoo session is a relatively short amount of time to tough it through for a beautiful piece of art you will have for the rest of your life. Some things to consider when getting your first tattoo and it’s placement are:
  • Do YOU want your tattoo to be visible to others?
  • Does your work require you to cover up your tattoo?
  • Do YOU want to be able to see YOUR tattoo in the mirror?
  • Will you potentially want to add on or extend this piece in the future?

What Does Getting a Tattoo Feel Like?

Most people you talk to will say that getting a tattoo feels close to the feeling of rubbing a part of your skin that has a sunburn. While not comfortable, most people do find it tolerable and much easier to manage when considering their second vs their first tattoo. Vibrations - specifically in boney areas - are a feeling a lot of people will speak about. Although you may be getting tattooed in one area of the body, it is not uncommon for the feeling to travel and cause buzzes and vibration in nearby locations of your body. Other people seem to focus more on the annoying and irritating sensations during their tattoo sessions. For these people the tattoo pain takes a back seat but the general feeling and discomfort starts to get to them.

Our Favourite Tattoo Aftercare

After Inked

After Inked Tattoo Moisturizer delivers effective skin moisturization and helps to preserve the colours of your tattoos. There's no petroleum so it won't stick to or stain your clothes. This moisturizing skin lotion, enriched with Grape Seed Oil, can also be used on any permanent makeup procedure on lips, brows, eye liner, and areola, as well as an after-laser tattoo removal moisturizing lotion. After Inked is Dermatologist tested, non-allergenic and non-irritating.

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PurSan Aftercare is a specially formulated Vegan skin cleanser used to clean and moisturize as part of an aftercare regimen for fresh tattoos and piercings. It revitalizes, refreshes and purifies skin without drying it out. Gentle yet effective, PurSan contains no parabens, fragrances, colourants or alcohol. Chloroxylenol (PCMX) is a proven antimicrobial ingredient shown to be effective against bacteria and viruses without burning or irritating the skin. Hydroxypropyl Methylcellulose (Hypromellose) is an ultra-high grade lubricant ideal for sensitive skin.

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Tips To Ease Your Tattoo Pain

After speaking with our Tattoo Artists a few tips and recommendations to ease the pain during your tattoo session are the following:
  • Get a Good Night Rest before the day of your tattoo
  • Eat a large meal 3 hours prior to your appointment
  • Do not drink alcohol before your appointment
  • Do not come to your appointment Hungover or Dehydrated
  • Focus on your breathing. Inhale for 3 seconds and exhale for 5

Our Tattoo Pain Chart

We reached out to our audience on Instagram to crowd source what they thought were areas of the body that were the most and least sensitive to pain while getting a tattoo. Our tattoo pain chart shows the results. Tattoo Pain Chart

Ready to get your next tattoo?

Chronic Ink Tattoo Shops are home to some of the best tattoo aritst in the world. Our staff will work closely with you to ensure that you are as comfortable as possible through your entire tattoo process, from your first consult to the time you are leaving the chair.

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Tattoo Locations

Downtown Toronto

378 Yonge Street, 2nd Floor, Toronto, Ontario M5B 1S6 Directions

Midtown Toronto

252 Eglinton Ave East, 2nd Floor, Toronto, Ontario M4P 1K2 Directions


7381 Kennedy Road, Unit #105, Markham, Ontario L3R 5B5 Directions

Looking for your next Tattoo Idea?

Browse our selection of one of a kinda tattoo designs created by our Chronic Ink artists. Each piece is individual and will only ever be tattooed once.

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