10 body parts to avoid for a less painful tattoo!!!

Ouch, wait, I’m not ready, whew, ok, go ahead (holds breath)…..that’s it? That is not what I was expecting. That used to be the first sentence/ question I would hear the seconds before I put ink to anyone’s skin that was new to tattoos. Now before I even run my machine I let tattoo virgins know, this is a tattoo, it is uncomfortable and annoying, you are not being licked by kittens and riding unicorns you are getting a tattoo. The more you sit still the better your tattoo will look, if you wiggle and squirm while I am tattooing you then your tattoo will also be wiggly and squirmy. The tattoo will not hurt as bad as you are imagining right now, more than likely it feels like nothing else you have experienced before. It does not feel like a cat scratch, it does not feel like a hundred bees stinging you at once, and it does not feel like the old sissy tests we used to do to ourselves and friends with the eraser of a pencil back in school. This is a tattoo, it will be more annoying than anything else. This is usually where I explain taking breaks and so forth and this is something your artist should go over with you too, if you are unsure about which artist or shop to choose check out my post You are ready for your first tattoo!!…..NOW WHAT? For some tips when choosing. So I know I know, get on with it, what spots should you avoid? Here is the disclaimer before I unveil the list, NOT ALL BODIES ARE THE SAME AND EVERYONE IS DIFFERENT, I say this before anyone says that an area that I have elected to add to the list did not hurt them when they got theirs done. The information that I have collected for this list comes from twenty years of experience observing the everyday operations of a tattoo shop and the clients it has. So with no further a-dew the top 10 most painful spots to get a tattoo are as follows:
  • The ditch- this is the spot that everyone will agree is very painful, the ante cubitol fossa, the inside bend of your elbow.
  • Ribs- Kind of self explanatory, the skin above your ribs is sensitive and it is above the bone.
  • Sternum- Ladies I know this is a sexy spot to get a tattoo but please do not pick this spot for your first tattoo, you and the artist will not have a good experience.
  • Inside of the lip- not only does it suck to get this spot tattooed but it will, if your lucky, hang around for six months or less and if your shop does free touch ups, this area is usually not included in the touch up policy. So make sure you do your research and ask questions.
  • Armpit- This is not a spot that is tattooed often but it does get more sensitive the closer you get to it, so the people who say the inside of the bicep hurts are really feeling it because the armpit and the ditch are on either end of that area.
  • Behind the knee/lower back of thigh/ upper back of calf- that general area, anytime there is a bend or a hinge joint you can bet that spot is gonna be uncomfortable, the area right above and right below are also uncomfortable. Also with lower limb tattoos be careful with swelling, Ibuprofen and elevation helps.
  • Eyelids- So this one is not for everyone, at one point in time I would only be mentioning this to women who get cosmetic tattoos but now people are getting eyelid tattoos, shit some are even having their eyeballs tattooed. I would hope that I wouldn’t have to explain the importance of researching your artist if this is something you want to have done, cosmetic or regular eyelid tattoos along with the eyeball dying.
  • The ear-I am not talking about behind the ear because if done correctly that area is pretty painless, I am talking about the inside of your ear or on your lobe. There is skin and cartridge on your ear not much else besides your nerve endings lol, when I had my cartridge tattooed it felt like I was being cut with a hot scalpel however I have heard other people say that it didn’t hurt at all.
  • Inner thigh- I am not sure if anyone has caught onto this yet but if your skin is in a sensitive area and is not conditioned by the sun like the inner bicep, back of thighs, stomach, inner thighs, etc, those areas will be more intense feeling than spots that regularly get a tan
  • Palms of the hands and the soles of the feet- This is another one that is like the inside of the lip, what is the point in doing this when it probably wont last more than six months and it is not a tickle and a cup of tea it is a tattoo. The skin on the palms and soles are different than the rest of your body and is made to be thicker and more protective in those two areas, so logically speaking it will heal and hold tattoos different than the rest of your body too.

So that is it guys and dolls, the most painful areas to get a tattoo, again this is not just my personal point of view, this comes from twenty years of observing and hearing clients complain and squirm when getting these spots tattooed.

Everyone is different and everyone feels pain differently, some people have a high threshold for pain and others have none at all, woman can take pain better than men can, and this is not a bias statement it is just truth and this is because our bodies have to go through childbirth. It does not matter how big or small you are, what color your skin is or how old you are, tattoos hurt, that’s why you sometimes hear people say that so and so earned that tattoo, that means it was very painful or it was painful for that person. Anyway darlings, I leave you with one thing to think about before your next tattoo, is you are going to endure the pain, make sure the artist who is inflicting the pain is worth it in the long run!! (So stay away from kitchen magicians and basement butchers!!!)

Yours In Ink,

KC DeVille


I am a female tattoo artist of six years, I have owned my tattoo shop since 2009 when my husband, Tony, and I opened DeVille Ink in Baltimore. I am a mom to three amazing sons, you will learn about them in my posts, at this point in my life I dont think there are many things I have not done or at least attempted to do.

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