Piercing Pain Guide: The Most Painful Areas for Piercings and Tattoos

Piercing Pain Guide: The Most Painful Areas for Piercings and Tattoos

Body piercings and tattoos have long stopped being taboo, with millennials and Gen Z’s actively using them as a form of creative expression these days. Although Baby Boomer’s may still take some warming up to the ideas, times are changing (and have already changed) very fast. No matter how old you are, if you’re considering getting one or the other in the near future, you’re going to want to know about the areas that are most painful to do so. This guide will help with deciding exactly where you want the tattoo or piercing should go, before starting to get excited about what lays ahead. 

Why Do Piercings and Tattoos Hurt So Much?

Although the pain does tend to subside quickly, it’s no secret that it hurts to get a tattoo or a piercing. This is simply a natural response to undergoing the needle-based injection of ink into the skin, or a hole being made somewhere on the body. Tattoos “damage” the skin to an extent to achieve the desired result, which is why painful swelling occurs too. In a more technical sense, tattoos and piercings hurt so much because they bring nerves into contact with a needle or piercing gun. A general rule to keep in mind when you’re choosing an area: the fewer nerves in the area, the less pain you are likely to experience. 

Consider Variable Pain Thresholds

That said, we’re all wired differently at the end of the day. This makes it impossible to generalize and assume that one person will experience the same level of pain than another. There are a couple of indicators, many of which are based on scientific research, to suggest that a few factors might affect people’s pain threshold. These range from sex (women tend to experience pain more intensely than men), to age, weight and even experience. You won’t have a true idea about your pain threshold relative to tattoos and piercings if you haven’t done it at least once. 

Expectation Setting: Different Types of Pain

When getting any tattoo or piercing, you’re likely to experience different types of pain based on how these are done. There are general sensations that people have experienced and shared, including background (or dull), burning, scratching, vibrating and stinging pain. An experienced tattoo or piercing artist will be able to tell you which one to expect based on where you’re getting your new creative addition. By setting a few expectations, you’ll be able to tell when things aren’t going according to plan, especially if it is your first time. Work with a professional that communicates openly about this, offering peace of mind that you are in good hands along the way. 

Piercing Pain Guide


The Most Painful Areas for Piercings

There are a couple of areas on the body that are known for being more painful than others. Knowing about these will help you to make a more informed decision about where you should be getting yours. Genital and nipple piercings are typically very painful, mostly because of the amount of nerve endings in these areas. Nose and dermal piercings come in a close second, although the latter can be relatively painless if it is done in an area that isn’t very nerve heavy. Think carefully about trying one of these four types of piercings, especially if you’re a first timer or have a low pain threshold to begin with. 

Higher Pain Spots for Tattoos

Just like with piercings, tattoos also have a few places on the body that tend to cause more pain than others. Areas that are close to bones, where the skin is very thin or where the space is devoid of too much fat may lead to high to severe pain levels. Tattoos are generally highly painful when they are in the armpit, rib cage, ankles, shins, groins, lips or behind the knees. These spots can be tricky to tattoo to begin with, so make sure you are working with an experienced artist who can answer your questions and get you the exact outcome you’re looking for. If you’re wanting to gauge things first, with an intention to come back and get another tattoo later, stick to a more common area like the forearm, shoulder or one of your calves to keep things simple.

Quick Tips to Reduce Pain During Either

To make sure you have as little pain as possible during the piercing or tattooing process, there are a couple of precautions you can take on the day. It’s important to go in sober, as having thinner-than-usual blood can cause additional complications in the moment along with potential problems during the healing process. Eat a full breakfast and drink lots of water, preferably after a good night’s sleep to give your immune system a boost. Ask to take a few breaks in the process if the pain is starting to feel too much. Use mindfulness techniques like meditation to focus on other things while you’re sitting in the chair. Breath deeply through the process, and enjoy a casual conversation with a friend or the artist to help the process feel shorter than it actually is. 

Additional Support

If you have any questions about the tattooing or piercing process, the BodyJ4You team can help. We’re happy to help wherever we can to offer you more peace of mind about the incredible process you’re about to embark on. If you’re looking for specific piercings, gauges, belly rings, glass jewelry and more, we’ve got you covered. Our high quality products have been tried and tested and are designed in a way to make the process as seamless as possible. All you have to worry about now is the creative side of the process, and in a couple of weeks you’ll be showing off your brand new ink or piercing with a broad smile on your face. Relax, and enjoy the ride. 

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