Tattoo Pain

Dealing with the pain factor of getting a tattoo, for some people, can be a nerve racking experience. Many people will never get a tattoo thinking that the pain involved would be much too unbearable for them to handle. But, the truth of the matter is, that if you can deal with a most pain that happens in life, then you can deal with a little tattoo pain.

The needle work involved in the tattoo process is where 90% of the pain comes from. The other 10% of the pain usually has to do with how you have to sit, lay, or stand while getting the tattoo, depending on the placement of your decoration.

Before getting a tattoo you may ask others who have them how much pain they felt. The problem with this is that each person feels different amounts of pain; however most experience the same physical application of pain. The needle pain itself will depend on the tattoo artist and the part of the body being tattooed. What does the needle pain feel like? In general it feels like a pinching, poking, and a scraping feeling along the skin. Sometimes you get the dragging feeling of the needles pulling across the skin, but this depends on the depth and skill of the tattoo artist.

There is also another factor in pain felt when getting a tattoo, the time of day the tattooing is performed. For the majority of people, later in the afternoon to evening is the time when our pain thresholds are at their highest. Scientifically it has been proven that most people are weaker and have a lower threshold for pain in the morning and early afternoon, if on a normal sleep cycle. So if you are going to get tattoo work done, look for tattoo artists who are open past 3 pm.

Doing research on the artist you will be working with is a good idea. Find out how many tattoos he/she has done, and talk with some of the people who have had tattoos done by that artist. Tattoo artist, much like doctors, will all have different bedside manners and gentleness. Some artists are rougher and have less regard for the pain the customer is in, others will have a light touch and be attuned to how you feel.

Another factor that will affect the pain felt will be how much tattooing you have done in one sitting. Most artists won’t do more than two or three hours of work on one person at a time. This means if you have an intricate or large tattoo it may take several visits to have the tattoo fully finished. When having tattoos done in separate sessions, it is best to give each section time to heal some before continuing. So if you have a tattoo that will take 5 sessions to complete, give at least a week between sessions so that your skin in that area is not as inflamed and sore, this will reduce the amount of pain during the subsequent sessions.

The last thing to remember before going under the needle is to relax. The pain is really not going to be that bad; most people would say a cat scratch hurts more. But if you tense up and cause yourself to hyperventilate before you even start, the pain felt by the tattoo needles will be multiplied by ten. You can actually psych yourself into feeling more pain than is actually occurring. If you take deep breaths, close your eyes, and relax at the beginning of the session, allowing yourself to almost fall asleep, the pain will be almost imperceptible.