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What are the most sensitive areas for a tattoo?

Updated: Oct 11, 2023

The pain experienced when getting a tattoo varies from person to person due to individual pain tolerance, the density of nerves in the tattooed area and other factors. However, certain areas of the body are generally considered to be more sensitive and therefore more likely to cause a sensation of intense pain when tattooing. These areas include:


Tattoos on the ribs are often considered particularly painful due to the proximity of bones and the relatively thin skin in this area.

Feet and ankles

Feet and ankles have thin skin and little fat to cushion the sensation of the tattooist's needle.


The skin around the knees can be sensitive and less fleshy, which can make tattoos in this area more uncomfortable.


Due to the sensitivity of the groin area, tattoos in this region can feel particularly painful.


The skin of the buttocks can be sensitive, especially near the coccyx bones.


The armpits are sensitive and can be uncomfortable to tattoo due to the density of nerves.


Thin skin and nearby bony structures make wrist tattoos sometimes more painful.


The nape of the neck is close to the spinal column and contains many nerves, which can increase the sensation of pain.


Tattoos near the genitals are generally considered extremely painful, due to the heightened sensitivity of the skin in this area.


Tattoos on the skull can be uncomfortable due to the density of the nerves and the proximity of the skull bones.

It's important to remember that pain is subjective, and what may be very painful for one person may be quite bearable for another. If you are considering a tattoo and have concerns about pain, it is advisable to discuss your concerns with your tattoo artist, who can give you specific advice depending on the intended location and size of the tattoo.

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