Does it Hurt to Get a Tattoo?
One of the biggest questions asked by someone thinking about getting their first tattoo is Do tattoos hurt? They are nervous about the amount of pain involved in getting a tattoo. Yes, it does hurt to get a tattoo, but the pain is experienced differently by everyone. Depending on the type and size of the tattoo, it could hurt more or less to get a tattoo. Read on to find out more about the pain of getting a tattoo.
Most of the public think that a tattoo machine injects ink into the skin but this is not the case. The needle itself is actually a solid one, and adjacent to the needle(s) there is a tube that is dipped into ink from a little cup called an ink cap. The motor then pulls the needle through the tube saturated with ink in and out of the skin. The ink then seeps into the small hole(s) made by the tattoo machine. This is done many times each minute to make a solid line from thousands of tiny little dots created by the needles.
Simply put, the answer to the question of whether or not getting a tattoo hurts is yes. It is somewhat uncomfortable at the very least. The full answer is made up of many sections. Just how strong the pain of getting a tattoo will feel is dependent on where on the body the tattoo is being inked and how detailed the artwork is both factor into the pain equation, plus your personal acceptance for pain.
Some areas of your body have more nerves and bones. These areas are usually more sensitive for getting tattooed. The ever so popular ankle tattoo is actually very painful because of the lack of fatty tissue and muscle. The shoulders and upper arm areas are very popular not just because of the ease with which the tattoo can be shown off, but the padding makes it a little easier to get the tattoo there.
The outlining of a tattoo is most of the time more painful than the coloring/shading part of a tattoo. The outline is often done with a single needle which sometimes can feel sharper or scratchy. Shading is done with a group of thinner needles. Some artists are known as heavy handed, this means that they may grip your skin firmly while working on your tattoo but may also burrow the machine into your skin a bit deeper. This is not a good or bad thing, it is just a way of tattooing that the artist has become comfortable with. Beginning tattoo artists are usually a bit slower and have less depth than an experienced artist.
The biggest factor that determines what your impression of what getting tattooed feels like is your own threshold for pain. If you can’t stand physical pain very well, you may want to consider holing off or get henna body art instead as it is semi-permanent and painless. The feeling of getting tattooed is somewhat mixed as the needle moves through nerve receptors on the skins surface. Some of the nerves handle temperature and some pressure and others pain. The general feeling of getting tattooed is a mixture of all three feelings blended up together.
Some people even say they feel a strong scratchy sensation or a kind of skin burning feeling. The feeling of being tattooed is a very localized occurrence and as the artist quits tattooing and stops vigorously working on the tattoo, the intense scratching and burning goes away and the freshly tattooed portion of skin often is said to feel pretty close to feeling of being sunburned. It really depends on the person. Some have described the process as just mildly annoying, others have said it feels like a hot scratch, and others say it felt like bees stinging them. And there are even some who actually like the feeling of being tattooed.
There is really no such way to perform a test of sorts to see what a tattoo will really feel like other than getting a real tattoo. The feeling is as prickly and razor sharp as a vaccination, but a much shallower feeling. The pulling of a hair from its follicle near a sensitive area on the body has a comparable feeling to the pain of being tattooed. Unlike pulling a hair to get the feeling of the pain, this will happen over and over again thousands and thousands of times in just a few seconds. Getting tattooed is not like getting a piercing in that you have close up or can’t believe the pain that you went through to get done. In the very end, after all of the process and pain of getting inked almost everyone who has ever gotten a new tattoo has usually decided that they wanted the artwork and tattoo more than they feared the feeling of getting a new tattoo.
Overall the pain depends on a lot of factors that are obvious and some that you don't even realize. The big ones are, of course, placement, size, and the amount of time the tattoo takes to finish. A huge factor you may not realize is the artist's ability. If the artist is tattooing you too deeply, it hits a layer of skin that will be tenderer and more painful. On the other side, if the needle isn't entering your skin far enough, the tattoo will fade faster as the top layer of your skin begins to die and a new layer forms. The most predominant period of pain during the tattoo process is when the needle hits a group of nerves. Because the tattoo artist makes such a difference in the pain factor of getting a tattoo, definitely do your research and choose a reputable tattoo artist.
When you're tattooing an area close to bone, it's not the fact that it's hitting the bone that makes it hurt, it's the fact that the needle is coming so close to your ligaments and the lack of fatty tissue. Everyone is different and no matter all the advice that you get, your experience will be different than most anybody else’s. Honestly, regardless of all of this advice, it's a personal experience that only you can describe for yourself. The chances are, it won't be as bad as you think it will and the best thing you can do is relax.
Millions of people all over the world have been tattooed. Most really do not complain about the pain. It may be a slight shock at first, but is a small price to pay for a great piece of ink on your body. So go on and head over to Chopper Tattoo, the best online tattoo gallery on the Internet. Choose a great tattoo from their seemingly endless selection of amazing artwork, print it out, and bring it to your local tattoo artist for tattooing on your body. When it’s over, we bet you’ll be glad you went through with it! Good luck with your new tattoo!
King Harold II of England was tattooed. After the battle of Hastings in 1066, King Harold's body was reportedly identified by a tattoo over his heart which read "Edith".