Where is the Least Painful Place on the Body for a Tattoo?

blonde woman with shoulder tattoo

No pain, no gain—it’s a nice mantra for the gym when you need a little inspo and something to give yourself that extra push. But let’s be honest, no one scheduled for a new tattoo wants to be told it’s going to hurt—A LOT.

We’re all grown-ups here, right? We realize there’s a certain amount of pain and discomfort to be expected with a tattoo, but if you have a pretty low threshold for pain, then you may want to consider where the LEAST painful spot is to put that tattoo.

It’s really not rocket science to be truthful—It’s pretty logical if you give it some thought. Any areas where the skin is thin, where the average person tends to have less ‘meat on the bones’ and where there are lots of nerve endings are the spots to avoid if you’re going for ‘low pain’. So start thinking of those places with more fat or muscle and thicker skin. That being said, gender does have some bearing, since the amount of muscle or fat on women vs. men in certain areas will obviously mean more or less pain and sensitivity, depending.

So let’s just get right down to it, shall we? 

Here are 7 places to put your tattoo if you’re aiming for the least amount of pain possible.

  1. Shoulder area - lots of muscle and minimal nerves.
  2. Upper thigh - most of us have a little more meat up there to lessen the sting. But if you’re going with the thigh, stick with the top or outer thigh, NOT the inner thigh. OUCH, definitely a super sensitive spot.
  3. Back - since the skin there is thicker and there’s a lot of surface area to work with, too.
  4. Forearms - this is a good spot thanks to a nice amount of muscle and thicker skin.
  5. Calves - ditto, just like forearms, so also, a good choice.
  6. Outer bicep - less nerve endings, more muscle, less pain.
  7. Back of the ear - not a lot of surface area to work with, but it’s a good option.

If you really want to stay far away from pain, don’t choose your hands, wrists, ankles, stomach or armpits as tattoo territory.

Regardless of how brave you are and how high your pain threshold is, there’s no need to be a martyr when you can get some relief by using a tattoo numbing soap before things get started. Tattoo artists around the globe use it and love it, thanks to a healthy dose of Lidocaine along with plenty of antimicrobial ingredients, when applied before starting the tattooing, it definitely numbs the area, soothes and comforts the skin.

If you’re unsure just how much pain you can deal with, then you’re probably best to start with a small to medium size tattoo, which will help a first-timer know how well you can (or cannot) tolerate the experience.


About the author: Yaffa Baslaw (@yadeinu) is a Freelance Writer with over a decade of experience copywriting and blogging compelling content. She has written for more than 20 companies in the fields of healthcare, skincare, and retail.