One of the most common questions asked right before getting either your first tattoo or a new spot done is, “does it hurt?” Well…yes. Thinking about it logically, there are dozens of tiny needles filled with ink being injected a few layers deep into your skin’s surface repeatedly for minutes to hours at one time. So yes, getting a tattoo in any location is going to be painful, but there are definitely some spots that are more sensitive than others. Below is a picture that charts the pain levels of tattoo locations as blue is the most and yellow is the least.
Examining the photo here, it is not surprising that spots like the back of the knees, elbow crease, armpits, and genitals are the worst to get done. Though I believe the head should be appointed blue as well, these spots are relatively hard to deal with.
Personally I agree with the diagram in totality except for the calf/side leg due to my discomfort when getting mine done about a year ago. With a dozen tattoos done, there is not one location that I have been tattooed where I did not experience a decent amount of discomfort, but then again it is all a personal experience.
Pain tolerance levels on each individual is different so for some, the pain chart may vary, but for the most part everyone can agree the accuracy of it. Some may feel tiny pricks as others feel bee stings and this is completely normal. The premise of showing the chart is for others to examine and really consider if their pain tolerance is high enough for their location of desire. Passing out is the last thing any artist wants to have to deal with.
Nine times out of ten when a person goes to get a tattoo, they are looking for two things.
Is the tattoo artist qualified and is their work clean looking?
Cost- Is the tattoo of desire overpriced? Where is the best deal?
The issue in looking for the best deals is that many are not necessarily looking into the cleanliness of the shop and how business is run there. With having to be at an A inspection grade to keep as shop open, there are a variety of things to look at before setting up your next appointment. Below is a list of signs to look out for when choosing an appropriate and clean shop…
The use of needles is an obvious idea when it comes to tattoos, but making sure your shop uses fresh ones for every single customer is essential to prevent any sort of cross-contamination and disease spreading.
Gauze, is the shop fully stocked? Do they use fresh and clean for every person? These are all things to look for even though it seems silly.
Cleaning supplies…green soap sound familiar? Maybe witch hazel? Always make sure your artist has a supply that is plentiful!
Look around and see that their workshops are free from any loose and unnecessary equipment that could cause distractions or contaminations
Looking and making sure that they are properly disposing of needles and contaminated napkins is always necessary
Overall Upkeep of Shop
Take a peak around. Anything seem off? Leaks? Mold? Bugs? If you’re saying yes to any of these than it is more than evident that their inspection is either way out of date, or there is something else going on that you want no part of
It may seem silly to hesitate and look around the potential shop, but trust me it is worth it. The price may seem right, the artist may, but if the shop isn’t at top quality standards than start looking else where. Nothing is worse than putting your body in harms way for a tattoo and it may be an extra few weeks that you would have to wait…but that wait will be worth it.