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Best and Worst Place to Get a Tattoo

Best and Worst Place to Get a Tattoo

You are probably one of those people with zero to ten pain tolerance. You can’t handle anything that might cause the slightest bit of discomfort, even in bed. Honestly, I can’t believe people like you choose to get a whole sleeve but then pass out when you have to get blood drawn for a doctor.
If you are one of those people craving a tattoo, listen up because there are some places on your body that are a total yes and others that are a complete no. While you contemplate if you actually are getting a tattoo to feel alive again or get over your most recent breakup, here is the scoop.

Nerve Endings

Getting a tattoo is comparable to vibrating your bones with an electrocution wand. Some of you might enjoy that pain, and others not so much. Anywhere that is particularly boney will be more challenging to tolerate. These are blacks such as ribs, inner elbows, inner kneecaps, ankles, feet, hands, neck, or the lower half of your face. The thin layers of skin that cover bone tend to hurt more, but really that is not the reason why a tattoo hurts so much in that particular area. More so, a tattoo will hurt because of the nerve endings existing in those areas. Areas like the ribcage, armpit, groin, or spine tend to have more nerve endings than other areas of your body, such as thighs, forearms, back, and shoulders. While I wouldn’t say these locations are painless, I wouldn’t be claiming you passed out from pain after getting a tattoo on your shoulder.


First Tattoo Research

If you are reading this far into the article, it is likely because you are getting your first tattoo or planning on one. There are definitely some things you should know before you go in for your first tattoo, starting with the location of where to go. There are tons of tattoo parlors in and around the Chicago area. While getting ink in the city can be fun, it is worthwhile to check out shops in the suburbs because you will probably pay less, have a more personalized tattoo, and be able to sit with your artists a bit longer. That is not to say there aren’t incredible tattoo artists in the city because there totally are. They see many more clients than in the suburbs and don’t always live up to expectations. No matter where you go, make sure you connect with the artists. Express what you want and take a peek at their prior art to see if you like the style. Well done tattoos have clean lines, consistent shading, and an outstanding outline. If you have doubts about a design or layout, don’t just rush into it because it seems polite. Take your time with the piece and think it over. It is always a given to ensure the artist is licensed and tattoos in a clean environment. The last thing you want on your first piece is to get a nasty infection.

Ink Fundamentals

So, if you don’t already know, a tattoo is created by injecting ink into the dermis of your skin. It is very, very important to go somewhere that is clean for this reason alone. Once a tattoo is finished, the area that was tattooed will begin to swell. This is your body’s natural response after receiving a tattoo, as it is trying to protect the damaged skin from any further damage. A tattoo artist will go over additional care needs that they recommend preventing infection or other skin irritation. Listen and apply what they say, and the pain should subside in a week.


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Prep For Pain

While there are a couple ways to lessen the pain when getting a tattoo, some believe that takes away from the whole experience. That does not mean you can’t do it. Typical steps to prep before your first tattoo is to hydrate. Skin naturally dries up and thins when it is dehydrated. If you drink a substantial amount of water the day before and the day of your tattoo, it makes for a better canvas. In addition to good hydration, make sure to eat a solid meal beforehand. Sometimes your body will react in odd ways o prolonged pain, especially when you can’t move, so eat something filling and healthy before heading in. While hydrating and food are a great place to start, some people want to add topical numbing cream to aid in the pain process. I personally have never done this and can’t imagine it works particularly well but give it a shot for some of those tough areas. Others want to add alcohol or pot to the mix before getting fresh ink. All I can really say here is do not recommend. More often than not, you will become more aware of the pain, or you will get sick. Either way, I would stick to water or perhaps an energy drink if you feel some way. If you are nervous about a first tattoo or concerned about the pain, talk to your artists about the best locations to get a tattoo. They will likely steer clear of high pain locations and go for fatty areas or ones with fewer nerve endings.


The design aspect of your tattoo will naturally be up to you and your designer. There are tons of tattoo artists specializing in incredible forms of tattooing, including tribal, watercolor, Japanese, new school, blackwork, realism, or illustrative. If you don’t really know what style you want, jump on Pinterest to view a couple different types of popular tattoos or go in and talk to a tattoo artist. Keep in mind that most tattoo artists excel in two or three styles of tattoos, so make sure you find someone specializing in yours. Last but not least, pay your tattoo artist well. They do entirely custom work for you for countless hours. Don’t barter with them unless you want something spelled wrong.

What are your favorite tattoo locations and styles? If you would give a virgin skin any advice, what would it be?