Tattoos are a trend we openly enjoy now more than ever. However, this artistic expression was not always a simple body modification. Though the origins of the word “tattoo” are not very clear, it is believed to come from the Polynesian island of Tahiti, where the syllable “Ta” means “to pound,” while “TauTau” is related to the sound made by the striking of one bone against another. In Tahiti, as well as other regions, tattoos are considered part of an ancient ritual with several purposes. Some claim that Mayan warriors would paint their faces and bodies in order to scare their enemies, while Aztecs would tattoo images of their gods in order to exorcize daemons. Tattoos as part of ancient tribal traditions can also be linked to Hindi, Burmese, Arab, and Moko Maori people.
Presently –at least where most of us live– tattoos are more of a fashion, style, and beauty statement we have slowly adopted as part of an expression that is etched forever on our skin. Despite it being a demonstration that has gained popularity and acceptance throughout time, for some, tattoos also come with a certain level of pain. Most tattoos create a prickling sensation, a slight burning, and itching. But there are others that can truly generate extremely painful skin reactions.
It all depends on the type of design you choose as well as your skin’s resistance. But you can avoid a bad experience if you select tattoos that hurt less than others because of their size, shape, or placement.
If you’re nervous or unsure about getting a tattoo, this can manifest itself in a lot of pain when you’re at the tattoo studio. You should feel completely at ease with the expert handling your new body art. So, before you start, you should talk to them so that both of you are comfortable with each other.
19. Take into account where it is more and less likely for you to experience pain when getting a tattoo. That way you can select an area that won’t be as sensitive once the needle pierces the skin.
18. Remember that areas with more muscle or fatty tissue, such as arms, legs, chest, gluteus, or hips, are less painful.
17. On the other hand, sensitive areas such as breasts, underarms, face, groin, clavicles, ribs, hands, and feet, are usually more painful. Choose small designs if you’re planning to get something in these regions.
16.The smaller the tattoo, the less details it will require, so the process of tracing it on your skin will be less painful.
15. If you choose a large design that requires a lot of detail, the time it will take to finish the art will increase. The more time passes, the more sensitive your skin will become, and you’ll start feeling more intense pain.
Monochrome tattoos are less painful, since the artist does not spend time switching ink colors. If you choose to only have black ink, this will make it easier and less painful.
Consider the fact that tattoos featuring an area of solid color, completely filled out, are extremely painful. This is because the artist has to go over the same spot over and over. This is why you might choose not to get a tattoo with any filled out areas.
12. If you feel more comfortable with company, find out which shop allows you to have one or more people there with you, for both moral support and to distract you from the pain.
11. Just know that there will be needles and a certain amount of blood during the process. Seeing blood psychologically affects several people, which is why you might feel sick or feel more pain if you forget that this is completely normal.
Remember to stay completely relaxed while you are getting tattooed, so that your stress levels go down and your muscles are not tensed up. Otherwise the hardness of your skin can make you feel like you are in more pain than you should be.
9. It is hugely important to remain in a comfortable position, because if you can’t be at rest while you’re getting your artwork done, you’ll be in a lot of discomforts the whole time.
8. You can take a few things with you to help you deal with the uneasiness, such as a stress ball, chewing gum, or candy to take your mind off the situation while the artist finishes the work.
7. Breathing exercises can help immensely in terms of dealing with the pain associated with getting a tattoo. Focus on inhaling and exhaling, and you will slowly start to stop feeling burning on your skin.
6. Tattoo artists know what they’re doing, which is why they’ll probably ask you repeatedly if you have any discomfort. Be honest and tell them if you’re not feeling well or if the pain is unbearable. They’ll know what to do.
5. It might feel a little weird to remain completely still for the few minutes or hours required for your body art to be finished. But it is crucial for you to move as less as possible in order to avoid any mistakes or have your skin get hurt by accident.
4. If you feel like the pain is increasing, ask the tattoo artist to give you a slight break. In fact, you can alternate your session with some breaks so you can handle the pain better.
3. Don’t take any medication, alcohol, or drugs to try to numb the pain, because it could cause side effects.
Choose simple, small, and quick designs to test yourself. If you can tolerate that pain you can increase the level of difficulty on your next tattoo.
1. Don’t predispose yourself; we all have different pain thresholds. If you’ve heard horrible tattoo experiences, listen to them but remember: that won’t necessarily happen to you.
These 20 tips are just some tattoo suggestions that will surely make the experience less painful, compared to more elaborate, large, or detailed designs. They’re also good to remember on your first appointment so that it won’t be a painful experience. The most important part is for you to feel at ease with the choice you’ve made, since doubts can create an unbearable situation.
Translated by María Suárez