Getting a tattoo can be both exhilarating and nerve-racking, but to the more experienced, the pain is worth it.
A few questions can cross first-timers minds: Is it going to hurt, and where is it going to hurt the least?
Some of the most painful spots to get a tattoo are obvious. The genital region is typically a no-no, even for somebody who has had their share of tattoos. Nevertheless, tattoos in general are going to be painful because the process involves a series of needles being dragged across the skin to make sure ink stays where it’s supposed to.
Parts of the body with a large amount of veins or very little fat will hurt the most.
There are three pain levels; most discomfort, some discomfort and least discomfort.
The face, head, neck, throat, chest for men, ribcage, elbow, knee and feet are among those under the most discomfort section.
For women, the breast, stomach, lower back and upper shoulder are under some discomfort.
The outer arm, forearm, calves, shoulder and buttocks on both males and females, exhibit the least amount of discomfort.
Some, however, may disagree with the aforementioned pain levels because pain tolerance is different among the population and some may handle areas better than others.
Christina Crawford, a Pierce College Puyallup student, went under the needle for the first time in December with her artist, Colton Keough, who works at Tattoo Machine in Puyallup.
“Getting my first tattoo was not quite what I expected. I knew it wasn’t supposed to be a pleasant experience, but the type of pain was much more startling than I expected,” Crawford said. “It made me think of being slowly cut by a razorblade, except it was something I could tolerate for four hours. The worst parts were the parts that went over bone, like my spine, and also the right side of my spine, I’m right-handed. Apparently there are a lot more nerves on the side of your dominant hand.”
Tattoos can be a great form of expression, but an expensive one.
Make sure to always research the tattoo shop and the artists themselves. Also, never feel bad about asking an artist or three to draw up something and decide they aren’t the particular artist for that style of tattoo.
“My tattoo artist did a great job drawing and refining the design, and gave a lot of attention to detail when applying it to my skin,” Crawford said. “The pain does become more difficult to handle over time, so be prepared to take breaks or know how long you can be under the needle.”
Another great piece of advice is to not jump into a tattoo, because regret and removal of a tattoo aren’t fun experiences and usually end up being more expensive than the tattoo itself.
Figure out a tattoo that would fit on the body and wait. Give it six months or a year before getting it done. If the urge for the tattoo is as strong as it was in the beginning, then the tattoo was meant to be.
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