You should never get a tattoo on these body parts. Seriously, trust us


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Oh, brave souls venturing into the world of ink, we salute you! As you gear up to adorn your skin with a masterpiece, it’s wise to take a moment to ponder on the territories that come with a higher “ouch” rating. 

Before you recline in that tattoo artist’s chair, come take a stroll with us as we unveil the body parts that are considered the most painful places to receive a tattoo, according to a pain chart gathered by Zensa, a skincare company that produces tattoo pain-numbing creams. 

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12. Sternum (& Underboob)

  • Pain Scale: 7-8/10

With a pain scale hovering between 7 and 8, this spot, laden with thinner skin and little fat, promises a bit of a wince or two. The area is susceptible to irritation, particularly from clothing, so during the healing process, your wardrobe choices might be your new best friend or worst enemy. So, while it promises a visual treat, be prepared to endure a bitter beginning.

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Hands & Fingers

  • Pain Scale: 8/10

Are you eager to join the ranks of the cool kids flaunting trendy hands and finger tattoos? Hold that thought! This stylish venture promises not just a flirtation with modern aesthetics but a full-fledged commitment to pain, scoring a solid 8 on the pain scale. Yes, the back of the hands and outer fingers are not just for flaunting rings but also for enduring a high degree of pain during the tattooing process. And as much as we hate to break it to you, these trendy markings tend to have a love affair with fading, requiring constant touch-ups thanks to the relentless washing and usage of hands. Well, if you’re up for the challenge, by all means, make a statement with these little pieces of art that come with their own set of trials and tribulations!

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  • Pain Scale: 8/10

Considering an elbow tattoo? Well, it’s not just a ‘bend over backwards’ kind of commitment, it’s more of a ‘grit your teeth through the nerve hits’ adventure. Boasting a pain scale flirting with a stern 8, this spot offers a canvas not only rich with nerve endings but also quite bony with very little flesh to cushion your artistic journey. But if you can endure the accidental knocks and the protracted healing process, an elbow tattoo can be a unique standout piece or an artistic extension to your sleeve tattoo, bringing a touch of eccentricity to your ink collection.

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Pain Scale: 8/10

Pucker up, because a lip tattoo is not just a kiss from a rose! Nestled in the sensitive haven of your mouth, this tattoo locale promises a tickle (or more like a prickly poke) to your high concentration of nerve endings. Tipping the scales at a pain level of 8, this clandestine artwork demands a tribute of endurance. But fret not, your stealthy symbol or word will age gracefully, albeit with a tendency to misalign due to the natural shifts in lip structure as you age. So, if you’re up for a clandestine ink adventure, a lip tattoo might just be your secret to hold!

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Knee/Knee Ditch Tattoo

  • Pain Scale: 9/10

Thinking of getting a knee or knee ditch tattoo? Well, buckle up because it’s about to be a bumpy ride, scoring a whopping 9 on the pain scale. This area, which plays host to the sciatic nerve, promises a grand theater of pain, especially if you have a bit of loose skin. But don’t let that deter you! Often chosen for bold and brazen designs, a tattoo here makes a strong visual statement, turning your knee into a canvas of personal expression, albeit one that might fade a bit too soon due to the frequent bending.

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Rib Cage

  • Pain Scale: 9/10

The rib cage, often seen as a canvas of sensuality and detailed artwork, is not for the faint of heart. With a pain scale shooting up to 9, this area offers an intimate dance between the needle and your bone, as the skin here generously allows almost direct contact with your ribcage. As you endure this test of courage, envision the masterpiece that will soon grace your body, adding a touch of elegance and allure that might just be worth the intense, bone-vibrating experience.

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  • Pain Scale: 9/10

A walk down the spine tattoo lane is not just a graceful stride, but more of a tightrope walk teetering on a pain scale of 9. The intricate dance of the needle on this bony stage laden with nerve endings may make you consider reaching for a soothing numbing cream. However, the end product often emerges as a portrait of elegance and sensuality, gracing your back with vertical designs and scripts that ooze grace. Although the initial nights might have you tossing and turning to find a comfortable sleeping position, your spine will soon showcase an artistic story woven with resilience and beauty.

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Collarbone & Shoulder Blade

  • Pain Scale: 9-10/10

This region, a canvas for some of the most attractive ink designs, promises not just a physical but also a visceral experience, as the vibrations radiate through your neck. As you brace yourself for this electrifying journey, remember that the outcome often ages gracefully, becoming a testament to your enduring spirit.

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Groin & Private Areas

  • Pain Scale: 9-10/10

This area, laden with nerve endings, promises an intimate ink experience that’s as uncomfortable as it gets. 

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  • Pain Scale: 10/10

Bracing yourself for an armpit tattoo is akin to preparing for a high-stakes challenge that notches a 10 on the pain scale. Situated above a bustling neighborhood of lymph nodes and nerve endings, this area promises not just a tattoo but a trial of endurance. Yet, for those who dare, the armpit transforms into a canvas for intricate designs, turning a typically overlooked area into a secret garden of artistry, even though it might fade a bit quicker due to the natural antics of your arms.

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  • Pain Scale: 9/10

Embarking on a shin tattoo adventure? Brace yourself, as this area scores a hefty 9 on the pain scale. Though this region offers a generous canvas for medium to large designs, it’s not for the faint of heart. The skin here is thin, with little to no fat to cushion the bone, making the inking process a tingling journey. But hold tight, as the result often unveils as a beautiful masterpiece that showcases your resilience and artistic vision.

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  • Pain Scale: 9/10

Ankle tattoos, a delicate foray into the world of ink, balance on the higher side of the pain scale, teetering at a 9. This area, though perfect for small and delicate designs, is a bittersweet symphony of beauty and sting. The proximity to the bone and a high concentration of nerve endings make it a somewhat tender canvas. However, the aesthetics here are often seen as feminine and charming, promising a dainty piece of art that adds a sprinkle of mystery to your persona.

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  • Pain Scale: 9/10

Stepping into the realm of feet tattoos is akin to walking on a bed of roses with a pain score of 9. The journey here is characterized by a thin skin layer and a rich network of nerve endings, promising a slightly prickly adventure. Though the healing process might be a slow dance due to potential irritation from footwear, the outcome often stands as a testament to your brave voyage, offering a delicate and personal masterpiece that gently whispers stories with every step you take.

This article was produced and syndicated by MediaFeed.

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Alex Andonovska

Alex Andonovska is a staff writer at Cheapism and MediaFeed, based in Porto, Portugal. With 12 years of writing and editing at places like, she’s your go-to for all things travel, food, and lifestyle. Alex specializes in turning “shower thoughts” into well-researched articles and sharing fun facts that are mostly useless but sure to bring a smile to your face. When she's not working, you'll find her exploring second-hand shops, antique stores, and flea markets.