10 Tried and Tested Techniques to Cope Better with Tattoo Pain

Tattoo Pain

Tattoos can get painful at times, but not always. What transpires is a lot of misinformation, blatantly flung around by the less enthusiastic individuals. Therefore, before you start reading further, it is our responsibility to set a credible premise that actually beckons perspective and solutions. 

For starters, most big tattoos that require a lot of shading and coloring are significant pain givers. However, if you are looking to get a smaller stick and poke or a smallish, one-dimensional tattoo that is mostly made of lines, even the entire collection of the best pen tattoo machines needs to do minimal work. You end up feeling a sharp sting at times but nothing as substantial to be theorized as lamenting pain.

However, in the subsequent discussion, we shall talk about some of the best, artist-recommended strategies to help you cope better with any form of discomfort; pain and sting, likewise. 

Choose the Location Carefully

The first trick is to be a tad flexible with where you want the tattoo to show. Certain areas of the body are more tolerant towards pain whereas the boney regions like head, neck, ribcage, knee, and more are a lot more sensitive. Therefore, if you plan on getting inked on one of your hands, reconsider the same for the arm as it is padded with a lot of flesh and therefore, less prone to pain and discomfort.

Stay Hydrated

Hydration is one of the few solutions that make sense regardless of the problem at hand. As far as tattooing is concerned, it makes sense to drink lots of water, right before and even after the tattooing session. Once the skin is hydrated, it becomes a lot more supple and soft, thereby making the rotary pen and coil tattoo machines penetrate the skin surface easily. As the hit and rupturing intensity are mollified, painful experiences take a backseat. 

Refrain from Alcohol

You are better off not consuming any amount of alcohol at least 24 hours prior to the process. While there is no moral high ground to take, alcoholic drinks are known for thinning the blood, something that can be quite unnerving to the artist and even you, as a client. Despite blood loss not being directly synonymous with pain, it can cause lasting discomfort, redness, and persistent tenderness. 

Also, we would even advise restraint in this regard, once the session is over as the affected region needs time to recuperate. 

Loose Clothes are Important

You certainly wouldnt want the fabric to stick onto the skin surface, before and even after the tattoo is made. Also, once inked, the tattoo is inadvertently covered with a plastic sheet or gauze, making it harder to accommodate tight clothing that continues to rub against the ink, causing pain and discomfort.

Loose clothing is therefore a quick yet dependable hack to minimize abrasive contacts and perpetuate a sense of comfort.

Opt for Morning Sessions

No, it isnt simply about the feel. Well, it is, but in a more technical way as in the morning, especially a few hours into the day, the adrenaline level is at the highest. The peaking adrenaline can very well mask the pain whilst increasing tolerance towards the same. The concept, however, is way broader than this. 

What you need is a good nights sleep as once you are fast asleep, endorphins or pain-blocking hormones flood your insides and make you less receptive towards discomfort.

Eat your Fill before getting inked

The excitement of getting a new tattoo is understandable. And so is the willingness to schedule a morning session. However, skipping breakfast due to overenthusiasm is hardly justifiable. You need to understand that several people end up passing out on the seat due to hunger, especially when it is led by blood loss and pain. 

Look for a Diversion

It is better to find something immersive to indulge in while the artist continues to cut through the skin and push ink inside the layers. While listening to a podcast is a reliable solution considering its all-inclusive coverage, you can even watch movies, select TV shows, or read eBooks if your hands are free to grasp.

Gulp in a Pain Reliever

If you are better off preparing to smother the pain in the crib, consider taking a pain-relieving pill, 30 minutes prior to the session. However, non-aspirin relievers must be used as aspirin, much like alcohol, starts thinning the blood and can have hazardous consequences.

Take Breaks

Unless you are getting a small tattoo made, it is better to ask for breaks to lessen the pain or to get some respite from the constant whirring of the tattoo machines. Also, if the design involves a lot of legwork, it is better to segregate the same as a multi-session approach, to minimize complexities and recurring pain.

Follow the Aftercare Regime to the Letter

While the initial excitement might help you sit through a taxing tattooing session, the pain always comes back hours after completion. Therefore, to cope better with the agony and ache, it is advisable to follow the aftercare regime religiously, either by washing the area hours after the procedure, covering it up initially, or applying a pain-relieving moisturizing cream on the surface.


In addition to these strategies, it is also important to connect with a credible tattoo artist, who would then be using high-end pens and tattoo guns for carving the design. Professionals, indeed, have a more empathetic way of approaching tattoos, which lessens the pain and ensures that the design comes out better than envisioned.

Also, restricted movement is also an important point here that deserves an honorary mention. This means you must not move way too much as it would then distract the artist and coerce his or her hand into making rougher turns, which might then cause greater pain. 

Regardless of what this discussion entails, not every tattoo is painful as a lot depends on your choice of artist, area, and even the hour of the day, as inferred from this discussion.