How Bad Do Ankle Tattoos Hurt?

  • Written By Dan Hunter on December 8, 2019
    Last Updated: November 27, 2020

For some, nothing can be compared with the fun of having a new tattoo. Sure, there’s usually some confusion around the design and what exactly to get, and it’s an easy thing to focus on. So much so that many of us forget about how much a tattoo can hurt.

Many pull out of committing to a tattoo purely for the pain levels, especially with an ankle tattoo. Others run to painkillers or even alcohol to subdue the pain. No matter your choice of pain-reliever, an ankle tattoo will hurt. We’re here to delve into why and how to lessen this intolerable burden.

The ankle tattoo can hurt significantly. But, you can take steps to reduce this pain:

  • Consider anesthesia
  • Spread your tattoo over more than one session
  • Stay hydrated
  • Eat and sleep well
  • Avoid anything that thins the blood

Ankle Tattoos Pain Levels

When you think about how a tattoo is created, it’s no wonder that they can hurt! A needle is penetrating layers of skin; skin that’s full of pain receptors signaling to you that they’re not happy bunnies.

Pain levels differ between individuals and locations on the body. One of the main aspects is the amount of fat in the tattooed area. No prizes for guessing that there’s little fat around the ankle, which therefore means that pain levels are going to be much higher — the tattoo is actually being placed almost directly on the bone (although the needle with never actually come into contact with any bone).

Ankle tattoo pain can also depend on which ankle part you’re having the tattoo on, along with the size of the tattoo itself. 

For example, there’ll be a definite difference in the pain between a tiny tattoo just below the ankle bone and one that’s decorating the top of your foot with a tied portion around your ankle. Additionally, a bracelet style just above the ankle is closer to a meatier part of the area, reducing pain levels.

Getting an ankle tattoo can be made more painful when you think about how much the ankle is moved. It’s a super-tender area and is in constant use — even when sitting, we waggle our feet and can bash and brush the ankle against something. 

If you’re terrified of the pain associated with an ankle tattoo, you can work with the artist to see if the design you want would work well in another part of the body. All might not be lost!

How To Reduce Ankle Tattoo Pain

For most of us, our bodies acclimatize to pain instantly. Usually, endorphins step out as a way to deal with the physical pain you feel.

The first few minutes tend to be the most pain-intensive due to the initial shock to the system. The pain is your body’s way of telling you something isn’t right — it’s up to us to then interpret whether the pain is a serious threat or not.

It takes a lot of energy to get a tattoo. Although you may think you’re just resting there, the constant wounding in the tattoo area causes the body to become super stressed, consuming a lot of energy. There are ways you can mitigate this, though:

  • Getting hydrated
  • Eating a good meal
  • Sleeping well
  • Avoiding alcohol, pain killers, and anything that thins the blood

Consider A Tattoo Numbing Cream

Nonetheless, if you’re still concerned about the discomfort, you could always try one of the more highly regarded numbing creams. While results can vary, the general consensus is that they do generally help, even if it’s by taking the edge off of the pain.

Even so, you should always speak to your tattoo artist before you think about applying any kind of numbing cream to the area, just to make sure they’re comfortable with working with such a product.

For people wanting a little extra assistance for dealing with the pain, a good tattoo numbing cream can really help to take the edge off.

One of the most effective tattoo numbing products currently on the market is a cream called Numb 520. The feedback left by hundreds of customers for this product is nothing short of excellent.

Just follow the instructions on the tub, apply shortly before your tattoo session is due to begin, and expect a less-painful experience. The amount you get in a container also ensures you have more than enough cream for a large tattoo.

Spread Your Appointment

It’s crucial to consider even the smallest factors to reduce the amount of pain during the tattooing. For instance, how do you feel about the length of the session? Longer sessions are more painful, which are needed for large and intricate pieces. In that case, dividing your session into more than one day can make it easier for you.

Ankle Tattoo Aftercare

As your ankle is a sensitive part of the body, you should take extra care during the healing process. With these easy steps, you can help your ankle heal faster, thus reducing the length of time you’ll be in pain after the tattoo session:

  1. Raise: To reduce any swelling, raise your leg and foot as much as possible. This tenderness usually disappears after a couple of days
  2. Rubbing: Avoid any rubbing of the area — we’re talking socks, shoes, clothes and bedding
  3. Clean: As the ankle is so close to the ground, take more care not to get it dirty. Even consider changing your bedsheets more regularly than usual to avoid infection

It Hurts, but It’s Not the End of the World

To enjoy your decision of having a tattoo to the max, you need to be aware of the stress you’ll go through during your journey. Ankle tattooing always connects to pain. But the pain threshold varies from one person to another. Furthermore, there are a lot of ways to decrease or even avoid pain.

Having a healthy lifestyle can help massively here, and taking care of your ankle before and after having a tattoo can make your journey way more relaxed. Remember that this pain is temporary and that all you’ll have after that is an artistic tattoo showing from your ankle.