Chest Tattoo Pain – How Bad Do They Hurt?

How Bad Do Chest Tattoos Hurt?

When you think of chest tattoos, you might think that it’s only for the heavily tattooed individuals. Over the years, however, chest tattoos have become more and more popular — with people choosing anything from delicate, personal designs to more bold statement pieces. One of the main reasons why this area has become so popular is because it’s such a personal part of the body.

Despite this, even the simplest chest tattoo can still cause a significant amount of pain, but how badly do they actually hurt? We’ll take a closer look at why this area is more painful as well as giving you some helpful tips on how to make the process easier.

The pain of a chest tattoo is often compared to a constant tapping. It’s also among the most painful places on the body to get tattooed because of the close presence to bone and a lack of fat in the area. Pain can be reduced if there are more muscle and fat under the skin, though.

Chest Tattoo Basics

Many people prefer to get tatted on the chest because you can keep the tattoo close to the heart for personal reasons. Another reason is that it’s easy to hide or show off as you’d like.

In saying that, the chest is a  super-sensitive area that will cause pain when tattooed. The general consensus categorizes the chest as a high pain area, along with the stomach, ribs and feet.

How much it hurts, though, also depends greatly on the individual being tattooed since we feel pain differently. We know some people who’ve said that getting a chest tattoo was the worst pain they’d ever felt — for others, it was more of a therapeutic sensation.

Why Do Chest Tattoos Hurt More?

Chest tattoos tend to be more painful due to their proximity to the ribs and sternum bone. The skin in this area is generally quite thin, and you have less “padding” to protect you from the needle. Bony areas, in general, are among the most painful.

Taut skin is usually easier to work with when it comes to chest tattoos. This is because the skin is more toned, so it won’t move as much, which can ease the pain. On the other hand, if the individual is bustier, the skin will be harder to work with, which can increase the pain.

Chest tattoos tend to be larger, as well, due to the wider area available. It can, therefore, take a longer time to finish the tattoo, which will prolong the pain.

What Can I Expect the Pain to Feel Like?

How you’ll experience the pain depends on your pain tolerance. In saying that, most people describe the sensation as a constant, sharp tapping motion. This can be highly uncomfortable, especially if you’re in the chair for hours at a time.

When the needle comes close to bone, it can also send a vibrating feeling throughout the area. While this isn’t usually painful as such, it can be an uncomfortable sensation.

What You Can Do to Ease the Pain

Although chest tattoos do hurt, there are ways for you to ease the pain slightly and help the healing afterward. Here are a few helpful tips:

  • Start small: If this is your first tattoo, don’t overdo it. Consider a small design that won’t take too long — talk to your artist about creating a design that can be added to in the future.
  • Get plenty of rest: Before getting tattooed, make sure you get plenty of rest. This will ensure your body is well-rested and can help to increase your pain tolerance. Choose a morning appointment, if possible, to ensure you’re well-rested.
  • Avoid alcohol and caffeine: Having a “courage drink” before getting a tattoo is a grave mistake. Both alcohol and caffeine act like blood thinners, which will cause you to bleed more. Although a little excess blood isn’t life-threatening, it can alter the results of the tattoo.
  • Listen to the artist: After getting tattooed, your artist will apply a lotion to the area before proceeding to cover it with plastic wrap or bandage. Follow their aftercare advice to the best of your abilities to ensure your skin heals properly and the tattoo stays vibrant.
  • Try a numbing product: If you’re really worried about the pain, you may want to try applying a numbing cream to your chest area before/at the beginning of your tattoo sitting. Although the effectiveness of a numbing product will vary from person-to-person, many customers are usually happy with the numbing effect achieved by their chosen product.

My Favorite Tattoo Numbing Product


Ebanel 5% Lidocaine Topical Numbing Cream for Painkilling, 4.4oz Max Strength Pain Relief Cream Ointment Anesthetic Gel with Liposomal for Sections, Hemorrhoid, Local and Anorectal Discomfort

Ebanel 5% Lidocaine Topical Numbing Cream for Painkilling, 4.4oz Max Strength Pain Relief Cream Ointment Anesthetic Gel with Liposomal for Sections, Hemorrhoid, Local and Anorectal Discomfort

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 brilliant.

Just follow the instructions on the tubs, apply shortly before your tattoo session is due to begin and look forward to a less-painful experience.

The 1.35oz tub also ensures you will have more than enough cream for a large tattoo.

Give it a try, and I’m confident you will not be disappointed.

Read more about Numb 520 here, and have a quick look at some of the customer reviews to see exactly why it’s one of the best and most popular numbing creams on the market.

Here’s a selection of my other favorite tattoo numbing creams and sprays currently available.


Embrace Your Chest Tattoo

Chest tattoos are among some of the most beautiful artworks on the body. The area is very personal and can easily be hidden behind clothes if needed. Another reason for its popularity is the size of the area — you have more freedom when choosing your design.

The chest area can be pretty painful to tattoo, so it’s important that you’re prepared for the sitting, and ready to fight through some pain. It’ll all be worth it in the end.

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