How Bad Do Collarbone Tattoos Hurt?

  • Written By Dan Hunter on February 03, 2022
    Last Updated: February 18, 2022

A collarbone tattoo is a permanent design on the upper part of your chest. It can be on one side only but usually, it consists of two symmetrical tats running from the top of your shoulder, above the armpit, along the line of your clavicle, down to the center of your upper chest.

A collarbone tattoo looks great on most people. They create a distinct appearance that is unlike any other. If you need to cover your tattoos at work, there’s no need to be concerned about them showing through your clothes, though, they can look stunning on topless men or women in low-cut tops.

A collarbone tattoo looks great but the area is notorious for being one of the most painful places to get a tattoo. Here we’ll discuss what getting a collarbone tattoo involves, pain relief options, and the healing procedure.


How Much Does a Collarbone Tattoo Hurt

Getting a tattoo on any part of your body is painful, as most people already know. However, those who have had collarbone tattoos will tell you that it is one of the more painful areas to have inked. 

Because there is a dearth of fatty tissue in the collarbone, it is extremely sensitive. Furthermore, because the bone lies directly beneath the skin, the level of discomfort is increased.

Due to the vibrations from the needle, some people have remarked that getting your collarbone tattooed almost seems like getting your neck tattooed as well.

This might be a blessing in disguise for a first-time tattooee since any tattoo you receive after your collarbone has been inked won’t hurt nearly as much. 

You won’t experience nearly as much agony if you choose the fleshier area immediately beneath the bone instead of covering the bone. But be prepared for some serious stinging in any case.

Don’t want to be bothered by the pain? You might inquire with your tattoo artist regarding the use of numbing cream. They may not, however, use them.

What About Numbing Cream?

A lot of tattoo artists refuse to use numbing creams or sprays during their sessions. Two of the main reasons why they might not use creams are:

  1. They consider the pain of a tattoo part of the tradition
  2. They’ve used certain numbing creams before and they don’t seem like they worked as they should.

Also, not every numbing cream is right for every tattoo.

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 Zensa Numbing Cream, which contains the highest level of Lidocaine allowed by the FDA for over-the-counter use. The feedback left by thousands of customers for this product is nothing short of exceptional.

Just follow the instructions supplied with the cream and apply shortly before your tattoo appointment is due to begin so that you can look forward to a less painful and more comfortable tattooing experience. The amount of cream you get in a tube also ensures you have more than enough for a large tattoo.

Why Go Through the Pain?

For the resulting payoff, is a collarbone tattoo worth the suffering? Most who have gone through the procedure would say, yes, as the results can be stunning! 

Well applied, collarbone tattoos are a statement. Clavicle pieces are not only very noticeable, but they also attract immediate attention, independent of design. 

A delicate cursive script or a small intricate image can have the same effect as a full chest piece.

Inspiring phrases or emotive symbols are striking. Popular selections include flying birds or wings, musical notes, and flowers.

If you’re looking for a collarbone tattoo that uses wording, make sure you go to a reputable tattoo shop with a tattooist experienced in the procedure.

Choose Wisely

Making sure the tattoo you choose is right for your collarbone etching is critical. It’s on full display every time you remove your top so you don’t want to be bored with it or have it become irrelevant, or even embarrassing in years to come. 

Think long and hard on the design and put a copy of it in daily view, such as on the fridge, for at least a year. If you still love it then as much as the first time you saw it, go for it.

How to Heal a Collarbone Tattoo

To paraphrase Spiderman’s uncle, “With great tattoos, comes great pain.” — the healing process can take a few weeks and requires a lot of care to avoid infection.

Keep the tattoo wrapping on your collarbone until you arrive home.

Remove the covering gently, then wash the tattooed area carefully with soap and water before applying an antibacterial cream. 

Apply the antibacterial cream twice a day to the tattoo and wash it with water and unscented soap a few times daily.

Re-wrap your tattoo before going to bed or if you plan on moving about or participating in any personal physical contact. You may have to miss giving the partner or the kids a hug for a little while.

Repeat the procedure until the pain and any redness or scabbing have gone. To keep the skin hydrated, begin a regime of applying unscented lotion to the tattoo. 

To prevent discomfort, infection, and your tattoo from fading, avoid swimming, hot water, and sunlight during the healing phase. 

The Takeaway

A Collarbone tattoo can be a thing of real beauty, but there’s a cost in pain. Think long and carefully about the tattoo you choose to make sure it won’t disappoint after all the suffering. It’s not a step to be taken lightly but the results can be amazing.

If you do use a numbing cream, the appropriate one may make all the difference in how long it lasts and whether or not it can be used during a procedure. A cream that doesn’t include a strong enough numbing agent can wear off halfway through the tattoo, leaving you with an unpleasant surprise.