How Much Do Shoulder Tattoos Hurt? (Pain Guide)

  • Written By Dan Hunter on August 12, 2019
    Last Updated: November 27, 2020

Some tattoos hurt more than others depending on different factors. One factor happens to be where the tattoo is located. In this piece of our tattoo pain series, we will be discussing shoulder tattoo pain and how much shoulder tattoos hurt.

How Much Do Shoulder Tattoos Hurt?

The shoulder is a very popular place for a tattoo. Not only does it look good, but it’s also very easy to cover up, if you have to. Many workplaces frown upon body modifications, such as tattoos and piercings. However, that shouldn’t hold you back, as long as it can be covered.

Let’s take a look at some basic anatomy to understand what actually happens under the skin as the tattoo takes place.

There are important nerves and muscles located in the shoulder region. These muscles and nerves are what enable us to move our heads and shrug our shoulders.

To know how much a shoulder tattoo hurts, we need to be more precise. The sensitivity of the shoulder differs from area to area. The rounded part of the shoulder is the least painful place. Many choose this location for their first tattoo for this very reason.

As we move up towards the neck, there will be more pain. The clavicle bone runs along the top of the chest, out to the shoulder—you can feel it if you use your hand to pull your shoulder down. The clavicle is notorious for being a very painful location. The skin is super thin, and there is little fat here to cushion the bone.

The top part, at the back of the shoulder and neck area, is not as painful. The skin is thicker here, and there is more fat.

What Does the Pain Compare To?

Everyone will experience the pain differently, but one way some people describe the shoulder pain is that it resembles a sharp pulling motion. Others say it compares to being cut with a dull instrument. Comparing the pain to other things, however, is not really accurate, and differs with each person’s perception.

How to Make Shoulder Tattoos Hurt Less

The pain in the shoulder area is manageable. Do not take aspirin-based painkillers or drink alcohol beforehand. This will not benefit you in any way, it will only make you bleed more.

How should you deal with the pain? Let’s find out.

Take Deep Breaths

Knowing how to control your breathing can help you to relax, even if the pain becomes close to unbearable. If you have a low tolerance for pain, I suggest practicing a few breathing and relaxation exercises before the appointment, to help you cope.

The most important thing to remember is to stay still. Twitching and turning will only prolong the pain and the whole process, you may also end up with a distorted tattoo.

Choose Morning Appointments

Scheduling an appointment as early as possible can help you. The morning is when our tolerance for pain is generally the highest, this is due to adrenaline which is at its peak in the early hours of the day. With a later appointment, you are likely to feel increased anxiety as the time draws near.

Stay Hydrated

Increasing your daily water intake beforehand will help the skin to prepare itself. Hydration is key to healthy skin, and if the skin is at its peak, the tattoo will be as well.

Healthy skin will accept the ink much better than dry, tired skin. Being hydrated will also help your mind to focus during the tattooing process.

Be Comfortable

Arriving at your appointment wearing comfortable and appropriate clothing will go a long way towards ensuring you feel calm and relaxed. Tight, restrictive clothing will likely make you feel more tense and anxious.

Shoulder tattoo pain

Request a Numbing Product

Pain is part of getting a tattoo, and some people are even said to be addicted to it. Think twice before choosing to use a numbing product. After all, the shoulder tattoo pain should be bearable, depending on the tattoo location. However, should you wish to use a numbing product before getting your tattoo, there are many types available to purchase.

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. Click here to buy from Amazon

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