Home Tattoo Chest Tattoo Pain Level: 9 Major Facts & Minimization Tips

Chest Tattoo Pain Level: 9 Major Facts & Minimization Tips

Chest Tattoo Pain Level: 9 Major Facts & Minimization Tips
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Chest tattoos are one of the most painful places on the body to get tattooed because of the close presence of bone and a lack of fat in the area. The pain is often compared to constant tapping.

Based on reports from many individuals, chest tattoos are generally rated as an 8 out of 10 in terms of discomfort. This is likely due to the fact that the chest area is located near the ribs and sternum bone, making it a more sensitive area for tattoos.

To help manage this pain, many people use numbing creams like Dr. Numb®, which can significantly reduce discomfort during the tattooing process.

As a tattoo artist or someone planning on getting a chest tattoo, understanding the pain levels associated with this type of tattoo is critical. It's essential to remember that your pain threshold, skin sensitivity, and the tattoo artist's technique can all impact your pain levels.

In this blog post, we'll explore the different causes of chest tattoo pain and valuable tips and aftercare advice to minimize discomfort during and after the process.

Chest Tattoo Pain Level: 9 Factors

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Dr. Numb® numbing cream helps minimize discomfort for a smoother chest tattoo experience.

Chest tattoo pain is a complex and multifaceted experience influenced by various factors. Tattoos on the chest are among the most painful. Tattoo chest pain ratings differ based on age, gender, and a person's pain tolerance. While some people may find chest tattoos intensely painful, others may find the experience relatively manageable. Some studies suggest that women may experience different pain levels than men.

Let's dive into the details to help you better understand the factors that contribute to chest tattoo pain for men and women:

Nerve Endings

The abundance of nerve endings in this area contributes to chest tattoo pain. A dense network of nerve endings lies beneath the chest, responsible for sending pain signals to the brain.

Chest tattoos are known for being more painful than tattoos on other parts of the body. Research shows that the most painful tattoos are on the chest, ribs, and back.

Skin Thickness

The thickness of the skin also plays a significant role in chest tattoo pain. Thicker skin tends to be less sensitive to pain, while thinner skin tends to be more sensitive to pain because it tends to be thinner. The chest area can have both thick and thin skin, depending on the individual's body type and the specific location of the tattoo.

When it comes to the pectoral muscles, they are generally thicker and less sensitive than the skin around the collarbone or sternum, which can be thinner and less sensitive around the pectoral bone and sternum.

Personal Pain Tolerance

Pain tolerance also plays a vital role in chest tattoo pain. Everyone’s pain threshold is different. Some people are naturally more tolerant of pain than others. Stress, fatigue, and anxiety can also affect how much pain is experienced during a tattoo.

It’s important to remember that pain is subjective, and what feels painful to one person may not feel as intense to another. Women with a low pain tolerance may experience more discomfort during tattooing.

Size and Complexity of the Tattoo

The size and complexity of a tattoo design can also affect chest tattoo pain. Larger tattoos require more extended sessions, which can take a toll on the body and increase pain.

The Chest Tattoo Pain scale is usually 7 out of 10. Whether you're a man or a woman, the chest is a unique experience. Women typically have a bit more padding in this area.

Tattoos with intricate designs or small details may require more meticulous work, leading to more discomfort. Simple designs with bold outlines tend to be less painful, while more complex designs with shading and fine lines can be more challenging.

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Dr. Numb® numbing cream can help minimize discomfort, especially for sensitive areas on your chest tattoo.

Location of the Tattoo

The specific placement of the tattoo is another critical factor to consider. The chest area is large, and different chest sections vary in pain sensitivity.

Sternum tattoos are placed on a bony area with thin skin and minimal fat or muscle. While they may be less painful than tattoos on the ribcage, sternum tattoos still fall into the category of more painful spots, bordering on moderate tattoo pain levels.

The middle of the chest area and one side might be less sensitive, but tattoos extending towards the armpit or under Breast pain can be more severe due to the heightened sensitivity in those regions.

Artist’s Technique

The tattoo artist's technique can significantly impact the pain experienced during a chest tattoo. Experienced tattooists know how to work with the body and use techniques to minimize discomfort.

This can include using lighter hand pressure, working in short sessions, and taking frequent breaks. A skilled artist can also work with the individual to find the most comfortable position for their body and adjust their technique accordingly.

Anatomy and Physiology of the Chest

Tattooing on the chest can be extremely challenging due to the complex muscles, bones, and nerve network. The needle must penetrate multiple layers of skin during a chest tattoo session, including the epidermis, dermis, and subcutaneous tissue. This can increase chest pain levels by making the chest more prone to swelling and bruising.

Breast size

Getting a tattoo in the middle of the breast can be more painful, especially for women with larger breasts. This increased pain is due to the higher concentration of nerve endings in the chest area. This pain can be better understood by considering the anatomical characteristics and their impact on sensitivity. Understanding these factors is crucial for addressing potential discomfort in individuals with larger breasts.


Older women often have more delicate and sensitive skin, making tattooing potentially more uncomfortable due to increased pain sensitivity. This is something to consider when getting a tattoo, as it may require additional care and attention. Communicating openly with your tattoo artist and taking the necessary measures to ensure a comfortable experience is essential.

Chest Tattoo Pain Level: Minimizing Tips and Tricks

Tips and Tricks for Minimizing Chest Tattoo Pain

Choosing a less painful location can minimize chest tattoo pain. Effective techniques can alleviate discomfort and enhance your tattoo experience. We will discuss how to prepare and tricks to help you minimize chest tattoo pain.

Choose a Less Painful Location

One way to minimize chest tattoo pain is by selecting a less painful location. The chest is one of the body's most sensitive areas, with the sternum and the area around the nipple being the most painful. Some areas of the chest are less painful than others. These include:

  • Upper breast: This area has more muscle and fat than the other parts of the chest, so there is more padding to cushion the tattoo needle.
  • Left Side chest: The sides of the left chest are fatter than the center, which means the pain will be less intense.
  • Collarbone: This is a good option if you want a tattoo on your chest but don't want to endure too much pain. The collarbone has more flesh than the rest of the chest, which means it is less sensitive.

Numb the Area

Another method of minimizing chest tattoo pain is by using topical anesthetics. These creams or ointments are applied directly to the skin and help numb the area. Some examples of topical anesthetics for tattoo chest numbness:

  • Lidocaine: This is a common topical anesthetic used in tattooing to help numb the skin. It can be applied as a cream, gel, or spray.
  • Benzocaine: This is another topical anesthetic that can help to numb the skin. It is often combined with other ingredients, such as lidocaine, to create a more effective numbing agent.
  • Prilocaine: This is a prescription-only topical anesthetic used to numb the skin before medical procedures. It can provide longer-lasting pain relief compared to other topical anesthetics.

Tattoo Pain Medication

If the pain becomes too intense, you can also consider taking pain medication to help manage it. Seeking medical advice before taking any medication is vital, especially if you have any pre-existing medical conditions. Some examples of over-the-counter pain medication that can help to manage pain include:

  • Ibuprofen This is an anti-inflammatory medication that can help to reduce pain and swelling. It should be taken with food to reduce the risk of stomach upset.
  • Acetaminophen:This is a pain reliever that can help to manage mild to moderate pain. It is safe to take with most medications but should be taken with caution if you have liver problems.
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Numbing Products

Several numbing products are available on the market, and one of the most popular options is:

Small Steps for Big Chest Tattoos

Starting with a smaller design is an excellent way to minimize pain during tattooing. Here are some benefits of starting with a smaller tattoo:

  • Less time under the needle: Smaller tattoos typically take less time to complete, which means less time under the needle and less pain.
  • Easier to manage: Smaller tattoos are often more accessible, making the tattooing process less stressful overall.

Hydrate and Rest

Preparing your body for a chest tattoo can also help to minimize tattoo pain. This includes staying hydrated and getting enough rest. Dehydration can make the skin more sensitive, making the pain more intense. Getting enough rest can also help reduce stress and anxiety, making the pain feel more intense.

Chest Tattoo Pain Level: Aftercare Tips

Aftercare Tips for Chest Tattoos

The pain level when getting a chest tattoo can be intense. Proper aftercare techniques can alleviate some of the discomfort. Here are essential tips and tricks for dealing with tattoo pain.

Find an Experienced Artist

It's typical for your fresh tattoo to feel soreness for a few days post-application. Opting for a skilled artist is vital for chest tattoos. Given the chest's sensitivity, an inexperienced artist might mishandle it, resulting in undue pain or health hazards. Here are a few reasons engaging an experienced artist is paramount:

  • An experienced artist knows how to handle and alleviate the pain during tattooing.
  • They also know how to ensure the ink is distributed evenly without causing damage to the skin.
  • Experienced artists can give you advice on aftercare techniques, making the healing process as comfortable as possible.

Ask Your Artist for Advice

It’s essential to understand that the healing process plays a significant role in reducing chest tattoo pain. After getting a chest tattoo, following post-tattoo care recommendations from your artist is crucial. Here are some suggestions to help make the healing process easier:

  • Always follow the recommended cleaning and moisturizing routine given by the artist.
  • Avoid wearing tight clothing that will rub against the area, irritating.
  • Avoid excess sunlight exposure, as it can damage the healing ink.

Be Proud of Your Tattoo

A chest tattoo is an emotional experience. Feeling proud of your tattoo can help reduce the pain, providing a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction. Show it off confidently, and do not allow the pain to deter you from feeling proud of your new piece.

First Tattoo Tips

In the first few days after receiving your chest tattoo, being careful and gentle with the area is essential. Here are some tips to help reduce pain during the first few days:

  • Avoid introducing anything irritating, including clothing that rubs against the tattoo.
  • Apply a cold compress on the tattoo to reduce swelling and discomfort.
  • Ensure you do not touch the tattoo with dirty hands and refuse to let others touch your newly done piece.
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Dr. Numb® numbing cream helps minimize discomfort for a more enjoyable chest tattoo experience.

Give It Time

The time it takes for a tattoo to heal can be different for everyone. Do not resuscitate the tattoo. Allowing ample healing time to avoid potential medical issues and reduce pain is essential. Some reasons to give your tattoo time to heal are:

  • It will reduce scarring, which can be a potential cause of pain and irritation.
  • It will help avoid infection, in the tattoo pain areas, which can be a painful and costly experience.

Avoid Collarbones and Sternums

When getting a chest tattoo, placing the piece away from your collarbone and sternum is essential. These areas are susceptible and could lead to unnecessary pain. Here are a few reasons why avoiding your collarbone and sternum is crucial:

  • These areas can be tricky spots to tattoo, causing more pain and requiring more healing time.
  • Placing a tattoo directly over a bone can cause additional sensitivity and pain.


While it's true that chest tattoos can be among the most painful tattoos, there are many ways to manage the discomfort and make the experience more bearable. From choosing a less painful location to utilizing numbing products and taking breaks when necessary, numerous methods exist for minimizing pain. Remembering that everyone has pain tolerance levels and that getting a tattoo can be a very individual experience.

By understanding the science behind pain and seeking advice from your tattoo artist, you can ensure you're prepared for the process and achieve the desired outcome without fear or discomfort. A chest tattoo can be a meaningful and beautiful expression of yourself, and the rewards will outweigh the temporary pain experienced during the tattooing process.

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Matt Callard
I am a passionate traveler, as if traveling were my full-time job. I like to change my surroundings and environment, like changing desktop wallpaper. Nature increases the concentration in my writing, which helps brainstorming flow in my blood. I have a cat named Kitana. She is the most desperate about traveling, more than any other cat. How do I know? If I miss any tour in any week, she literally destroys my clothing with her wolverine nails.

I and my cat also participate in extreme activities like surfing, biking, hill tracking, paragliding, boating, etc. She was always there in my accidents, injuries, and stitches. She always sits on my lap when it hurts me most. The funniest part is that she has experienced all my tattoos. She sleeps on my blanket when I go through any painful experience.

My hobbies and lifestyle added many pain and injuries to my life. That is why I have a lot of experience in dealing with different levels of pain and burn. It influenced me to become a pain expert and share primary suggestions to handle any unwanted situations that hurt.


  • What is The Most Painful Spot for A Tattoo?

    Hands, fingers, feet, and toes are compassionate due to their dense nerve endings and thin skin. There is nothing worse than getting a tattoo on your fingers or toes. The tattoo needle must pass through bone to achieve this.

  • Do Chest Tattoos Hurt More Than Other Tattoos?

    Chest tattoos can be painful due to their proximity to bone, thinner skin, and nerve endings. But pain tolerance and the individual design and placement of the tattoo can also come into play.

  • Can A Chest Tattoo Be So Painful?

    Yes, some pain is expected when getting a chest tattoo due to the presence of nerve endings that are more concentrated in the area. If the pain becomes unbearable, it may be a sign of infection or an adverse reaction to the tattooing process.

  • Is it Possible to Stretch a Chest Tattoo?

    Adrenaline Studios suggests that targeting the upper back, chest, forearms, and lower legs can lead to noticeable improvements. Focusing on these muscle groups can enhance strength and endurance, benefiting your fitness journey.

  • How Much Does A Whole Chest Tattoo Cost?

    When contemplating tattoo placement and size, it's helpful to note the following average price ranges: For a full chest tattoo, expect to pay between $600 and $2,000, while a half chest tattoo may range from $450 to $1,200. Medium-sized tattoos typically cost between $250 and $600, with smaller designs falling in the range of $100 to $300.

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