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Forearm Tattoo Pain: How Bad Do They Hurt?

by  Kin Liu -  Last updated on September 6, 2021

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The skin on your forearm is reasonably sensitive— but not as bad as many other parts of the body. It is a popular place for tattoos, especially as it has a relatively low density of nerve endings. Of course, it can still be quite painful, but this could be a good choice for a first tattoo or one to escape serious pain.

Forearm tattoos hurt less than in other body areas because of the larger amount of fat under the skin. Tattoos hurt more where there is a thinner layer of fat between the skin and muscle/bone.

In this article, we will give insights into how much pain a tattoo on the forearm really involves. Additionally, we will discuss the general pain of tattoos on other areas of the body and answer some frequently asked questions.

How Much Do Tattoos Hurt On the Forearm?

The pain of tattooing the forearm is a very common question among tattoo enthusiasts. The answer to this question depends on several factors, including where you get tattooed, your skin and body type, and what kind of tattoo machine will be used.

Generally speaking, tattoos are more painful in areas with less fat layers like joints. Areas that have thicker skin and larger amounts of fatty tissue are least painful, such as on your buttocks or thighs. Forearms, however, fall towards the lower middle of the tattoo pain spectrum.

Women may experience more pain than men and older skin might find it hurts more than younger skin. People with very low body fat may also feel more pain than a heavier body type.

Pain is also highly dependent upon where exactly you’re getting tattooed on your body— some places hurt way worse than others because they carry different levels of nerve endings. For example, eyebrows can be extremely painful to ink while feet feel minimal discomfort if done correctly.

What Does Getting a Forearm Tattoo Feel Like?

Tattoos are becoming more and more popular every year, but what does getting tattooed feel like? One of the most common areas for tattoo placement is on the forearm. It’s a great place to get tattooed because it can be both easily hidden behind your clothes, or put out there in plain sight with short sleeves!

People claim a forearm tattoo feels like a light pinch, scratch or burning sensation. Most people say they experience low to mid pain on the pain scale. Pain levels can depend on how sensitive you are to pain. It can also vary depending upon where exactly along your arm you’re getting tattooed.

Some places hurt worse than others because they are more or less fleshy and carry different levels of nerve endings. The tattoo pain at this spot is a little more noticeable than some other places, but it’s not nearly as painful as getting tattooed on the spine or back of the knee, for example (which hurts extremely bad).

How Long Does It Take for a Forearm Tattoo to Stop Hurting?

People who have higher pain tolerances will feel it less than others, and vice versa. Some people may need a break after only an hour of tattooing. It’s best not to push yourself too hard if you’re feeling particularly sensitive that day because tattoo healing is difficult enough without adding extra pain.

If your new tattoo hurts more than usual as the hours go by, take a break from work (if you are working) or give your arms rest until the area begins hurting less again. Avoid activities that aggravate the area or cause discomfort for a while after tattooing.

After all, tattoos don’t heal themselves overnight. They take multiple days so make sure to be gentle while it finishes up its work!

What Are The Most Painful Areas to Have Tattooed?

Regarding the forearm, results are mixed. Some people have reported that it’s worse than their other tattoos and others found it very bearable. While forearm tattoos vary from artist to artist and person to person, don’t push yourself too hard if you’re feeling sensitive.

Some of the most painful places to be tattooed include:

  • Neck
  • Ribs
  • Armpit
  • Back of the knees
  • Foot and ankle
  • Breasts

The reasons that tattooing on these areas is so uncomfortable include:

  • Many nerve endings are present in these areas, which causes pain to be more extreme
  • There’s less flesh covering bones, which hurts a great deal when needles hit against them

If you’re looking for an easy tattoo spot, then your inner forearm would probably be best as there aren’t any major nerves or blood vessels around this area of the skin. This means that discomfort should be minimalized compared with other body parts such as hands, arms, and feet.

It really depends on whether you can handle pain but if not, choose another part of your arm instead!

Related Questions

Here are some questions relating to the pain of forearm tattoos and tattoo pain in general.

Can You Use Numbing Cream Before a Tattoo?

You can use a numbing cream before tattooing, but it’s better to try and get used to the pain. Numbing cream can help reduce the pain of tattooing, but it is not a miracle worker and cannot eliminate all discomfort for some people.

It may take some time before you know how effective numbing creams will be at reducing tattoo pain. Therefore, you should always test them out on another part of your body first where there is no skin damage or open wounds in case they cause an allergic reaction.

How Long Does It Take To Heal A Tattoo?

It takes around a week for your tattoo to heal completely. You should avoid getting them wet or dirty during this time as they can easily become infected if not cared for properly.

What Is The Best Aftercare Advice For Getting A New Tattoo?

The best aftercare advice is to apply moisturizer regularly while avoiding scratching the tattoo at all costs! This will help speed up healing times so that you do not have any unwanted scarring on your skin once healed.

If done correctly, then tattoos are permanent and long-lasting, just like their name suggests, but regular application of good quality products means that tattoo scars will be minimal.


If you consider getting a tattoo, make sure you know what to expect based on where the design will be placed. For instance, forearms have less fat than other areas of your body and therefore hurt less during the process.

But if you’re planning to get something inked above or below your elbow joint— such as an arm sleeve— you may find it more painful as there is more bone and muscle beneath that area which can cause pain when pierced with needles.

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