10 Most Painful Places to Get a Tattoo for Girls

By on September 17, 2014

Tattoos are unique masterpieces where an individual can express their creativity and passion, maybe even pay tribute to someone or something in their lives. But as you can probably imagine, they don’t come completely pain-free. While some locations might be totally tolerable with only minimal amounts of pain exuded (check out this list of the 10 least painful tattoo locations for girls), other spots are gut-wrenching and incredibly painful- you know, the kind of pain that leaves your eyes watering and your fingernails digging into the chair. To avoid situations like these- or at least be prepared for them- we’ve prepared a list of the 10 MOST painful tattoo locations for girls.


1. Middle Arm/Elbow

Middle Arm Elbow tattoo

Sleeves- whether half or full- are incredibly popular tattoos in both the male and female community. And while the top half of the arm and lower half is a breeze, it’s the middle of the arm that gives you the most trouble. Right in the dead center of your arm is where you will undoubtedly feel the most pain- both on the outside of the arm (elbow) and inside. If you’re going the sleeve route, there’s no way to avoid this. But if you’re not and just want a simple arm tat, I recommend staying away from the middle.

2. Middle Leg/Knee

Middle Leg Knee tattoo

Just like you want to avoid the middle of your arm at all costs (if possible), same goes for the middle of your leg, too. Now I know the knee isn’t the most common place to sport a tattoo- but if you’re seeking a full leg piece, you will eventually have to have your knee come in contact with the needle. And let me tell you- it is INTENSE, so I hope you have a REALLY cool tat idea.

3. Bikini Line

Bikini Line tattoo

You know that terrible feeling you get when you go in to have your bikini line waxed? Yeah. Now imagine that pain times at least one hundred, if not two hundred. That’s what you can expect if you decide to have a tattoo that comes anywhere near your bikini line. Luckily this isn’t a really popular locations for a tat to begin with, but something full leg tattoos go all the way up- which, of course, reaches this line. If that’s the case, you might just have to grit your teeth and bare with the pain to finish your peace.

4. Feet

feet tattoo

Feet tattoos have become incredibly popular in the female tattoo community in recent years. Not only do they look incredibly cute with your favorite pair of sandals, but they also are hidden out of sight- which is an ideal location for those who don’t want visible tattoos. But I have to warn you: while these foot tattoos might be utterly adorable in every sense of the word, they’re pretty painful. I mean, with the thin skin and veins and bones popping out every which way, I’m sure this didn’t come as a HUGE surprise- right?

5. Butt

butt tattoo

That’s right- your butt unfortunately does not handle pain very well. So if you’re in the market for a tattoo that’s out of sight, I suggest choosing an easier location like the stomach or back. But if you really, REALLY need your butt marked up with something silly or glorious, just be prepared for a very uncomfortable time.

6. Middle Back

Middle Back tattoo

Have you ever noticed that most people end up with tattoos on the top half or bottom half of their backs? Did you ever think there might be a reason for this that isn’t purely cosmetic? Okay, so tattoos on the back shoulder, across the back, and across the lower back (tramp stamp) DO look nice, there’s more to the story: the middle back hurts. Pretty bad. So unless you’re going for a full back piece, I highly recommend staying at the top or bottom- not the middle.

7. Spine

Spine tattoo

Just thinking about a needle being drug down my spine sends me quivering- how about you? Unfortunately for us, upper neck tattoos directly on the spine are becoming increasingly popular in the female tattoo community. And yes, I totally agree they look dainty, feminine, and adorable- but are they worth the PAIN? The spine is a sensitive area. Unless you truly, truly want it and there’s no talking you out of it, I suggest choosing another location- or have something handy to sink your teeth into while they ink you up.

8. Head

head tattoo

So the head isn’t a REAL popular place to get a tattoo, but hey- some girls do it! And if you have the guts to get a head tattoo, more power to you. However, as you can imagine, head tattoos hurt pretty bad. It’s nothing that will make you shriek in pain or cry, but it will definitely leave you with squinted eyes and an unpleasant feeling throughout your body. Oh, and the buzzing right next to your ear and all through your head might get a little annoying, too!

9. Armpit

armpit tattoo

The armpit? Hey, some people do it! But the majority of the time armpits ever come into contact with a needle is if something is doing a sleeve or a large tattoo near the top of their arm/shoulder. If that’s the case, then you won’t really have a choice but to suck it up and get through it.

10. Inner Arm

inner arm tattoo

Have you ever realized how sensitive the inner skin of the top half of your arm is? It’s not very thick and there’s plenty of nerve endings located around there. I guess that’s why most people choose the OUTSIDE of the arm to get their tattoos done. But again, for a full or half sleeve, leaving the inner arm unattended is simply impossible. It’s going to hurt- not as bad as some of these other locations- but still, be prepared for a very unpleasant time.


Always remember that everyone has a different pain tolerance. You might be looking at some of these locations and saying, “Really? That didn’t hurt at all”! But to others, it may be TERRIBLE!


What do you think are the most painful locations for a tattoo?


  1. Avatar


    November 2, 2018 at 1:56 am

    Honestly tho I have two tattoos atm and both times I dozed off during them lol I think it’s a somewhat pleasant feeling for the first hour or so

    • web admin

      web admin

      November 2, 2018 at 9:12 pm

      Thank you for sharing your supportive comment. Please feel free to share your experiences and insights in the future. Have a great day, Jessica!

  2. Avatar


    November 2, 2018 at 1:54 am

    Why am I reading this two days before I’m getting my butt inked 😅😅

    • web admin

      web admin

      November 2, 2018 at 9:11 pm

      Thank you for sharing your supportive comment. Please feel free to share your experiences and insights in the future. Have a great day, Jessica!

  3. Avatar


    April 24, 2018 at 4:32 pm

    I just got a sunflower tattooed directly over the outside of my elbow….shit hurt A LOT. Still have another session on the piece but toward the end I had to hold myself back to keep from pulling away from my artist. Keep in mind I have other tats and am a tattoo artist myself…. elbow is not for the faint of heart and it takes a lot of energy just to maintain the sheer willpower to ait through it.

    • web admin

      web admin

      April 24, 2018 at 11:47 pm

      Thank you for sharing your insights and experiences. Ensure that you care for your elbow. Speak with your tattoo artist about their experiences in aftercare. Please feel free to share more of your thoughts and feelings in the future. Have a great day, Natasha!

  4. Avatar

    Morgan Davis

    January 2, 2018 at 5:37 pm

    Dose it hurt to get one on the side of ur bikini line. I want to get one but I’m not good with pain

    • web admin

      web admin

      January 2, 2018 at 6:02 pm

      Tattoos over bones are often described as painful. Do not concern yourself with pain. The pain is temporary. Speak with your tattoo artist about proper after care. Have a great day, Morgan!

    • Avatar


      August 27, 2018 at 4:42 pm

      I had no pain on bikini line for a big tattoo.

      • web admin

        web admin

        August 28, 2018 at 12:26 am

        Thank you for sharing your insights. Please share more of your thoughts and feelings in the future. Have a great day, Dana!

  5. Avatar

    robin clark

    October 7, 2016 at 1:52 am

    close to the nipple hurts a little

    • web admin

      web admin

      October 7, 2016 at 9:03 am

      That’s true. I hope that you didn’t have too hard of a time though!

  6. Avatar


    March 15, 2016 at 12:35 pm

    I’ve a hip & nape tattoo so far so only 2. The hip was more of a cat scratch ticklish and tingling feeling.The nape was more of a burning spasming feeling b/c it’s part of the spine & in direct connection w/ the brain & spinal cord. Basically, discomfort is inevitably experienced there and the accompanying involuntary twitching of the fingers like a marionette is unpleasant, but definitely bearable.The spine I’m told by all my friends w/ full back pieces, sleeves or bodysuits is the most intense. I will still get it once I’ve the savings and time for such a huge project. I think not being able to see a tattoo instensifies the pain, I liked being able to see or glimpse at my tattoos every so often and I was only able to do that w/ my hip one to some degree, looking at the process relaxes me. I’ve fractured my left collarbone, part of my shoulder & both of my small toes on my feet. I get cuts, scrapes, scratches, burns on my legs, hands, lower forearms all the time at work, when I shave, apply menthol & I’ve dealt w/ knee & palm gashes that took months to heal so my tolerance of pain is pretty decent b/c of all that. It also seems men feel discomfort a little different than women in the same locations say torso & back it’s interesting. To be honest I hate the healing process more than the tattooing process the swelling, open wound, itching etc. is infuriating lol.

    • web admin

      web admin

      March 19, 2016 at 8:55 am

      Thank you for your personal insight, Mercy–I am sure that our other readers will appreciate hearing about a personal experience with these tattoo types. Thanks for commenting!

  7. Avatar


    December 7, 2015 at 3:41 am

    I have the back of my knees done, it’s excruciating I’m afraid. The needle going over my nerves and tendons shot sharp pains down my leg and the thin skin was sore. It is hard to handle by its doable, just relax and breathe.

    • web admin

      web admin

      December 8, 2015 at 4:19 pm

      Phew! That sounds like an extremely painful location–you must have quite a pain tolerance, Sam, or at least some intense dedication! Thank you for providing some personal insight into that spot!

  8. Avatar

    Lilian Ofili

    November 1, 2015 at 2:33 pm

    Does tattoo on the back of the knee hurt?

    • web admin

      web admin

      November 2, 2015 at 4:10 pm

      I haven’t had one there, but I would imagine that it does. The skin is pretty sensitive behind your knee–plus, there are a lot of nerves and veins running through that section. Perhaps one of our other readers has personal experience with this location?

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