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you can take to ease the pain out of getting a tattoo

  1. mkplcl profile image59
    mkplclposted 6 years ago

    I desperately want this one tattoo, but I have a serious fear of needles..and the pain. I want it on my left rib cage...I'm a skinny girl, they show, and tattooing on bone I imagine can't be pleasant. I was wondering..if I could go in for the actual tattoo appointment maybee after a few drinks..or take somekind of painkiller or meds. ahha seriously. do people do that? and what do they take exactly..

    1. double_frick profile image79
      double_frickposted 6 years ago in reply to this

      whoa. if you have a fear of needles do NOT get a tattoo on your ribs. sorry. but you either have to really toughen up or change the location of your dream tattoo. hmm that is an incredibly painful place to get tatted.

      DON'T drink alcohol.
      respectable tattoo artists usually won't even tattoo someone if they know they are drunk.
      painkillers are not technically good to take before a tattoo...for one reason, you can bleed more. and for two, well, it sort of defeats the toughness aspect, doesn't it?

      i'll admit for my chest piece i did take painkillers for the color, which was the second sitting. the first i sat through all three and a half hours of *i'll be honest--pain* and i'll EVEN allow myself to be vulnerable enough to admit i cried the whole last hour and told the artist to keep going, i just had to cry. (not bawling, but tears streaming down my face)
      so HE gave me the pain killers the second sitting because he felt bad. smile lol 

      tattoos YAY!

      but they are painful.
      if you take a painkiller it should be Rx strenghth, not tylenol you buy OTC, thats probably not strong enough, though it may help. i don't know.

    2. relache profile image87
      relacheposted 6 years ago in reply to this

      Please listen to what everyone is saying about not getting tattooed after drinking alcohol or taking aspirin.  Tattoo artists can tell by how you bleed if you are drunk or on certain meds and they'll stop tattooing you because the whole thing just becomes a mess.

      No over the counter painkillers are going to dull the pain of a rib tattoo on a skinny person.  That's one of the most painful spots on the whole body you can get inked.  Also, it doesn't matter how many opinions you get about pain, no two people feel pain the same.  Stick yourself in the ribs a few times with a pin.  If you just can't stand it, imagine what 200 pinpricks per minutes will feel like.

      If you are worried about pain, you need to get the tattoo someplace where you have muscle and body fat to pad over the bones and nerves.  That's really the only thing that makes one tattoo hurt less than ones done in boney places. 

      And if you really, really want to get tattooed, you'll just manage to sit through it.

    3. 60
      Cathiieeeposted 4 years ago in reply to this

      Did you end up getting the tattoo? I'm getting mine on my ribs soon too and I'm scared of the pain as im skinny like you!

    4. 74
      Arielle Georgeposted 2 years ago in reply to this

      there are numbing creams but from my knowledge the cream raises your blood vessels which make you bleed more. Bleeding more can cause the ink to thin

      1. mistyhorizon2003 profile image90
        mistyhorizon2003posted 2 years ago in reply to this

        I used the Lignocaine 'numbing' cream for my last two tattoos, both of which are over 10 years old now and still look really good. I highly recommend them smile

    5. 61
      Chaun Pooleposted 2 years ago in reply to this

      just get hush type numb for tattoo on google

  2. Mikel G Roberts profile image88
    Mikel G Robertsposted 6 years ago

    Tattoos don't hurt...it's that fricking needle poking in and out of you that hurts....

    1. Hui (蕙) profile image58
      Hui (蕙)posted 4 years ago in reply to this

      Are you sure not hurt that badly? I want one, but I am afraid of needle and hurt either.

  3. Mikel G Roberts profile image88
    Mikel G Robertsposted 6 years ago

    Actually after a few seconds your brain shuts out the pain for the most part, I generally fall asleep during mine. But if you really want something for the pain, dont use alcohol, it thins the blood and you bleed like crazy and can wash out the ink, making your new art look faded.

    See a doctor and get some pain killers if your that scared, it ain't that bad though.

    good luck!

  4. Ivorwen profile image84
    Ivorwenposted 6 years ago

    Tattoos do hurt more where there is bone, but they are not that bad.  Take something along to focus on, music, a picture, a friend.  Talk to the artist.  Something to distract you from the actual tattoo.  For me, it was not so much the pain as the sound of the gun that got annoying.  Plus, the tattoo needles only go half as deep as a hair root is.  It hurts less than plucking a hair!  (and what woman hasn't pulled millions of those buggers?)

    Like Mikel said, avoid alcohol.  Also, avoid IB Profren and aspirins, because they thin the blood also.

    1. Mikel G Roberts profile image88
      Mikel G Robertsposted 6 years ago in reply to this

      That buzzing sound is what puts me to sleep... I would have figured women like it...'cause' maybe it reminded them of other batterry operated tools...lol

  5. Alessia Amnesia profile image61
    Alessia Amnesiaposted 6 years ago

    Bite down on a washcloth, hold your breath. Only the outline hurts anyway. After they are done with the outline, the area goes numb on its own.

  6. Jeffrey Neal profile image87
    Jeffrey Nealposted 6 years ago

    I find that the tattoo hurts much more a day later than when it's being applied.  That ache is the worst!

    As for the actual tattooing, it feels like a cat scratch to me...one loooong, drawn out cat scratch. 

    Everyone else is giving good advice on the drink and pills. If you can't take it, maybe you don't want it bad enough. If you don't want it bad enough, then you'll be paying ten times what the ink cost to get it removed fifteen years from now. Ask yourself why you "desperately" want the tattoo, and if you really do, you'll suck it up when the needle goes to work. smile

  7. 0
    Ghost32posted 6 years ago

    Not everybody's brain shuts down.  I knew this about myself long before getting my first 2 tattoos at age 50, one on each forearm.  The entire process took 3 hours, and yeah, I felt every needle-hit.  When it was all done, the tattoo artist looked at me and asked, "Your endorphins never did kick in?"

    "No," I confirmed.

    "Damn," he shook his head, "You're one tough sonofabitch."

    This from a fullblooded Cherokee man who survived being a sniper in Viet Nam.

    No, I'm NOT bragging.  I said all that to now say:  I no way in Hell would have the nerve to get a tattoo on my rib cage.  If you want one there bad enough to Get 'R' Done, you're way tougher than I'll ever be.

    Also, I note that for Jeffrey Neal, the pain is worst a day after application.  Not true for me; in my case, it fades down slowly but steadily from the moment it's finished.  On the flip side of that coin, ANY injury (she does not have any tattoos) my wife has suffered--at least if it was nasty enough to break a bone--hurts more and more after impact until peaking on the third day.  Sounds like we're all different in that respect.

    1. Ratatatttatt profile image61
      Ratatatttattposted 2 years ago in reply to this

      I'm with you 100% bro. I'm actually 54 years old but I'm in great shape. I have plenty of tattoos and know what it's like to deal with pain. The Polynesian style tattoo that I got on my leg yesterday was no walk in the park. There was never a moment I wasn't in pain and this was an 8 hour session. The artist and the tatt, however, are amazing and I have no regrets.  I'm getting the other leg done next week but am highly considering using a topical painkiller like Lignocaine. The excruciating pain I endured yesterday is something I will not forget anytime soon. Believe me.


  8. Mikel G Roberts profile image88
    Mikel G Robertsposted 6 years ago

    Oh you do know this advice came with a price of posting a Pic of your new art....right?

  9. mistyhorizon2003 profile image90
    mistyhorizon2003posted 6 years ago

    I have three tattoos and they DO hurt to get done, although some people's pain threshold is higher than others. I solved the problem on my last two by using "Lignocaine" cream about 45 minutes before the tattoo. Lignocaine cream is a local anaesthetic cream that they use on children (or adults) who are scared of needles. This makes it far easier to both give injections or take blood samples as you feel nothing. The effects last several hours, usually enough time for most tattoos to be completed.

    Apply a thick layer of the cream to the area of the tattoo and cover in clingfilm. Leave on for 45 minutes. Prior to the tattoo starting remove the clingfilm and wipe off the cream.

    You should be able to buy Lignocaine cream in your local chemist, or you may be able to get it through your doctor or vets surgery. I don't think it requires any prescription that I am aware of.

  10. theirishobserver. profile image60
    theirishobserver.posted 6 years ago


  11. yenajeon profile image82
    yenajeonposted 6 years ago

    Get it done in super small increments. My roommate wanted one badly but deathly afraid of needles. She had to get a small tattoo done in 8 separate visits!!!!
    But like they said, midol and an anxiety reducing pill smile

  12. relache profile image87
    relacheposted 6 years ago

    I had a six and a half hour session on my chest and not once did my brain shut down, nor did any part of the area go numb.

    The problem with asking about pain is that it is subjective, meaning how it feels it going to change from person to person.  So really nothing any of us say here is going to mean anything when it comes to how you feel getting tattooed.

  13. 0
    A Texanposted 6 years ago

    Here's an idea, don't get a tattoo! If you are looking for something to separate you from your peers that would probably be it. Not a whole lot of originality these days.

  14. deezers profile image61
    deezersposted 5 years ago

    I have five tattoos on my neck, back and calves. Initially they hurt a little but within a couple of minutes they settled. I found the tickle/itch and vibration  more annoying than anything. At times I nearly dozed off. The worse one I've had was across my back because it vibrated so much I felt like I needed to cough up big spitballs hahahahhah

    The easiest place I've had tattoos has been my calf muscles. Not a painful sensation at all.

    Perhaps you should think about other areas to get your tattoo. If you have that much of an aversion to needles do you really need to get this tattoo....why not get some awesome artist to do the design up on canvas for you to display in your home instead hahahah you get to look at it without the pain that way wink

    I don't know about other countries.... you can get numbing cream in Australia.... however I have absolutely no idea if this works or not. Don't take aspirin or drink or anything that is going to thin your blood, try and stay cool and eat before you go for your tattoo.

  15. Ellarose92 profile image61
    Ellarose92posted 5 years ago

    Don't do it!! I have two tattoos and after awhile I was like omg when will it be over but it hurt more after and honestly if ur that scared don't do it, everyone has given wonderful advice and you should really listen to it.. Or well take it in

  16. 62
    cyaneyedangelposted 5 years ago

    I work at a tattoo studio, and quite a few of our clients use a specialised numbing cream, applied to the area before the client is tattooed, and then wiped off. It has an anaesthetic affect on the skin and allows the client to sit for longer with a lot less pain and discomfort.

    1. 61
      Annetposted 4 years ago in reply to this

      Do you know what numbing cream your clients use?
      Thank You! smile

  17. Amber Lindsay profile image60
    Amber Lindsayposted 3 years ago

    So i am new to the "tatting scene" i just got my second tattoo yesterday 12-14-12 and i got it by my collarbone and that one hurt more than my first one and my first on is bigger than this one the endorphins never kicked in and it hurts worse today than yesterday unlike my first one i got it on my shoulder blade what i did for my first tat was got black and grey where i couldnt see it that is a good thing to do dont watcg the artist do it dont think about it and just relax thats my best advice hope this helped

  18. nidgeslash9 profile image60
    nidgeslash9posted 3 years ago

    I am part way through a huge tattoo. I've had 1 x 3 hour, 1 x 4 hour, 3 x 7 hour and 1 8 hour session.
    If i am having anything under 4 hours i just drink plenty of coffee and water, liten to music or watch a movie on my ipad. For the longer sessions i need help. Tramadol is what i use. It doesn't really kill the pain but it stops me caring about it. I know i could do more shorted sessions but i work away from home and cannot keep going back at regular intervals. I've found that tramadol can make me a bit cranky the next day but without it i'd have never got as much done in this time.



    1. Taylor Wheeler profile image61
      Taylor Wheelerposted 3 years ago in reply to this

      Your tattoo is freakin awesome!

    2. Ratatatttatt profile image61
      Ratatatttattposted 2 years ago in reply to this

      Nice tatts bro. I know what it's like to do the long tatt sessions. Most guys wimp out and do it in two or three sessions. I like to get it all done one time and, like you, I need to because I'm pressed for time. I just got a Polynesian style one done on my leg yesterday. A grueling 8 hour session of constant pain that was unrelenting. The artist always has a movie going on a huge TV in his studio but that doesn't have any effect on quelling the pain. The artist, however, is amazing and does comparable work so I'm never disappointed. Next week I'm having the other leg done but considering using a topical painkiller like Lignocaine. I will soon not forget yesterday's pain.




  19. mistyhorizon2003 profile image90
    mistyhorizon2003posted 3 years ago

    Can I just repeat (for those here who have again asked which cream works to numb pain) what I said much earlier in this thread, and that is that 'Lignocaine Cream' works, and is frequently used by doctors and hospitals etc for children or adults who are scared of needles. The numbing effect lasts several hours and you don't feel a thing. I have used this for two tattoos now and it made it totally painless.

  20. thelyricwriter profile image48
    thelyricwriterposted 2 years ago

    The cream does work. Go in with a fully charged iphone and you'll be surprised out how much less pain you feel when getting tattooed. If you can focus on something else, you'll be much better off. Yes, could be hard for a 16 hour tattoo. That's why we have the cream.

  21. thelyricwriter profile image48
    thelyricwriterposted 2 years ago

    Should have took the time to comment on the tattoo, my fault. That is a nice tattoo there Ratatatttatt. That's some good looking line work.

    1. Ratatatttatt profile image61
      Ratatatttattposted 2 years ago in reply to this

      Thanks bro. I pass your comment on to my artist.