Tattoo Pain Relief

Blue Tattoo Pain Man"Arrrrggghhh!!"

Yes, you CAN find SOME tattoo pain relief...or at least minimize the ouch!

Now that you've learned about tattoo pain and have a general understanding of what to expect, you CAN minimize the pain by following some simple steps before, during and after you get the ink. 

How to Get SOME Tattoo Pain Relief
~ The Dos and Don'ts ~

At the risk of repeating myself, much of what follows on this page has already been touched on in other pages of this website, while still other pages contain additional information relevant to avoiding unnecessary risk and pain.

Why not take a moment and glance at some of those now?

On this page, for the sake of clarity I wanted to break this down into clear lists showing what you should consider doing, and what you should definitely avoid. 

Look at these two lists as guidelines. These are not all hard-and-fast requirements, but consider all of them anyway. 

When you're finished looking over these lists, make sure to look at the Tattoo Pain Scale page to learn about the most and least painful areas of the body for tattoo placement.


  • Consider one of the least painful placement (green) areas of the body for your first tattoo (as shown on Tattoo Pain Scale),
  • Schedule an early morning appointment (if time to handle pain),
  • Get a good night's sleep (so that you are well rested),
  • Shower or bathe thoroughly (clean skin is a must),
  • Drink lots of water (hydrated for at least two hours before),
  • Eat a decent meal (especially something high in protein for high energy levels),
  • Wear loose comfortable clothing (like stay comfortable),
  • Stretch out at home (you will likely be in one position for hours),
  • Bring a book or some magazines (for distraction),
  • Jam out with your iPod and ear buds (same reason as above), 
  • Pack some chewing gum, hard candy and/or non-messy snacks (same again),
  • Take some breaks (just remember, you're likely paying by the hour),
  • Bring ONE of your BFFs (if okay with the tattoo artist...and they will get bored),
  • Take one dose of Tylenol (for non-aspirin pain numbing...about an hour prior).
  • Follow ALL after-care instructions (given by the tattoo artist afterward).

Definitely DO NOT:

  • Drink alcohol (no booze for 24 hours as it thins the blood and causes bleeding),
  • Take aspirin, ibuprofen or NSAIDs (avoid these blood thinners/anticoagulants),
  • Drink too much coffee or tea (limit to one cup prior as caffeine also thins blood),
  • Do any drugs (this can effect your good judgment at the wrong time), 
  • Show up sick (your body is not at its peak, so reschedule if that happens), 
  • Get a tattoo without reading over this entire website (sorry...couldn't help it). 

While it is impossible to achieve 100% tattoo pain relief without doing something that is actually worse for you and your ink, following these guidelines will go a long way to making the experience at least "tolerable"...for most peeps anyway. 

Endorphins Are Your Friends

Endorphin Man"Hey LOOK! It's ENDORPHIN MAN!!!"

Your body DOES have its own defense system when it comes to pain. 

As soon as your brain registers that pain is being transmitted, this defense system kicks in and you may feel a noticeable difference within minutes of the beginning of your tattoo procedure. Endorphins baby!

Endorphin: The word consists of two parts: endo- and -orphin which are short forms of the words endogenous and morphine. This chemical, produced by our own physiology, is essentially a "morphine-like substance originating from within the body."

Bottom line: Most people don't need artificial pain relief...follow the aforementioned guidelines and you'll be just fine!

Hey Tattoo Fans!

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