And a lot of us use topical anesthetics to make the tattoo less painful. That’s some pretty intense pain right there. Chest tattoos are a popular choice for both men and women. The chest may be one of the least painful of the most painful places to get a tattoo, but it's still a tougher area to have tattooed than the calves, lower back, buttocks, and outer arms. Those spots are the sternum, the stomach and the lower part of your foot where your toes are connected. Pay attention to your pain. All tattoos are not created equally. There’re a few things you can do to make sure your tattoo is as pain-free and pleasant as possible. Sternum pain is pain or discomfort in the area of the chest that contains the sternum and the cartilage connecting it to the ribs. Look for heat, redness, and itchiness. The pain level of your tattoo experience can also be affected by what, exactly, you're getting put onto your body. Depending on your pain tolerance, your tattoo artist's schedule, and your patience, they can take years to complete—or they can be artfully inked within a single session. Either way, most chest piece tattoos are going to be painful unless you have lots of body fat or muscle. 2. Very often, sternum tattoos will also extend onto the ribs, which is well-known to be a painful area. Upper Thigh As explained under "Shins" above , there are four major nerves that run through the legs. One anchor basically feels like an itch. While the chest is a common (and not terribly painful) spot for a tattoo, be aware that the sternum, located in the very center of the chest, can be a different story. Some sternum tattoos are really hard to keep wrapped up, even with those high-tech burn covers on hand, so you might have to let it heal without any barrier between your skin and your clothing. And, similarly to the ribs, there is very little separating the tattoo needle and the sternum bone. My first tattoo was done wrong and it felt like the artist was dragging a dull, hot knife through my skin. If the tattoo is especially painful, and the pain lasts for more than 3 days following the tattoo session, go back to the parlor and ask the artist to examine the tattoo. These tattoos are usually placed directly under the breasts, but can expand between the cleavage or over and beyond the sternum, depending on the design. Furthermore, if you’re a woman receiving a sternum tattoo, you won’t be able to wear a bra for at least the first 24 hours after receiving it. In fact, many of us with tattoos still get butterflies and worry about our pain tolerance. Learn which tattoos hurt the most. While some exceptions exist, in general: The smaller and simpler a tattoo is, the less painful it will be. 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