When it comes to getting a tattoo, it’s not something that you do on a whim. Because you can’t just wash away your tattoo right after a long bath. Once you get it, it becomes a part of you. So, you’ve got some decision making to do about what tattoo you should get and where to get it.
The fact about getting a tattoo is, you can get it on pretty much any part of your body that has skin on it. But different body parts have different levels of sensitivity in terms of taking on the needles of a tattoo machine. Looking at your fingers?
That brings us to the question here, ‘do finger tattoos hurt?’
In this article, I’ll give you an elaborate answer to that question so that you can clear out your confusions once and for all. Along with that, I’ll discuss some other related topics that’ll help you to get a clear idea about the things to consider if you’re planning on getting a finger tattoo.
So, let’s begin!
How Much Does a Finger Tattoo Hurt?
Before I answer that question, let me walk you through the process of getting a tattoo once again. I’m sure some of you already know quite well about the whole deal. But it wouldn’t hurt to get your facts checked twice. Isn’t that right?
Basically, the tip of the tattoo machine that goes over the skin has a few needles in it. These needles puncture the outer layer of your skin and go past the epidermis level to inject the ink pigments. That means 1.5 to 2 mm below the skin surface and on top of blood vessels.
One of the main reasons behind getting a tattoo is, the design is meant to be permanent. As the outer layer of our skin keeps renewing itself, penetrating past the epidermis layer is a must. In case you didn’t know, the needles puncture the skin around 100 times within just a second!
My sole purpose of mentioning the process is to tell you that every tattoo comes bearing the sign on its forehead that it’ll hurt, A LOT! So, the question shouldn’t be about whether finger tattoos hurt or not. Instead, it should be about “how much” they hurt.
Speaking of finger tattoos and pain, it’s said that getting a finger tattoo is the most painful among all the other ones. Even though the pain varies between different parts of the body and the level of enduring the pain varies from person to person, this fact is true for almost anyone.
Now, there must be some logical reasons behind why finger tattoos cause so much pain. So, what are they? Well, that’s what you’re going to find out in the next segment here.
What are the Reasons Behind the Intense Pain of Finger Tattoos?
It’s more like common knowledge in the tattoo industry that finger tattoos are more prone to causing pain (As I’ve said before). But have you ever asked yourself what makes finger tattoos more painful? Whether you have or haven’t yet, here are the main reasons –
Less Fat & Muscle Density
If you press on the fingers of one hand with the other one, you’ll be able to feel the pressure directly on your bone. That’s how thin the layer of muscle and fat is on our fingers. But if you touch other fleshy parts such as the arm or thigh, you’ll see a significant difference.
That significant difference of flesh and fat is basically the cause behind the noticeable pain difference. When you tattoo on your finger, the needles penetrate the areas around the bone and knuckle. And I guess it’s not that hard to imagine how that’s going to feel!
Fingers Have More Nerve Endings Than Other Body Parts
In case you didn’t know, when any part of our body gets damaged, the receptors send the signals to the brainstem and spinal cord through the nerves of our body. And another interesting fact is if you get a minor injury, then tapping on your finger decreases pain significantly.
So, how does that work? Well, the answer is easy. Tapping on your finger causes distraction and interrupts the process of sending the signals to our brain. Now imagine that the pain begins right there on your fingers! I guess that makes it easy to imagine the intensity of pain, doesn’t it?
The thing is, the nerve endings in our fingers are much more in number than any other part of our body. So, it’s quite obvious that the fingers are very sensitive. As a result of that, any minor pain can feel like a lot in there.
Here’s What the Professionals Say about Finger Tattoos
Different professional tattoo artists have their own views and opinions on different tattoo-related matters. However, almost all of them pretty much agree on many things when it comes to getting a tattoo on the finger. That’s what we’re going to discover here.
Some of the professionals say, quote, finger tattoos are definitely the most painful ones to get and hardest to do, unquote. So, it’s quite evident that the professionals also find it hard to do because it needs very subtle work and a very deep concentration.
You’d be shocked to know what we found out by asking this question to many professionals, ‘do you feel comfortable while doing finger tattoos?’ Almost 50% of them said ‘No!’ And many of them directly advised the customers not to get finger tattoos.
Imagine a professional tattoo artist discouraging getting a tattoo!
However, 30% among the rest of the 50% said that they are comfortable doing finger tattoos if the one getting it is an old customer or someone who has got a lot of tattoos done before. At first, this might seem weird, but if you give it a thought, you’ll understand what they meant.
According to my experience, one of the major qualities that define a tattoo artist is the ability to communicate with the customer. By tattooing on someone for years, an artist gets an idea about the customer’s impulse, his/her limit of pain endurance, etc. This makes things a lot easier.
The other 20% were really confident that they could handle any customer and could tattoo on any body part. And I know for a fact that they weren’t bluffing or overcoating their words. Each of them has ten years of experience as a tattoo artist. So, that’s definitely something.
Things to Consider Before Getting a Finger Tattoo
Like I said at the very beginning of this article, you need a lot of thinking to do before getting a tattoo. Apart from the major things, there are other small things that need a little bit of consideration too. Here are those things that you need to consider –
Finger Tattoos Fade Easily
All tattoos fade away gradually. That means the shine of your tattoo won’t remain the same after a couple of years. The heat from the sun, being in contact with water, constant abrasion have a negative impact on that glaze. So, you need to get touch-ups when it starts fading.
But the thing about finger tattoos is that they tend to fade away a lot sooner than other body parts. And the reasons behind that are quite obvious. Our hands, especially our fingers, come in contact with different things a lot. So, that accelerates the process.
Can’t Get Detailed Design
I believe that the depth of a tattoo lies in its details. But our fingers don’t have enough space that an artist needs to put in the details. Even if you try to get something intricate on it, there’s a chance that you’d end up ruining it. So, I always suggest keeping it simple.
It’s a Bit Expensive
Finger tattoos are small and usually less detailed but still, they aren’t really cheap. Tattooing on fingers is actually a very time-consuming thing. You can’t just do it in one go because of how sensitive and prone to pain our fingers are.
Then again, not everyone can draw a tattoo on your finger. It needs a couple of years of experience to reach the level where you can work on the finger. Let’s say that experience costs a little. Spending the same amount of money, you can get a larger tattoo someplace else.
Design Seems a Bit Fuzzy
The design on our fingers doesn’t really bloom like you would expect it to. It’s because the skin around our fingers is a little bit tricky by nature. For some reason, the color tone won’t be the same as you anticipate it to be. That’s why most artists only suggest getting black ink.
Susceptible to Ink Fall Out
Another thing that needs special consideration before getting a finger tattoo is that the soft underpart (the side of the palm) is very susceptible to ink fallout. In fact, it’s the most susceptible among the body parts where the tattoo is done.
The skin layer on the underpart of our fingers is prone to coming off due to many reasons. It’s especially seen during the winter season. Because of that, you can’t get a full circle ring on your fingers. So, you should choose a design that can be done on the upper part of the fingers.
Not Something that You Can Hide Easily
Getting a tattoo is a crucial decision for anyone, and it’s much more crucial when you’re thinking about getting one on your finger. Because you might be able to cover a tattoo on your chest or your arm with a shirt, but you can’t really hide the tattooed fingers always.
Even though I don’t support the idea, it’s a true fact that some people get a negative impression of a person with tattoos. If your tattoo is a bold one, then people might get different ideas from it. It’s not like you’ll always get the opportunity to explain what important meaning it carries.
It’s a thing you don’t want to look over, trust me! In terms of jobs and other interviews, tattoos seriously influence the mind of the employer (negatively of course). I’ve seen people being frustrated and coming back for tattoo removal just because they can’t get a decent job with it.
Yup, it’s that much serious!
How to Decide if Finger Tattoos are Worth the Pain?
The reason behind getting a tattoo varies from person to person. Some people do it because they find it cool, and some people do it just to follow a trend. But I always consider myself a bit of a goody-two-shoes when it comes to getting a tattoo.
I don’t want to impose my ideology on you, but I believe that you shouldn’t get a tattoo unless you have a significant aspect or cause that connects you with it. You shouldn’t have any second thoughts about the tattoo you’re willing to get. You shouldn’t regret it until your last day on earth!
Once you believe that you’re ready to accept the tattoo as a part of your life, you should be able to get any tattoo anywhere on your body. In fact, your belief and cause will work as the fighting spirit to go through the pain. That goes for the finger tattoos just as much as other tattoos.
You might find this a little exaggerating, but it’s completely okay. You don’t need to have faith in this ideology forever, just for this painful finger tattoo. I think considering this as the deciding factor will make it easier for you to set your mind.
5 Pro Tips to Make Finger Tattoos Less Painful
If you’ve already thought this through and decided that you’ll get a finger tattoo no matter what, then this part is absolutely for you. Now that you’ve decided, it’s best to think about how you can make the process less painful. Here are a few pro tips for you
Take Deep Breaths & Keep It Steady
Taking deep breaths really helps to endure any kind of pain. So, it definitely helps while getting a finger tattoo. Deep breathing is a very popular technique that lets in more airflow to the lungs, thus your body. It’s known as the natural pain killer.
Also, this technique calms the nerves in our body. Taking deep breaths helps us to gradually reduce stress and anxiety. The more you feel stress-free, the easier it gets for you to fight with the pain. Make sure to keep the breaths steady.
Stay Hydrated & Well Fed
Staying well hydrated makes the skin well hydrated. A well-hydrated skin means a good canvas for the tattoo artist. From my experience, I can say that any tattoo artist would enjoy working on hydrated skin. Believe it or not, it sometimes motivates the artist to give his best!
So, if you’re someone who doesn’t drink much water, make sure to eat a decent amount of water for a whole week before the appointed day. On the 4/5th day try drinking a little more. This process can heal dehydrated skin in no time.
Avoid Alcohol & Caffeine Prior to the Process
Some of you think that taking a few sips before the process will help you tolerate the pain. But trust me, dude, things like that mostly work in cinemas only. Drinking alcohol and other caffeine products actually has some significant negative effects.
When we drink alcohol, our blood density gets thinner. So, doing that before getting the tattoo can result in more blood loss than usual. Then again, there’s a possibility that the ink won’t hold well because of that.
Chewing a Gum Helps for Distraction
Chewing gum is an effective way to reduce stress and anxiety. It’s a scientifically proven fact that constantly chewing something interrupts the signals of the things that are causing stress. Basically, the signals resulting from chewing overlap other stress conveying signals.
This way, our mind gets diverted from the painful process. Chewing gum can’t completely make you forget the pain, but it does help you significantly. However, it won’t help much if you keep trying not to think about it more and more.
Try a Numbing Cream
For a medical solution, use a numbing cream that has Lidocaine in it. Lidocaine is a local anesthetic that causes temporary numbness in the skin. I’d suggest you consult your professional tattoo artist before doing that.
There are a lot of numbing creams available in the market, and you can choose any of them as per your convenience. But if you ask me, I would suggest the Ebanel 5% Lidocaine Topical Numbing Cream. It’s affordable, efficient, and has no side effects.
Is Finger Tattoo a Good Idea for Your First Tattoo?
It’s often seen that many people who want to get a tattoo for the first time usually goes with something small and less intricate. That’s a really good idea, and that’s exactly what I usually suggest. But the problem arises when they want to get one on the fingers.
Are finger tattoos small? Yes, they are. Do finger tattoos take less time? Yeah, they do. Do simple tattoos look best on fingers? The answer is ‘yes’ again. But if you’re thinking about getting a finger tattoo without knowing the drawbacks, then that my friend, is simply a bad idea!
The main factor that you’re ignoring here is that finger tattoos are the most painful of all. It takes a lot of experience and a well-calculated mindset to finish getting a finger tattoo. Anyone who hasn’t done any tattoo before either has any experience or any idea about the pain.
So, I guess it’s not that hard to imagine the consequence. Because of the pain many beginners can’t complete their first tattoo on inconvenient body parts on the first day, let alone getting a finger tattoo!
Few Words at The End
Many of us have a keen interest in getting a tattoo at least once in a lifetime. It’s not really a crime to fulfill your wish, right? But make sure to do that after enough thinking. Don’t just pick a design that just seems cool, but you know nothing about it.
Everyone has something special and meaningful in their mind. You do have something too; you just haven’t found yours yet. I’ll finish this article on ‘do finger tattoos hurt’ with a tip that usually comes in handy for many beginners.
Suppose you’re having a hard time choosing your design and where to get it, always consult it with the tattoo artist. Share the things based on which you want your tattoo to be done. A professional can easily help you to reach a conclusion in a very convincing manner.
That’s all for today! I hope you found this article helpful.