How Much Does a Chest Tattoo Hurt? What You Need To Know

What does the pain feel like for a chest tattoo? What You Should Know. Chest tattoos can blend into one beautiful piece of art.

From tattoos that make you look butch to designs that play up your gentleness, you will find that chest tattoos really are very versatile.

But, do chest tattoos hurt? If yes, how much does a chest tattoo hurt? In this article, we answer these two questions in detail and help you decide if a chest tattoo is right for you or not.

Is the Chest a Very Painful Location For a Tattoo?

The chest is one area of the body where you are likely to go from low pain to severe pain and back to low pain again, in a matter of minutes. This is because different areas of the chest result in different pain levels.

In order to understand whether the chest is a painful location to get a tattoo on, we need to first consider the anatomy of the chest. To start with, the chest area has 26 bones, making it a very boney place to get your tattoo in. The sternum (or breast bone) is the largest bone here and it is located at the very center of your chest.

Bones aside, your chest is also made up of 4 different types of muscles, which include the Pectoralis major, the Pectoralis minor, the Serratus anterior, and the Subclavius muscles. Plus of course, it’s important to remember that the chest cavity is home to the heart – one of the most important organs of our body.

Typically, a tattoo hurts due to one of the following reasons –

  • The tattoo machine works on skin that’s right on the bones, resulting in severe pain.
  • The skin is very thin and the tattoo is felt deeper in the muscles.
  • The tattoo design you’ve chosen requires a lot of dark shading.
  • The tattoo uses a great deal of white ink – which causes more pain to put on, compared to other colors and black.

Since your chest has so many bones, you will experience severe pain whenever the tattoo is done over an area that has bone closer to the dermis. This includes areas such as the center of the chest and the collarbone.

Plus, if you have a cardiovascular condition and are prone to experiencing pain in the chest region, the physical stress of getting a chest tattoo may cause more pain than usual. In such cases, please consult your healthcare provider if a chest tattoo is a right choice for you or not.

Pain levels: How much pain can you expect in your chest?

Now let’s consider how much pain a chest tattoo can result in. For this, we need to consider the placement and mark the pain on a scale of 1 to 10. Here 1 indicates least pain and 10 indicates highest pain level –


This area hurts a lot because of the clavicle that juts out so sharply. Many people experience pain levels of 8-9 on the pain scale.

Centre of the chest

This part of the body includes the sternoclavicular joint (that attaches the collarbone to the breastbone) and the sternum. Getting a tattoo here is very painful too, with pain levels between 8 and 10. That’s because of the presence of many bones here.

Breast region

The upper part of the breast experiences mild-to-moderate pain, because of the presence of the fatty tissues and muscles here. You can expect pain that ranks 3-7 on the pain scale.

However, the under-breast area is quite painful because the skin here is thin and sensitive. Plus, the under-breast leads to the sternum, which can experience stress and pain during the tattooing process. A pain of 8-9 can be usually experienced here.

Again, it’s important to remember that pain is subjective. So, you may not experience pain exactly as we’ve mentioned here, during your chest tattoo.

What Does Pain On The Chest Feel Like During Tattooing?

Pain during a chest tattoo feels different depending on which part of the chest the artist is working on. Plus, pain increases in severity and radius, the longer you sit for your chest tattoo.

So, tattoos done on the collarbone, on the under-boob, and anywhere the tattoo needle works on the breastbone (i.e., mid-chest region) will experience intense pulsating and radiating pain. But the upper-boob region will experience mild-to-moderate tingling pain or a slight burning pain during the tattooing session.

When you have larger chest pieces or are getting a full chest tattoo, then your pain will increase over time and you may experience a constant burning sensation until the tattoo starts to heal.

Does Hair on The Chest Affect Pain While Tattooing?

No, it does not. Your artist will ask you to shave your chest before coming in for your session. They may do some minor shaving even at the studio, just before tattooing your chest.

Will There Be Pain After Getting The Chest Tattoo?

You can expect your tattoo to be painful, inflamed, and tender to touch for at least a day after the tattoo. After this, there be some minor soreness in the region for some time. But, if the tattoo is healing correctly, you should not experience any pain in the place where you got your new chest tattoo.

Do you need to be worried about the infection of the chest tattoo?

Infections are a real threat when it comes to tattooing. But luckily, a tattoo done using fresh needles and ink bottles, in a properly sanitized studio with a hygienic artist, should never give rise to any infections. Additionally, your tattoo artist will tell you exactly how to look after your chest tattoo during the healing stage, to prevent any infection from setting in later.

But it is important to note that pain can indicate a tattoo infection, if you experience some of the below symptoms along with pain –

  • Fever
  • Pus leakage from the tattoo
  • Red lesions on the tattoo

Persistent inflammation and tenderness for many days after getting the tattoo.

If you do have these symptoms, get in touch with your tattoo artist immediately to take the required actions to heal the infection.

Does a Tattoo Under Your Chest Hurt?

Considering the sensitive nature of the underboob area, you can expect this one to be painful. You should keep in mind that the level of pain associated with a tattoo will vary depending on the type of tattoo that you are receiving, the kind of artist you are working with, and the type of method that is used.

Tips For Reducing Tattoo Pain

If you follow a few simple steps, you can minimize the amount of pain you experience during the tattooing process. Take the necessary steps to lower your pain level before getting tattooed by knowing the do’s and don’ts of preparing for the procedure.

Here are our biggest recommendations:

  • You should go early in the morning or when you are not tired.
  • Don’t consume alcohol.
  • Painkillers should not be taken.
  • A proper, filling meal should be consumed one to two hours prior to your session.
  • Make sure you select an experienced professional.
  • If you require a break, ask your tattoo artist.
  • Don’t forget to stay hydrated before and after your workout!

In order to keep your blood sugar levels up, bring a snack with you if you will be sitting for an extended period of time. Having a healthy diet will assist your body in reducing the feeling of pain naturally. Additionally, taking a break during a long session can make the pain more bearable.

Ask your tattoo artist for guidance about what and when you should eat prior to getting your stomach tattooed.

Get an eye-catching chest tattoo done by an expert

A chest tattoo is amazing because it allows you to keep your tattoo private, while also offering the opportunity to show it off with the right outfit.

One thing to remember is that chest tattoos are pretty prominent. So, it’s best to get your chest tattoo after you’ve got the majority of your tattoos done, so you can select a tattoo design that suits the entire theme you have going on. Or, if you want to start with a chest tattoo, select a design you know you’re going to love having even decades later, so any subsequent tattoo you get can look good with it. Also, the chest is one of the largest areas of the body for a tattoo. So try to take advantage of that space by planning for your tattoos the right way.

Best chest Tattoo Ideas

The chest region can be a great place for a variety of tattoo designs such as –

Flowers & Plants


Symbols That Hold Meaning For You

Geometric Designs


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Mandala Art


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Roman Numerals


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Quotes or Names


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Religious Themes


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These tattoos look great whether they’re small and cute or large and bright. They’re perfect if you want to cover up any scars on your chest. Browse through our website at World Tattoo Portal and find an artist who can create a stunning chest tattoo for you.


  1. Goldsmith LA, et al. Body art. In: Fitzpatrick’s Dermatology in General Medicine. 8th ed. New York, N.Y.: The McGraw-Hill Companies; 2012. Accessed Jan. 24, 2018.
  2. Good, clean art. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Accessed Feb. 5, 2018.