The Most Painful Piercing You Can Get

The number one concern of anybody about to get a piercing, particularly their first, is, "How much is this going to hurt?" Still, fear of pain hasn't stopped people from indulging in ever more intricate designs depending on what's trendy at the moment (via her). Pain is relative, of course, so what's excruciating for one person might be a walk in the park for another. Celebrity piercer Brian Keith Thompson told Refinery 29 he gets asked, "Is this going to hurt?" basically before every single appointment.

For example, how much does a tragus piercing really hurt? It depends, but the short answer is all piercings hurt, at least a little — no matter what or where it is. What's the absolute worst one you could possibly get? The pain to end all pain?

Piercing-related pain is all relative

First off, Thompson notes there are a few variables to consider when discussing piercing-related pain. "Pain isn't just physical," he points out. "It's mental, too. People tend to be more nervous about that split second of discomfort, but don't think about how they're now dealing with five to six months of aftercare."

After all, an infection caused by neglecting a new piercing is going to be much more painful, and uncomfortable, than the minute or so it takes to get the piercing in the first place. Thompson advises eating, drinking plenty of water, and trying to stay in a good frame of mind before heading to your appointment.

All piercings sting, most bleed a little, and they will likely throb for a few hours, too, but provided you follow your piercer's instructions carefully, particularly when it comes to aftercare, the experience should only be mildly painful.

There's one particular piercing that's going to kill

Having said all of that, some piercings hurt worse than others. Authority Tattoo notes that earlobe, navel, nostril, and lip piercings hurt the least, generally speaking. Thompson agrees, also adding dermal piercings to the list (which Authority Tattoo actually argues are more painful than not). While dermal piercings are hella trendy right now, they're not necessarily a good long-term bet. However, pain-wise, "It only feels like a mild bee sting," Thompson says. "The more fluid the piercer is with their movements, the less physical trauma it'll cause to the client."

On the opposite end of the scale, according to Authority Tattoo, are daith and industrial piercings. Thompson includes cartilage piercings for a very good reason. "There's more drag on the needle when pulling it through the cartilage," he says. He does note that it's generally tolerable enough that people still go through with them on a regular basis. 

The real biggie as far as he's concerned are genital piercings. "I once had a client have such a jolting reaction, she accidentally kicked me in the chest," Thompson recalled. Involuntary reactions are normal due to placement, but expect this one to seriously hurt more than any other. The process should at least be over fast, though.