Which Is More Painful: Getting A Tattoo Or Getting A Tattoo Removed?

You are more likely to hear about people getting tattoos rather than having them removed. Tattoos are markings made on the skin with the use of inks and dyes, and the process causes some pain, as it involves sharp-ended tools etching artwork into one's skin. In fact, the ink has to be injected deep enough to prevent the tattoo from fading, but done just well enough to avoid becoming overworked tattoos.

Naturally, people think about pain when they consider tattoos. Your body may eventually get used to the prickling sensation as it continues, but you can be sure that the first few moments will hurt (via Medical News Today). Of course, once the tattoo is done, the pain will subside, barring any complications. The only time you might experience such pain with your tattoos again would be if you ever decided to have them removed. The hurt of going through a tattoo removal process has actually been likened to having hot grease splattering on you. "It kind of feels like bacon grease splashing on your hand, or a rubber band snapping against your skin. It's unpleasant, but bearable," a LaserAll review reads.

Bearing that in mind, one must wonder: Would it be more painful to get a tattoo or to remove one?

The difference in pain between getting a tattoo and removing one

Healthline notes that, because the threshold of pain for individuals varies, you can expect reactions to tattoo pain to vary as well. The location and placement of tattoos can also determine the amount of pain one experiences. Areas of the body with the least flesh or fat or places with nerve endings — such as the ribcage, armpits, ankles, shins, and even nipples — are known to cause a lot of pain. On the flip side, places like the arms and calves are considerably less painful to get a tattoo on. The skill and dexterity of the artist will also play a role in how much pain you experience while getting your tattoo drawn.

The same principles seem to apply to tattoo removals as well, according to LaserAll, which notes that tattoo removal from areas with nerve endings and bony areas of your body are likely to cause more discomfort than other places that have more flesh and fewer nerve endings. With the laser tattoo removal technique, which happens to be the most common way of getting rid of tattoos, the professionalism and deftness of the operator also matters (via WebMD). The faster and more precisely they work, the better (via LaserAll).

Ultimately, the body part determines one's pain. While there are some other DIY tattoo removal hacks and tricks, those usually hurt worse and, in the end, are ineffective. You should absolutely seek professional help for tattoo removal.