Thinking of getting some ink? A fire-breathing dragon could earn you respect on the streets, but if you pick the wrong place for it, the pain will bring you to your knees and make you bawl like a baby. Let’s see how much of a rebel you really are.

Sure, you expect to feel some degree of pain as the needle makes its way across your skin, but there are a few spots on your body that are harder to bear. Today we put together a list of the tattoos that will have you in complete agony. Why shouldn’t you put Vaseline on a tattoo? How could alcohol put you at more risk? Why is the morning the best time to be tattooed?

Number 5. Hands and Fingers

As small or subtle as you might want it, a finger tattoo comes with its fair share of discomfort. Fingers are extremely bony and covered with ligaments, which when combined with the number of nerve endings they have make them highly susceptible to pain. If you opt for a hand tattoo, it can be all that more agonizing as it’ll take multiple outlines to get it right.

Oh, and you should also pay attention to the materials your tattoo artist uses. Not only should everything be well sanitized to prevent the spread of blood-borne diseases, but some ink can contain benzo-pyrene, a substance that’s been linked to cancer.

Number 4. Inner Thigh

You thought that the fat and muscle on your thigh could save you hours of suffering, but you were wrong again.
Cutaneous and femoral nerves run through your thigh and into your leg muscles, which can elevate the amount of anguish you might need to endure. This area also has a lot of contact with your other thigh and clothing. Wear shorts or a loose skirt to help avoid any unwanted rubbing.

Vaseline can also come in handy here. Make sure you use it around the tattoo rather than directly on it, as it can trap moisture and potentially create the conditions for bacteria to grow and infect your skin.

Number 3. Feet and Ankles

There’s a reason you grimace every time you accidentally bang your ankle against the coffee table. The thin skin and lack of fat in your feet and ankles leave little to no cushion for the nerves. If you insist on getting that pretty butterfly or miniature ship’s anchor on your ankle, you’re going to want to keep yourself distracted. Do activities that you enjoy during the session, such as watching a movie or listening to your favorite tunes. Better yet, bring a friend who knows just what to say to keep you focused on them and not the tattoo gun.

Number 2. Ribcage

Getting that big tattoo on your ribcage might be the first thing you want to do in the morning. Your body’s adrenaline levels are highest at this time, which will help act as a pain buffer. And trust me, you’ll need that.
You don’t have a lot of muscle here and the skin is close to the bone, so you’ll definitely feel that needle coming. It’ll also hurt every time you take a breath, so try to keep your breathing slow and steady.

Number 1. Head

Nothing looks tougher than a head tattoo. And it takes a certain level of toughness to get one. The physical strains aren’t the worst part here. When the needle makes contact, the noise and vibration have been described as feeling like your head is being drilled into. In some instances, people found the psychological aspect that something is penetrating their skull harder to overcome than the pain itself.

But, it’s a head tattoo, so of course you’d be ready for the trauma. A lot of nerves are located up there, so you’re going to definitely feel every touch of the needle. You’ll need a lot of courage to get this done, but not the liquid variety. Alcohol thins your blood, making the risk of bleeding a lot higher. So put the drink down, sober up and hopefully you’ll think that tattoo through a bit more before it’s permanent.

Getting your head inked was extreme, but that’s not the only thing that can make you feel that something is drilling through your skull. Cluster headaches feel like that too. They’re one of the most intense sensations a person can experience. If you want to know how to overcome that and a few more painful things, keep watching How to Survive.

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