Do tattoo needles touch bone?

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Getting a tattoo can be both exciting and daunting, especially for those of us who are first-timers. With all of the questions that come with getting inked—from what size needle is used to which ink will hold up — it’s normal to have concerns about the process. One of these worries is whether or not the needles used during a tattoo touch bone. 

If you’ve been wondering this same thing, know that you’re not alone! In today’s blog post, we’re going to answer this question once and for all – so whether you are an experienced tat enthusiast looking for more information on their body art projects or someone just starting on their adventure into tattoos and piercings, keep reading!

Does a tattoo hurt on the bone?

Tattoos can be a daunting prospect when it comes to pain, and that feeling is compounded when you consider the possibility of getting inked directly over the bone. Given that tattoo needles are effectively drawing ink into the dermis layer of skin, they don’t penetrate down to our bones, but the additional layer of tissue over those especially thin or boney parts can make it feel like there’s no buffer between you and the needle at all. 

How much it hurts often comes down to how confident and experienced your artist is too; if they know how to minimize discomfort during the process then a tattoo will never feel like it’s directly over bone even though technically speaking that may be true. Overall, with some proper prep work, the right artist, and a penchant for bravery, you might find yourself on the other side of a beautiful piece of art than can outlast anything else in your life!

How deep do tattoo needles go?

Tattoo needles are an essential part of getting a tattoo. They pierce the skin to a certain depth that varies depending on what type of tattoo you’re getting, but typically they will go no more than 3/8 of an inch below the skin’s surface. Different types of needles can be used, such as round liner and round shader needles, which are used to create shadows and different types of linings in the designs. 

The length and number (from three to fourteen) of the needles vary depending on the type being used, but in general, they all penetrate relatively shallowly compared to other medical procedures. However, for those with a fear of needles or pain sensitivity, it may still be difficult to sit through such a process!

What happens if a tattoo needle hits a vein?

Having a tattoo is an exciting experience, but it’s important to know the risks involved with the process. One potential danger of getting a tattoo is that if the needle hits a vein, it could cause serious issues. Veins carry approximately one-tenth the amount of oxygen to the body as arteries do, and when exposed through tattooing, they can increase bleeding and become swollen. This can delay or even prevent proper healing and lead to infection or other problems like skin discoloration. It’s best to be prepared and research your artist before getting inked to ensure you’re in good hands for this important process.

What happens if the tattoo needle goes too deep?

If a tattoo needle goes too deep, the risks go beyond just an excess of pain. Depending on the size of the area being inked and how deep the needles penetrate the skin, there is potential for permanent scarring, infection, and transmission of bloodborne pathogens. 

Of course, qualified tattoo artists are familiar with proper procedures to prevent these outcomes; however, it pays to err on the side of caution and practice safe hygiene. Choosing a reputable tattoo artist who complies with safety standards also helps ensure that your new body art isn’t marred by unintended consequences.

Where do tattoos hurt the worst?

According to experts, the amount of pain you experience when getting a tattoo depends on a variety of factors like skin thickness, area of application, and your personal pain tolerance. That being said, typically the most painful areas to get tattoos are those with more cartilage or “bony” areas like the ribs, elbows, and knees because the needles have less cushion to penetrate through. 

Additionally, sensitive parts of the body such as wrists, ankles, and the neck are also generally more tender than other locations due to increased exposure to nerve endings in these areas. Ultimately though, everyone experiences pain differently and where one person feels an intense sensation in one location may be a breeze for someone else!

Where is the least painful place for a tattoo?

When you’re thinking about getting inked, the least painful place for a tattoo is generally referred to as the upper arm – particularly for larger designs. This area of the body has more fat and muscle, which makes it one of the most tolerable locations for getting some new ink. Other areas tend to be slightly more painful, so if you’re just starting with tattoos, your sleeve might be the best place to start. 

Aside from that, some people have reportedly experienced less pain when having a design within an existing one or even on relatively flat surfaces like their back or chest. Ultimately, everyone’s pain tolerance level is different – so make sure to consult with your artist and pick a location together that works best for you!


To wrap it up, we can see that tattoo needles do not necessarily touch bone, but how close they come in proximity to the bone depends on the location of your tattoo, the skill and experience of your tattoo artist, and how deep he or she needs to go when etching in their design. Ultimately, you need to trust that your artist is experienced enough to know exactly how deep they should go in any given area. 

While there may be some areas such as near the ribs or collarbone where a needle will indeed be a little closer to the bone than other places on the body, both you and your tattoo artist must understand safety protocols in order to keep you safe from any potential pain or injury. Despite all this though, tattoos are generally a safe form of body art when all guidelines are followed properly!

Dawn Hankman

Dawn Hankman

Tattoos are a part of our life and our family - between us we have a couple of dozens of them.
So I decided to share some of what I found out along the way about getting inked.

About Me

Tattoos are a part of our life and our family – between us we have a couple of dozens of them.
So I decided to share some of what I found out along the way about getting inked.

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