How Painful Are Forearm Tattoos?

The excitement of getting a new tattoo is hardly a feeling like any other. There is just something about getting new ink that really gets those who love it ready to put needle to skin. 

But for some, that perfect tattoo may never come to reality because the perfect location may be too painful. Let us put those fears to rest. 

How bad do forearm tattoos hurt? Not bad actually. Especially if they are on the outside of the forearm where there aren’t that many nerve endings like in other parts of the body. In fact, most tattoo clients on average say it is about a two or three on a one through ten pain scale.

Now even though that is for the average person that doesn’t mean they cannot hurt. Join me as I take a deeper dive into this topic and really outfit you with all that you need to know. 

For an incredible tattoo, experience read on.

How Bad Do Forearm Tattoos Hurt?

Forearm tattoos are great additions to your body. The art can be incredible and they are typically always visible to show off what you’re into or believe.

They are also a great tattoo to get with a low pain threshold for most people. Typically people say they really only hurt between a 2-3 out of 10 so they are quite easy to get especially for beginners. 

In my own tattoo experiences, the most discomfort came from having to wait to get the actual tattoo! This was followed by waiting to see the final results. Anyone who loves tattoos knows exactly what I mean. 

It’s just something about that tattoo fever. Now let’s do some comparisons on what a forearm tattoo may feel like just to give you a bit more insight and context.

How Does the Pain Compare on the Inner vs Outer Arm?

Now that we know forearm tattoos are not terrible in the pain spectrum let’s try to go a bit deeper.

Forearm tattoos on the outer part of the arm are definitely less painful than the inside. Think for a moment about everything your arms are typically exposed to from day to day, the skin and nerves in these areas have to be strong enough to protect them from anything that may come your way.

This is why an outer tattoo will only hurt minimally. If I had to compare it to anything it is similar to taking an ink pen and tapping it on your skin. It really is that simple.

Now on the inner forearm, it may be a bit more noticeable. This area of skin isn’t always exposed to everything your outer arm is believe it or not. As you hold your arm close to your body it is way more shielded day to day.

Even though this may be more sensitive it shouldn’t be that much more terrible. There may just be some more nerve endings and such that could make it feel worse than it actually is. To compare this to something would be like 100s of sewing needles tapping your skin.

As you can see though the pain comparisons are really not all that extreme. Regardless if it is inner or outer your forearm tattoo is going to look great and hardly hurt at all.

What Do Inner Forearm Tattoos Feel Like?

Inner forearm tattoos really feel like any other part of your arm, but if this is your first one then it can be hard to explain.

When getting a tattoo and depending on the equipment your artist is using it can feel anywhere between 100s of needles pounding against your skin to one singular one. Now, this may sound intimidating but I promise you it’s not. 

If you’re really worried about it you can request to have them run it against your skin just to get used to the vibrations. In most cases, it’s our minds that make us believe things are more painful than what they are so doing this can really ease one’s mind. 

Regardless of how it feels to me or your friends and family, each person may feel it differently. If you become uncomfortable just ask to take a break. Either way, the most important thing you can do is to relax and simply enjoy the experience. 

Part of that is talking to the artist while they work, you can learn some amazing things or hear even better stories. The greatest part about doing this is it will distract you and make the time go by faster.

How Long Does an Inner Forearm Tattoo Take?

A forearm tattoo is one of the funniest tattoos you can get. The ideas and art you can have tattooed are about as endless as your imagination. 

When it comes down to sitting in the chair however some tattoos take longer than others. These time frames can vary from situation to situation. Below is a brief glimpse as to what affects the timing of a forearm tattoo:

  • Tattoo artists skill level
  • Equipment being used
  • The intricate design
  • If the tattoo is just a drawing or simple letters such as a quote
  • How well your skin receives the ink
  • How much your skin could bleed (which is normal)
  • If you or the artist needs frequent breaks

As you can see there are a number of factors that can determine how long a tattoo can take. On average, however, you can plan on an hour or two. This is about the best plan and typically what your artist will plan for. 

Keep in mind though to not rush it. Whether it be yourself, or the artist if breaks are needed then it is best to take your time. This way your tattoo will get the attention it should and look great in the end. 

How Long Are Forearm Tattoos Sore Afterward?

A forearm tattoo typically heals very quickly. You will experience some soreness afterward but depending on how well you take care of it and your body the tattoo can heal anywhere from a few weeks to six weeks.

There are plenty of products that will help move this process along. With a good tattoo care plan, it will go even better. Most people use lotions and antibacterial soaps to clean the tattoo and to keep the moisture in the skin. 

One product that I highly recommend is called Hustle Butter. This is stuff is absolute magic and makes your skin feel fresh and soft. It is also very good at keeping your tattoos looking great and allowing them to heal very quickly. 

Results may vary from person to person but it is a great product. You can even begin applying it to the area you’re planning to tattoo which will have the skin primed and ready even before the ink.

Regardless of the product you use keeping your tattoo clean and moisturized will be what makes the difference in healing times.

Do Forearm Tattoos Age Well?

With proper care, anything can age well. Forearm tattoos are no different. 

By keeping your tattoos well moisturized with a good tattoo lotion such as Hustle Butter the color and design can last for a lifetime. Even those who don’t maintain great care of tattoos typically get great life spans out of them. 

Several of mine are 5+ years old and still look great. It is with noting however that colors tend to fade the fastest such as light colors. 

Most tattoo artists however will be willing to touch these areas up after time and will bring them back to looking great once again.

Are Forearm Tattoos Impacted by Muscle Gain?

Forearm tattoos are great at withstanding muscle gain. It can ultimately boil down to an individual’s skin type or tattoo design but usually, it would take a significant amount of change to warp the tattoo in any way or at least very minimally.

Even weight gain in the other direction usually won’t affect a forearm tattoo. Designs in these areas really do last and look great even if your life brings you some changes along the way.


Now that you know forearm tattoos won’t hurt all that bad you are “armed” with the knowledge to schedule that appointment and get that sweet tattoo any day now.

Just remember that if it gets to be too much that it is ok to ask for a break and to take your time. Also, your before and aftercare of your tattoo can really help the whole process go even more smoothly.

Whichever route you go I’m sure your tattoo is going to look epic! Now off to get some ink done!