Do Behind-The-Ear Tattoos Hurt?

Get the lowdown on behind-the-ear tattoo pain and care for a smooth inking experience.

Reviewed by Scott Terry, Professional Tattoo Artist Scott Terry Scott TerryProfessional Tattoo Artist facebook_iconlinkedin_iconinsta_icon
Written by , MA (English Literature) Aparna Harry MA (English Literature) Experience: 3 years
Edited by , BA, MSc Eshna Das BA, MSc linkedin_icon Experience: 3 years
Fact-checked by , BA (English Hons) Pahul Nanra BA (English Hons) linkedin_icon Experience: 2 years

Tattoos behind the ear have gained popularity for their ability to remain concealed yet they can be revealed with a mere flick of your hair. However, you might be wondering, “Do tattoos behind the ear hurt?” While this type of body art could be deemed fashionable, it is wise to consider the area’s sensitivity and pain tolerance before getting one. Scroll down and check out this article to learn about the sensations you might encounter, tips to ease any discomfort, and an in-depth idea of the healing process. So, get ready to step into the world of behind-the-ear tattoos with confidence and clarity.

Do Behind The Ear Tattoos Hurt?

A woman experiencing behind-the-ear tattoo pain
Image: Shutterstock

One may wonder about the level of pain involved when considering a behind-the-ear tattoo. It is a natural concern, given the reputation of this delicate area. The truth is, there is no escaping the needle sting.

The skin behind the ear is thin and contains a cluster of nerve endings sensitive to external stimuli. This makes the tattooing process in this area more precise and noticeable, as each puncture is felt more acutely. The buzzing of the tattoo machine can feel amplified near the auditory nerves, like electricity through wires.

Thus, the tattoo pain level behind the ear involves the sensation of the needle piercing the skin and the vibrations of the needle, making you acutely aware of the process. However, the pain is not unbearable. It is often described as a consistent and sharp pinch. Although sudden and demanding your attention, it is also temporary, much like that of any tattoo.

It is essential to stick to smaller minimalist tattoos and simple designs to keep the time under the needle relatively brief.

protip_icon Trivia
Selena Gomez has a lowercase “g” behind her left ear to symbolize her special relationship with her younger sister, Gracia.

The tattoos behind the ear hurt. But how painful are they? Find out in the next section.

How Bad Does A Tattoo Behind The Ear Hurt?

A woman with a behind-the-ear tattoo
Image: IStock

The anticipation of pain can often be as daunting as the experience itself, especially in the tender area behind the ear. But you are probably wondering, “How bad do behind-the-ear tattoos hurt?” here is what you can expect – the sensation behind the ear might range from sharp zings to a consistent throb. For some, the experience is akin to a cat’s claws repeatedly dragging across the skin or a series of fast, hot pokes. Due to the thin skin and proximity to the bone, the vibrations caused by the tattoo gun can resonate with an unsettling depth.

Nyla, a vlogger, shared her experience of getting a tattoo behind her ear in her video. She says, “It really took 45 minutes for me to get it done. On the pain spectrum, it was probably like a 5 out of 10. It really didn’t hurt bad at all. It was more annoying than anything (i).”

However, keep in mind that the pain level experienced during a tattoo session depends on the individual’s pain threshold, the tattoo’s complexity and size, and the tattoo artist’s skill. While some may feel getting a tattoo in a particular area is quite painful, others may find the same experience mildly irritating. Therefore, if you have a low pain tolerance level, the area behind the ear can be a painful spot to get inked.

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Tattoos behind the ears are more prone to ink fading than other places, as the area has thinner, sensitive skin and fewer pores to hold the ink.

You will experience some level of discomfort or pain if you get a tattoo behind your ear just as you will with any tattoo. However, you can learn how to make the behind-the-ear tattoo process less painful from the section below.

How To Make A Tattoo Behind The Ear Less Painful

How to make behind the ear tattoo less painful
Image: Shutterstock

If you are considering a behind-the-ear tattoo but worried about pain, here are some tips to minimize discomfort:

  • Get a good night’s sleep. A well-rested body will be better prepared to handle the tattoo needle and the pain behind the ear.
  • Drink plenty of water to keep your skin hydrated before your tattoo appointment. This will help the ink settle better and make the tattooing process smoother.
  • Eat a nutritious meal to stabilize blood sugar levels and reduce dizziness and nausea during the painful tattoo session.
  • Keep yourself distracted from the pain by listening to music or a podcast.
  • Take short breaks if it is too painful. They can make a huge difference, allowing you to breathe and recoup.
  • Use a numbing cream to dull the pain. However, check with your tattoo artist to ensure it will not affect the quality of your tattoo.
  • Follow aftercare instructions to reduce the risk of potential infection and damage.

It is normal to experience some soreness and pain after getting a tattoo behind the ear. But how long will it last? Find out in the next section.

How Long Does The Pain Last?

How long does behind the tattoo ear pain last
Image: Shutterstock

Once the tattoo artist finishes your behind-the-ear tattoo, you may wonder how long the tenderness behind the ear will last. The good news is that the actual pain will only last for a while.

It is common to feel a lingering sensation of burning after getting a tattoo. However, this feeling usually does not last long. For most people, this discomfort begins to ease within a few days. If you follow the proper aftercare steps, your skin will heal quickly.

The tattooed area may feel sore and itchy as the new skin forms and the tattoo heals. Use a tattoo aftercare balm or lotion recommended by your skilled tattoo artist to help the skin heal smoothly and reduce itching.

However, if your pain persists or you experience an allergic reaction or signs of infection, consult a doctor immediately. Also, avoid sun exposure during the healing time as it can damage the skin and fade the tattoo.

Getting a tattoo behind the ear can be a sensitive experience, as it is a delicate area and requires an experienced tattoo artist’s skill. But with some preparation and bravery, this experience can become less intimidating. However, keep in mind that the pain you feel during the process is temporary and will go away once the tattoo is done. So, embrace this experience and don’t hesitate to take the plunge into the world of tattoos.

Frequently Asked Questions

How much does a behind-the-ear tattoo cost?

The cost of a behind-the-ear tattoo may depend on factors such as the artist’s experience, size, and the complexity of the tattoo design. On average, the cost of a tattoo can range from $100 to $500 or more.

Is behind the ear a good tattoo placement?

This is completely a personal decision. While behind-the-ear tattoos are a good placement for those seeking discreet tattoo placements, one should remember that the area behind the ear is sensitive and the space is limited, making it challenging to create intricate designs.

How do you sleep with an ear tattoo?

Sleeping with an ear tattoo can be uncomfortable, but the following aftercare tips can help make it more manageable:
•  Use clean, fresh bedding to avoid tattoo infection.
• Avoid lying on the tattooed area, as it may cause discomfort and potentially slow down the healing process.
• Wear loose-fitting clothing to minimize pressure on the fresh tattoo.
• Use pillows that provide adequate support and don’t press too hard on the tattooed area.
• Take over-the-counter pain relievers to help manage any discomfort or pain experienced during sleeping.

Key Takeaways

  • The behind-the-ear tattoo pain is often compared to a sharp pinch that fades quickly.
  • Adequate rest, hydration, and a full meal may help minimize the pain experienced during the session.
  • Post-tattoo discomfort is temporary and will go away after a few days.

Getting a behind-the-ear tattoo can be daunting, especially if it is your first time. Check out this informative video on getting a tattoo behind the ear and what to expect.

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Scott Terry

Scott TerryProfessional Tattoo Artist

Scott Terry is a distinguished tattoo artist and has over 20 years of experience in the field. He specializes in color and black-and-gray realism. Scott graduated from the Joe Blasco School of Professional Makeup Artistry. His work has graced the pages of esteemed tattoo magazines and earned him accolades at various conventions. His accomplishments include trophies, such as 3rd full bio

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