Do Watercolor Tattoos Hurt More Or Less Than Regular Tattoos?

One of the biggest things to consider when getting a tattoo is the type of design you want, as there are quite a few out there, from traditional to 3D tattoos to dot tattoos. Many tattoo aficionados are big on traditional designs, but what about watercolor tattoos? Something of a new kid on the tattoo block, watercolor tattoos are known as such because they resemble watercolor paintings, composed of lots of bright color. The result? A modern look that’s free from the typical black outlines of most tattoos.

If you want a tattoo that’s a little different, as unique pieces are certainly worth considering, there’s one question people often ask. How much do watercolor tattoos hurt? Do they hurt more or less than regular tattoos? Of course, no tattoo is going to be entirely pain-free (via Healthline), but if you have a lower pain threshold or you’re getting your first tattoo, it’s understandable that you might be looking for something at the less-painful end of the spectrum.

Watercolor tattoos use less ink than traditional tattoos

According to award-winning Canadian tattoo studio Chronic Ink, watercolor tattoos feel just as uncomfortable as any other design, with one caveat. Less ink is used in a watercolor tattoo than in its traditional counterpart, and it “requires fewer punctures of the skin, meaning there is less pain overall.” This is, for most people, very good news.

While the mechanics of tattooing remain the same — a needle punctures your skin to insert ink under the top layer of your skin — if you’re choosing between two tattoos of the same size, and one’s a watercolor design, that one is likely to be the less painful option.

It’s also worth remembering that watercolor tattoos can fade faster than other tattoos, and that some artists aren’t a fan of the style, instead preferring to work with other types of design. However, it’s your body, and if you want one, you’re free to go for it! Just bear in mind that no matter which tattoo you have, it will be at least a little painful and uncomfortable — and that you’ll need to take good care of it too. 

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