Do Tattoos Hurt More in Winter?(Explained)

Do Tattoos Hurt More in Winter?

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Do Tattoos Hurt More in Winter?

Tattoos are extremely popular these days, not just because of the never-ending inking craze. They express your individuality, something you can carry with you for life.

Though, there are a few things to consider before getting one. There’s no way to undo a tattoo, so if you need clarification on what decision is best for you or potentially regret an old tattoo, it might be worth waiting for a while before getting another one.

Yes, Tattoos are typically more painful in winter because of the cold and moisture. Essentially, when the air is dry, it increases blood flow for tattoos. This increases pain and makes ink bleed more since there is less space between the skin and the infusing ink.

Additionally, the heat from the body will increase pain for the same reason.

This is why most artists recommend not going to tattoo shops in winter unless you are temporarily or have tattoos done for re-treat/replacement purposes.

It’s also why you should always wear long sleeves, tights, or leggings to ensure the ink doesn’t stain your skin when things get cold. Wear as much of your skin as possible to keep warm and make the tattoo comfortable.

Now that it’s out of the way, if you’re going to a professional shop, you can ask them to switch things up if they don’t mind.

Specialized inks work differently than average and tend to hurt more than others. It’s also a good idea to ask if they have any recommendations for special inks or needles that are better suited for you and your tattoos.

Do not ask for “hypo-allergenic” inks, or you may have nasty allergies or other health issues. Just because a tattoo hurts more doesn’t mean it will be less permanent.

Do Tattoos Hurt More in Winter?

It simply means the area is colder, and the ink is more likely to bleed. You should still treat your tattoos as if they were going to be there for life.

That includes moisturizing religiously and keeping them clean.

Is It Better to Get Tattoos in Winter?

Less SweatTattoos are a lifelong commitment. If you’re worried about your tattoo getting ruined by sweat, it’s worth noting that there is less sweat during the colder months.
Less Damaging Effects from The SunIn the winter, you are unlikely to damage your fresh ink with too much sun exposure.

The threat of overexposure to the sun is also low for summer tattoos because the paint is already set and won’t change color as quickly when in contact with sunlight.
Less Chance of InfectionOne of the great things about summer tattoos is that they are less likely to get infected because of the number of people swimming in pools.

The cold also means that bacteria have a harder time growing on your skin, so you’re less likely to face a problem with an infection.
Less Risk of Allergic ReactionsAs with sun exposure, the risk of an allergic reaction is much lower during colder months. This can be very helpful for people concerned about body art.

How Do You Take Care of a New Tattoo in The Winter?

CoverKeep your tattoo covered with a bandage, cream, or cling film for 24 hours after getting it.
CleanClean the area with gentle soap and water.
MoisturizeMoisturize the skin using an ointment or cream that does not contain alcohol or oil, keeping it covered for 24 hours afterward. Never use an antiseptic cream on a new tattoo, as this will speed up fading of color.
WrapWrap your tattoo in a cleaning material such as gauze or an ointment.
ChangeChange the treatment every 24 hours (or whatever period your doctor or health professional recommends).
FlushFlush the area with standard saline solution for about ten minutes, gently massage the skin and leave for ten minutes. Then rinse it with warm water, pat dry, and apply a fresh treatment layer.

Do Tattoos Hurt More the Older You Get?

While not supported by research, age and weight may make tattoos more painful. The amount of ink injected and the age at which the tattoo gets applied are also factors.

Tattoos should not be excessively painful, but they can hurt. Many causes of pain affect the skin, including allergies to ink or a reaction to the colors used in a tattoo.

When pain persists for over 24 hours, a doctor should evaluate it.

While most people can handle the pain of a tattoo well, others may find it overwhelming. Those with low pain tolerance may want to ask for a topical anesthetic to reduce the discomfort.

Side effects from injected anesthetics are rare, but some people may have allergic reactions to them. It’s important to discuss any existing allergies with a medical professional before receiving a tattoo.

The amount of ink injected and the age at which the tattoo gets applied affects how painful it is.

A huge tattoo (covering most of the upper arm and shoulder, for example) is likely to have more painful moments than a small scorpion tattoo.

Tattoos will become sore if there is too much ink on the skin. On the other hand, tattoos applied before age ten can cause permanent damage to the skin and cause it to lose its vibrant colors as time passes.

Why You Should Get a Tattoo in Winter

During the winter, you will sweat less, and your skin will have less exposure to the elements, so it is a great time to get a tattoo.

This is because there is less chance of getting infected with bacteria on your skin, and the tattoo artist will have to work with warmer room temperatures than in the summer.

The winter also gives your skin more time to heal and to consider what image you would like on your body permanently.

Summer is essential because it allows you to get a tattoo while also getting rest and enjoying the beach.

Taking care of your body’s immune system is vital for getting a tattoo and managing your overall health.

A healthy immune system can help you fight off illness in the future and keep you happy simultaneously.

When you are unhealthy, you are more irritable and have trouble sleeping, which can lead to poor health. There are many ways to get healthy, and one is to find a way to manage tress.

Many people turn to tattoos to deal with stress, but other things that can help you manage your stress include yoga, meditation, or running.

Taking care of yourself means getting more rest, which increases your immune system.

If you want a tattoo in the wintertime, make sure you schedule several appointments during the summer to enjoy it while it is hot outside.

Once winter rolls around, you will have to visit your local tattoo parlor more often to get the tattoo before summer ends.

Healing Tattoos in Cold Weather-5 Tips

Moisturize your TattooApply lotion to your tattoo after the shower or bath. This will keep the cold air from drying out the skin and drawing moisture away from the tattoo.
Apply Sunblock to your tattooYou can use sunscreen from your daily routine or buy an SPF specifically for tattoos.
Use a Healing ointment on your TattooIt may be tempting to avoid using it if you have sensitive skin, but this makes healing a more painful process, as dry skin cannot heal as well as moist skin.
Stay Warm and HydratedStay warm but not too hot. When you don’t have enough body heat, you can get chilled quickly;

When you get too hot, your skin can get sunburned or burned instead of healing properly. Drink plenty of water and avoid alcohol, caffeine, and nicotine during recovery.
Avoid the SunWhile you want to keep your tattoo as moist as possible, you also don’t want it to get sunburned or otherwise damaged, so avoid the sun and use sunscreen if you must be outside at any time.

5 Benefits of Getting a Tattoo in Winter

Less Exposure to UV Light-You’ll greatly reduce your exposure to UV rays during the colder months, which can lead to skin damage.

Less Sweating-Less sweat means less chance of irritation and infection.

Less Blood Circulation– You’ll have reduced blood flow, so your tattoo will heal faster.

A Lower Risk of Catching a Cold or The Flu-The weather is colder in winter, so you have less chance of picking up a virus from people around you.

Less Risk of Infection– Fewer chances of infection mean less risk of scarring and unwanted after-effects.

Fewer Bacteria to Fight Off-Fewer bacteria mean less chance of an infection and faster recovery times.

Tattooing In Winter Is Safer– The temperature is lower, so the risk of skin damage reduces during removal and healing. This makes for a safer tattoo for both you and your artist.

Why Shouldn’t You Get a Tattoo in The Summer?

Exposure to UV light– Tattoos are more sensitive during the summer because lighter colors, in particular, can shift towards a pink tone when overexposed.

Increased Chance of Infection– Keep in mind that your body temperature is higher during the summer because it’s hot outside, and you’re outside more often.

If you get a tattoo in the summer, you might sweat more than usual, making an ideal environment for infections like MRSA or E Coli to thrive on your skin.

Do Tattoos Hurt More in Winter?

Possible Reactions to Tattoo Pigments– Some pigments can react to your skin and cause a rash or irritation. When you’re outside more often, this is an excellent reason to think twice about getting a tattoo in the summer.

Itchy Skin– Tattoos should be a piece of art on your body, and you’re supposed to spend your whole life with it, so don’t get a tattoo you will regret.

You might find yourself itching in areas where the tattoo has exposure to direct sunlight, especially if the tattoo is new.

Where Should You Not Get Tattoos? and Reasons

Body PartDescription
Eyelids-Some people have eyelids that don’t close. The tattoo ink might get into the eyes, leading to permanent damage or blindness.
-If you notice any changes in your vision after getting a tattoo, get it checked out by an ophthalmologist.
Places Near Major Arteries-The skin underneath the tattoo is very sensitive and can react badly with certain medications if it’s in a place near an artery (for example, near your carotid).
-If you’re getting a tattoo on your body’s major arteries (up by the neck, on your hands or wrist, or your chest), you should talk to an ophthalmologist first.
Abrasions And Cuts-Tattoo ink can get stuck in abrasions or cuts made in the skin during tattooing. This can lead to infection.
-To prevent infection, getting all cuts and abrasions cleaned and dressed before tattooing is a good idea.
Genitals-The skin in your genital area is very sensitive and can react badly with certain medications if it’s in a place near an artery or major nerve.
-If you’re getting a tattoo on your genitals, scalp, or neck, talk to an ophthalmologist first.
The Inside of The Mouth-The lining of the mouth (the mucosa) has a lot of veins, capillaries, and nerves that are all close together.

If you got a tattoo on the lining of your mouth, you could react to the tattoo ink or other chemical compounds in the ink.

Where Do Tattoos Age the Worst?

Body PartDescription
Fingers– Finger Tattoos age the worst because the skin is thinner, and tattoos will show more prominently.
ChestTattoos on the chest show more prominently with age because of sun exposure.
Forehead– Forehead Tattoos are prone to showing up with wrinkles down the center of the forehead as aging progresses.
Hands– Hand tattoos can appear too big depending on the area of skin used for the tattoo.

Typically, a full-hand tattoo will appear large and disproportionate on a small or thin hand because the skin is much smaller.
Nape of Neck– Tattoos on the back of the neck may appear to sag and stretch as it ages, primarily if it is low on the neck or in a low ponytail line.
Neck– The neck area is prone to showing tattoos very prominently as skin ages, especially if there is wrinkling and loss of elasticity.
Shoulders– These are prone to stretch and sag as a person ages because the skin is thin, especially if there are stretch marks and wrinkles before the tattoo gets applied.
Stomach– Most tattoo artists will discourage stomach tattoos because of the amount of visible sagging that occurs with aging.


Tattoos in winter and summer can have different effects on your skin, so if you’re thinking about getting a tattoo and are unsure what to choose, these are some of the things you should know before getting one.


I'm Vincent, a registered skincare specialist and an award-winning tattoo artist. I've been in the industry for over 10 years and have worked with some of the best tattoo artists in my field. I've loved everything to do with tattoos and arts in general, as well as exercise and wellness! This site is a place for me to share some of the expertise knowledge I have, as well as keep up-to-date with current research and studies. Tattoos are a huge passion of mine, I faced many questions from customers about different products, and there was hardly any help on the internet. I decided to start a blog and help other people!

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