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Spine Tattoo is Unhealthy, a Myth or a Reality?

Spine Tattoo Is Unhealthy, A Myth Or A Reality

Spine Tattoo is Unhealthy, a Myth or a Reality?

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Tattoos come with no limitation, you can get a tattoo on any part of your body. Gone are the days when a tattoo was treated as a mark of shame or people with tattoos were not treated well. Today, getting inked is no problem. Some people get inked on some parts which can be easily seen by others like their arms, legs, neck etc. On the other hand, some want to have hidden tattoos on their body. There are many tattoo designs and body parts where one can get tattoos which is hidden more often, one is spine or back.

More often than not, people are scared of getting tattoos on the spine as they think that Spine tattoos are unhealthy. If you’re also one of them then you’re reading the right post.

In this article, we will unwrap whether or spine tattoos are unhealthy….

So, let’s get started…

Most people think that spine tattoos are unhealthy. However, the truth is absolutely different from what most people think.

Spine tattoos are unhealthy is actually a myth and not a reality. Tattoos on spines are considered for the braves not unhealthy, because our spine, harbours our nervous system and is covered only by a thin layer of skin, thereby making it one of the most painful places to get a tattoo there.

Black Spine tattoo

However, pain threshold varies from person to person. But the fact is adorning your spine will give you the feeling of empowerment and will give you the courage to stand tall even when going through tough in life. Spine tattoos are not unhealthy, but yeah they come with more pain relatively.

Why spine tattoos……

There’s something uniquely stunning about the spine tattoos. The way they flow with the body, following the curves of their owners’ backs looks beautiful and gorgeous. The reason they are so popular these days is that they make for wonderful tattoo designs. These tattoos however, are not effortless for, the tattoo artist and the client. The tattoo designs, especially the one done on the spine require great effort and are painful to sit through.

Pain is an inevitable part of tattoo, I mean one will get pain while getting tattoos. It’s just that the pain however, vary from person to person and design to design. Also, the level of pain one gets varies, for instance; two people getting matching tattoos in exactly the same location not necessarily will experience the same level of pain. And the reason for that is – Both of them will have different pain tolerance. The truth however is – spine is one of the most uncomfortable and painful locations for getting inked than others. But believe you me, spine tattoos are not unhealthy at all!!

Why spine tattoos hurt so much?

The spine is actually the major part of the nervous system, the spinal area houses a large number of sensory nerves—these nerves are responsible for our response to all physical sensations, which even includes the pricking of a tattooer’s needle on our spine. There are so many nerves, thereby making the spine more sensitive to pain. Because of these nerves, more often than not, people who get tattoos on spine get unusual sensations and strange buzzes throughout their whole body.

flower tattoo on the spine

Besides nerves causing sensation while getting pain on spine, another reason is the bones in the area. Usually, the bony areas of our body have thin skin when compared to other parts of the body. And spine area has the thinnest of skin, thereby making it more uncomfortable and painful to get a tattoo etched there. For instance, if you get a tattoo on your shoulder it will be relatively less painful than the one which is done on spine.

Also Read: Myths about tattoo

Other reason for spine tattoo pain……

Length of the Tattoo Session

Another reason for people experiencing more pain is the length of the spine tattoo session. Yes, spine tattoo length adds to the pain. The more intricate the design, the more time take-taking and painful it will be.

The length and intricacy of the tattoo play an important role when it comes to the pain and discomfort of a spine tattoo. In the spine, which is already amongst the most sensitive locations for getting a tattoo, the length of the tattoo only adds to the sensitivity and discomfort all in all.

For instance, if you get a small spine tattoo it will take less time and hence will be less painful. Whereas, if you chose an intricate design for your spine, it will be a time-taking and more painful procedure for both the tattoo artist and the client. So, small spine tattoos will definitely hurt, but it will be done faster and the skin won’t be very sore. But a big and intricate spine tattoo will take longer to finish, and will be more painful. Big designs can take somewhere around 6 to 8 hours, however, a small tattoo design on the spine will take 3-4 hours.

Size of the Tattoo Designs

The amount of pain you may endure also depends on the size and type of tattoo. A large, intricate tattoo that runs down the length of your spine will, without a doubt, cause pain more than a smaller tattoo that is only in one region of your back will.

Related Post: Latest Spine Tattoo Designs for Men

The Placement of Your Spine Tattoo

Another reason you experience pain while having a tattoo could be the placement of your spine tattoo. You may think that a spine tattoo is on the spine; what is there about its placement. You have a point, to some extent. However, things are not as straightforward as you may believe.

The placement of your spine tattoo simply refers to whether you intend to have your tattoo placed on the upper or lower spine, as the case may be.

The location of your spine tattoo is critical in determining how much pain you’ll have to face as a result of the procedure.

Know that the lower back is often more sensitive than the sections of the upper spine.

Your Familiarity with Body Artwork

So, how familiar are you with body artwork? By this, we simply mean is it your first tattoo, or you’ve got a tattoo before it also. Spinal tattoos are generally not recommended if you are getting a tattoo for the first time.

The majority of the time, though, they are a better choice for someone who is already accustomed to the tattooing process. It is believed that those who already have tattoos have an easier time managing the discomfort during spine tattoo sessions.

Related: Before Getting A Tattoo Checklist

Ways to limit potential spine tattoo infections……

So, I am sure now you know that spine tattoos are not unhealthy, they are just a bit more painful. That’s all!! But, any tattoos be it a shoulder tattoo or a spine tattoo can affect your health if you don’t take proper care of your tattoo. So, here are some precautions to be taken care while you go for your spine tattoo:

1. Keep your spine-related medical issues in mind

Before you even consider getting a spine tattoo, keep any spine-related medical issues in mind. Especially, if you have gone through a surgery or if there is any chance of it happening in the near future, then you should avoid getting a spine tattoo. According to medical practitioners, people with back or spine problems especially when they require surgery should not go for a tattoo on their back or spine. The process of etching in your spine or back can make for a risky decision that can lead to some major health issues.

Another major issue when one should strictly prohibit from a spine or back tattoo is the condition – when a woman is pregnant. According to the practitioners, in the process of placing an epidural catheter while childbirth it could possibly cause a spine tattoo ink to enter spinal components that can increase the risk of potential infection during childbirth.

2. Eat a good meal and drink plenty of water prior to getting a spine tattoo

Once you’ve decided on the tattoo design and the exact spot to get your back tattoo, it’s time to prepare yourself for your tattoo before you go to the tattoo artist for final work. Prior to getting a tattoo—be it anywhere, not only on the back—it’s crucial that you eat healthy mean beforehand and keep yourself hydrated. Also, it is important that you either avoid drinking or don’t drink excessive alcohol the night before. Actually, drinking alcohol the night before can cause a lot of bleeding during the tattoo process, which is not healthy at all. However, the best would be to abstain from drinking alcohol for a few days prior to getting a tattoo. Also, exposure to the sun even before getting a tattoo on the particular area should be avoided completely.

3. Be extra watchful about any infection

After care is very important while you get a tattoo, wherever it is, be it on your back or on your shoulder or anywhere else. Be extra watchful for signs of any infection, apply regular ointment to make sure that your tattoo doesn’t get any infection. Also, it is important that you avoid activities, especially the ones which can expose the tattoo to sources of infection, like swimming. So, it is important that you avoid any cause of infection and take proper care of your tattoo during the healing process.

4. Invest in good aftercare products

It is crucial that you take proper care of your tattoo, keep it properly moisturized during healing procedure. Also, there will be itching but try not to scratch it during healing, scratching can cause scabs. When it comes to aftercare and getting a tattoo on your spine, make sure you invest in good after care products such as ointments, moisturizer etc. Also, it is good to have some assistance, because applying tattoo on back or spine will be difficult by yourself.

Ways to limit the spine tattoo pain……

Besides drinking plenty of water, eating healthy meals, and keeping the area where you want to get your tattoo moisturized during the days, try to have some way to keep yourself distracted while getting a spine tattoo. For instance, you can go along with your friend for some moral support, best would be to take along someone talkative, who can keep you distracted while you getting your tattoo. Also, if by chance you have to go alone then try to interact more with your tattoo artist, so that your mind doesn’t go much on your pain, and you feel a little better. But make sure you do not disturb your tattoo artist in the process…… ☺☺ Otherwise your tattoo will get affected.

How to Maintain your Spine Tattoo

Whether you are getting a tattoo on your back or on your shoulder, it is important that you go to an experienced tattoo artists in order to have a great artwork etched on your body. Besides, it is necessary to take extra care of your spine to boost the healing process. Here are some tips to be followed:

1. Do As your Tattoo Artist Say

It is crucial that you follow the advice and instructions given by your tattoo artist. If you really want to have a spine tattoo for a longer period and want it to look good, then do as your tattoo artist says. Follow each and every instruction given by him. It will not only help to heal the tattoo faster but also avoid bacterial infection.

2. Do Not Wipe your Tattoo

Even after a bath, don’t wipe your tattoo with your towel. Also, itching is common to tattoos; especially when you bathe, you will feel itching, but you cannot wipe or scratch your tattoo. Do not wipe your spine tattoo. If you wipe your newly concealed tattoo with a towel, it will tear the treated skin. So, better to use a tissue or soft cloth to pat your tattoo or let it air dry.

3. Use only Antibacterial Soap While Bathing

Make sure you only use antibacterial soap. Antibacterial soaps help prevent bacteria from entering the wound. Regular soap will not be able to stop the bacterial infection that can lead to severe skin related issues.

4. Keep it Clean

It is essential that you keep your spine tattoo clean. So, after removing the bandage, it becomes crucial to rinse your tattoo that too with lukewarm water or with prescribed products, thereby avoiding any adverse effects.

5. Keep it Moisturized

Keeping your tattoo moisturized is of utmost importance; even your tattoo artist will force this point. But, it is important to not over moisturize your spine tattoo in the process. Believe it or not, but your tattoo also needs to breath; I mean, the skin in that area needs to breathe to heal properly.

6. Avoid Exposure to Excess Water

You might be a good swimmer or you may be tempted to go for a sauna bath, but while you get a spine tattoo it is crucial that you stay away from all this for a while, until your spine tattoo gets healed. Exposure to excess water may cause infection on the treated skin. Take only warm showers as it speeds up the healing procedure but make sure you do not spend too much time in the shower. Ideally 15 minutes is enough.

7. Avoid Exposure to the Sunlight

I am sure you know that sunlight can cause incurable damage to your spine tattoo. So, do not expose your spine tattoo to the sun. Of course, we understand staying indoors all the time is not possible; always cover your tattoo while going out. Better would be to stay indoors. The harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays actually hinder the process of tattoo healing.

8. Go for Touch-ups

Contact your tattoo artist immediately in case your tattoo loses ink after a day or two. Touch-up is necessary to retain the freshness of your tattoo. Mostly touch-ups are free. Otherwise, in normal conditions, visit your tattoo artist in a month or so to enhance the colors and design.

9. Avoid Scab Formation

Do not pat dry your spine tattoo completely, keep it moist. Drying your tattoo completely can develop scabs that hinder the healing process.

10. Do not Scratch Your Spine Tattoo

Itching is common in tattoos, and we all know that… Right?? So, it is crucial that you do not scratch your tattoo even if it is itching badly. You need to have great control over your emotions in this situation. Especially after a day or two, a thin layer is formed on your tattoo that causes itchiness, just like when we get some wound. Scratching your tattoo is strictly prohibited. You can apply some baby oil or milk cream to keep the itching under control and keep your tattoo moist.

11. Be Patient

Last but not least, be patient!! You have to understand that the healing process takes time and cannot happen overnight. You need to give time some time. Also, the healing will depend on the size and design of your tattoo. Simple tattoo designs usually take a week to heal; complex designs with plenty of details may take longer to heal and may be a few months. So, all you can do is be patient and follow all the instructions religiously to get the best results!

To pan out…..

Now you know that a spine tattoo is not at all unhealthy. It’s just you need to be extra careful while considering the spine for your tattoo design. And you need to take proper care of your spine tattoo once you get it. That’s all; besides that, there is no harm or risk to your health if you get a spine tattoo.

Spine tattoos are also like other tattoos on your body, which require regular care as other tattoos do. In fact, spine tattoos make for the most wonderful tattoo designs. People choose spine tattoos so that they can flaunt them in style. Most importantly, spine tattoos can be kept hidden or can be exposed as and when required.

When you are in a place where tattoos are not accepted, like your office, it is easy to keep your spine tattoo hidden. And when you are on a beach holidaying, you can easily flaunt your spine tattoo easily.

So, worry not… get a spine tattoo BINDAAS….. ☺☺


It’s now time for some important Frequently Asked Questions. Take a look…

Q.1. Can a spine tattoo paralyze you?

Well, the quickest answer to this is NO. A spine tattoo never paralyzes you. No tattoo, no matter how horribly it is done, will ever cause an injury to your spinal cord or paralyze you.

The only hazard associated with getting a tattoo is the possibility of obtaining a terrible disease such as HIV or hepatitis, and that is only if the needle is not properly sanitized before use.

Therefore, choosing a reputable tattoo professional for your spine tattoo is crucial. Make sure your tattoo artists follow safety standards religiously.

Q.2. What Does the Pain of a Spine Tattoo Feel Like?

There is no specific type of pain during a spinal tattoo that you will experience. Instead, you may experience a variety of diverse sensations throughout the session.

a) Burning Sensation: When the tattoo needle comes into contact with your skin, it may feel warm. In most cases, it is a form of discomfort that builds throughout the process, and it occurs when an artist works on a single section for an extended period of time.

A burning sensation is felt by the majority of people, albeit it is usually more unpleasant than excruciating in nature. A large, intricate spine tattoo will increase your chances of getting excruciating burning pain.

b) Sting Sensation: Sharp, stinging sensations are typically the most uncomfortable form of sensation to experience while having a spine tattoo. In the case of sting sensation, most people ask the artist to stop for a while. Typically, sting pains happen in case of detailed body artwork.

While some stinging discomfort is to be expected, pay attention if it appears to be severe. If an inexperienced tattoo artist holds the tattoo gun incorrectly, they may drive the needle too deeply into the skin, inflicting unnecessary stinging agony. Hence, it is crucial to choose an expert artist who has been doing spine tattoos for a long.

c) Low Pain: Although low or dull pain is relatively typical when getting a tattoo, the discomfort is always on the greater side when having spine tattoos. Getting a tattoo Pain that is dull in nature is the most tolerable type of pain that one can endure.

Experiencing dull pain is common when your body produces stress chemicals such as adrenaline. The presence of these hormones helps to reduce the intensity of sharp, stinging, and searing pain.

Q.3. Is it harmful to have tattoos on the spine?

Although it is widely believed that spine tattoos are harmful, this is not true. Tattoos on the spine are absolutely safe. They are considered to be unsafe because our spine contains our nervous system and is only covered by a thin layer of skin. That doesn’t matter, but the thin layer on the spinal cord makes it one of the most painful places to get a tattoo.

Q. 4. How much does a spine tattoo cost?

Well, the cost of a spine tattoo varies based on many different factors, including the type of tattoo, size of the tattoo, placement of a tattoo, and so on.

A tiny spine tattoo will cost you around $100 – $350, depending on the color and design of the tattoo. In comparison, the cost of a full back tattoo that will cover the entire back with a great deal of fine work and shading will range between $2,000 and $5,000. If you merely want an outline done in black ink, a half-back tattoo will cost you roughly $1,000.

Q. 5. How much time does it take to get a spine tattoo?

Again it depends on the size and design of your spine tattoo. For example, if you’re planning to get a full-back tattoo, it will take approximately 40 – 42 hours to complete a full-back tattoo. Moreover, you’ll have to get your full-back tattoo done in different sessions, maybe three to four sessions in all. On the other hand, a small tattoo can be done within a few hours.

Q. 6. What should I wear when getting a spine tattoo?

Well, it is always recommended to wear loose cotton clothes while getting a tattoo. So, you can choose to wear a loose top that can be pushed up, such as a t-shirt or camisole, and pair it with elastic-waist bottoms that can be dragged down to get a lower spine tattoo. And if you’re planning a full-back tattoo, wear a bikini top that can be untied while you’re lying down.

Q.7. Is a spine tattoo dangerous?

No, absolutely not! A spine tattoo is not in any way hazardous to your health. For a spine tattoo, the only thing you need to ensure is that you hire a competent tattoo artist. Choosing a beginner or an inexperienced tattoo artist might result in serious problems, such as tattoo infection, hazy tattoo design, and other complications.

You may think that hiring a professional is too expensive; nonetheless, it is well worth the money you will spend on your spine tattoo design. Only an expert tattoo artist can give you a spine tattoo that you’ve always desired. Also, an expert artist will guide you with best aftercare routine.

Happy Tattooing….. ☺ ☺

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  1. Piyumal
    Reply October 10, 2019 7:40 am

    Hiruni kausalliya

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