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How Much Does a Piercing Hurt? – Least to Most Painful Piercings

Different body parts hurt differently, but there is pain during a piercing, even a minor one. We covered the least to most painful places, and also some tips and tricks for preventing more pain too.

If you are into body decor done with needles, the most fun thing in the world is to get piercings! Yes, even though they are done with some strange or unpleasant perhaps procedures, we still get them because no matter how big the pain is, it is worth it!

Still, one question pops to your mind before getting a piercing – how much does a piercing hurt?

It is normal to anticipate some amount of pain, but you have to remember that different body parts go through different types and amounts of pain during a piercing session. This shouldn’t scare you, especially since piercings are done in just a few seconds, unlike tattoos or other body modifications that are lengthier.

Let’s find out!

How Much Does a Piercing Hurt?

Let’s simplify with the help of levels; low, medium, and high.

The piercings that hurt the least (low) are those on the face and around it; eyebrows, Monroe (upper lip), lower lip and snake bites (on the side of the lower lip), medusa (middle above the upper lip), nose, ears, cheeks. Then, the belly button, hips (skin on the hips), skin on the fingers, and hand skin too.

Piercings of medium pain are conch, rook, helix, dermal anchor, and septum.

Piercings of the highest pain level are the tongue, genitals, and nipples.

The good part is that every piercing is done in just seconds (the moment of the needle entering the skin tissue), so whatever the pain level, it is somewhat bearable in the end.

How much do face piercings hurt? (Most common ones)

How much do face piercings hurt

Luckily, the face piercings, i.e., the most visible ones, do not hurt that much, and are quite bearable!

For example, the eyebrow piercing is almost a non-existent pain, perhaps comparable to a pinch on the eyebrow. If you wax and pluck the eyebrows, you can bear this low pain!

Then, we have the lip and all spots around the lip. It is again, a pain not bigger than a pinch. If you want a piercing on the lower lip, you won’t feel a thing – you can get Monroe, snake bites, or just a plain side lower lip piercing – it won’t hurt a bit!

The only thing to know is that this (Monroe) piercing comes with a few dangers too. If improperly done, and inflamed severely afterward, there is a risk of Meningitis (brain inflammation). Always leave this up to the best professionals!

The cheeks could hurt just a tad more than eyebrows and around the lips, but it will only feel like the needle goes through a ‘thicker’ surface, so it’s not big pain per se.

Overall, you can have a full face of piercings, without much pain. Good news, right?

How much does a tongue piercing hurt?

How much does a tongue piercing hurt

Now, let’s talk about more-difficult types of pain to bear. The tongue is among the most painful spots to pierce, at least the majority of people claim so.

This pain will feel ‘like the needle goes through a thick piece of dense meat tissue’. And it is so, of course! It is quite painful, and you might even perceive it as a longer process than it usually is. For me, it felt like the process lasted a full minute, when in fact it was only a few seconds.

It’s possible to taste some blood, but not necessarily.

How much do nipple piercings hurt?

Well, you better prepare mentally for these, because physically they are just another piercing that includes a needle going through tissue for a few seconds and that’s it. But, in reality, it feels like it’s much more than that!

Let’s begin with the nipples. They seem to hurt slightly more than genital piercings – believe it or not! Yes, all these intimate locations have lots of nerve endings, but the nipples seem to be the harshest to endure. The tissue there is quite dense, hard, and in a small area, so it might feel ‘like the needle goes through a small, tiny pebble’ with nerve endings, located on your chest!

How much do genital piercings hurt?

The genital piercings are on the same scale as the nipple piercings, and also to some extent, the tongue piercing.

The male genital piercing is called Prince Albert, and for females, Princess Albertina.

The pain, in this case, cannot be described so easily. It won’t feel like it takes too long, really, but the pain there is so intense that it feels part extremely hot, part too ‘stingy’. More painful than an accident with the zipper of your pants, or sitting strangely with very tight pants! This had to be described explicitly!

What is the dermal anchor piercing pain like?

The dermal anchor piercing is more like an implant in the sub-dermal tissue. Technically, it is a piercing and not a full-blown extreme body modification, but luckily the pain is not too high and is bearable, medium level.

It will feel ‘new, strange, peculiar’. It is a feeling like a brief punch to the skin, made with a sharp object. Similar to a scissor catching a small piece of tissue on your skin. Similar to getting stitches, but with a topical spray anesthetic. There is some pain but is more like dull, superficial, and sharp pain – bearable, a lot!

Some things to keep in mind

things to keep in mind piercing

Here are some useful tips and tricks for piercings, anywhere on your body.

How to prevent or lessen the pain after the tongue piercing

It is normal for a body part to hurt after you get a piercing, especially if it’s one of those body parts of the highest pain threshold. So, to reduce any swelling and pain on the tongue, you have to eat only liquid and soft foods for a week or so. After that, you will slowly incorporate foods for chewing.

Also, it’s good to avoid smoking and alcohol in the first 1-2 weeks. Forget about hard candies or chewing gums – the least you need is biting your tongue or the inside of the mouth.

And of course, intimate actions that involve the oral cavity are also out of the question while the piercing heals!

How to avoid pain after the genital piercing

This one is also another critical piercing to take care of but is nothing too scary.

First, avoid intercourse for several weeks to allow for proper healing. Then, use only clean towels for hygiene, clean and cotton underwear at all times, antibacterial mild-gentle soaps too (avoid harsh chemicals or too perfumed products).

Avoid tight jeans and clothes that could ‘pinch’ the intimate area and inflame the piercing! And if you can, avoid sports or gym activities during the healing.

How to prevent pain after the nipple piercing

If engaging in intercourse, hands away from that area! This is crucial to know!

Also, wear only loose and cotton clothes, nothing too tight, no pushup bras, or similar.

And, restrain from moving the piercing around – you might think this helps it heal, but it can irritate it and cause discomfort.

What to do if the belly button piercing starts to hurt

Hands away from your belly button! Keep up the hygiene and aftercare as advised, and please, please ditch the high waist jeans or belts that cover exactly that area of your stomach.

Also, cover the navel with a bandage if you have no other pants to wear while healing takes place!

What to do if the dermal anchor piercing starts hurting severely

The dermal anchor piercing is a specific one, but still, in the end, it is just a piercing through the skin tissue. No need to panic if it hurts moderately.

Sometimes, we entangle the dermal anchors while we sleep, or while we put on clothes. These piercings are so delicate and tiny, they easily catch the threads of linens and similar, and this is common.

Just clean it well with the aftercare products of choice or recommended ones, and if it worsens, consult your piercer for specific advice. And, avoid tight clothes or pieces of jewelry over the dermal piercing!

Some final tips for dealing with piercing pain during and after the piercing session

  • When you sit on the piercing chair, remember to relax your whole body. If you feel tense, it will hurt more!
  • Take the aftercare advice seriously. It is not mentioned for nothing!
  • Avoid tight clothes or jewelry over the pierced places. Let them heal well.
  • If in doubt, clean the pierced place well, and dab a bit of antibiotic cream. If the pain goes on, consult an expert.
  • For immediate pain relief, an ice pack can do the trick!
  • Bandages over the piercings can go a long way – especially when you need immediate piercing protection!


It is normal for a piercing to hurt, of course mostly during the piercing session. If you are too afraid of pain, would you last during the session?

If you already agreed to this, expect some pain. We have explained all the least to most painful spots above, but in general, remember that regardless of the body part, the whole process of the needle entering is just a few seconds, and that’s it! Not too scary, right? What you can do though, is pay good attention to the aftercare to reduce or prevent more pain during the initial healing stages.

Remember, be safe, wear loose clothes, protect with bandages, avoid hard foods, avoid spas or pools and similar, and pause the sports (and intercourse perhaps) for a while. It will be great healing if you behave smart. Good luck!