Depending on the size of the tattoo and the filling/shading done within the tattoo determine the pain. In the case of a simple scratch/text tattoo, the pain is temporary and using an Emla ointment can also numb that pain.
For larger, more intricate tattoos with lots of color shading, multiple passes of needles and ink are required and severely damage the skin. These tattoos are like open wounds and need care for at least 1-2 weeks before they can be exposed to sun, seawater or even swimming as they can cause infection, pain or tingle around the tattoos.
I got a simple one that was usually painless and required no attention and then I made a big one with many shades and various colors. The process was incredibly long and although the pain during the tattoo was much less, it got worse afterward. The skin peeled off and the pain in the muscle lasted almost 3 weeks. The tattoo artist also suggested some ointments and pain relievers in case the pain got worse. I opted not to take painkillers, but an antibiotic skin ointment was needed to help the wound heal. Touching or scratching the tattoo was painful for the longest time and after a couple of months, everything was fine and healed and felt like any other part of the skin with no pain or irritation.
Okay, you have to remember that a tattoo is considered minor surgery. If you are not elevating your leg, you will feel palpitations due to the blood rushing through those veins. You can apply ice to your leg if it hurts that much, if it’s big that’s a big trauma to a major and vital organ of your body. Let him breathe and the swelling will go down. Just take care of it, don’t let clothes touch it, and be careful of scratching it and anything else rubbing against it because it’s a big piece. If it’s a small piece, follow my instructions. If it seems to burn and you feel sick or have a fever, go to the emergency room. You may be rejecting the ink, possibly have a developing infection if it is hot to the touch and abnormally swollen/red (but this depends on whether it has been packed into a large area),