A hickey, also known as a love bite, is a small reddish mark on your skin that occurs when your partner sucks or bites your skin during an intimate moment.
The mark appears because of bleeding under your skin as a result of injury to the blood capillaries. A hickey has no serious side effects but can make the skin quite tender. However, it can also cause embarrassment during public appearances as it is pretty visible, especially on the neck. A hickey takes around two weeks to disappear though this may depend on its size.
Ways to get rid of a hickey
You cannot get rid of a hickey overnight because the bleeding under your skin takes time to clear up. But some methods can help accelerate the healing process.
Cold packs or compresses help to reduce inflammation on the skin by slowing blood flow around the bruise. They are also helpful in making your skin less sensitive and painful. Wrap some ice cubes in a clean piece of cloth and apply them over your skin.
Alternatively, you can use a metallic object, like a spoon, as a cold compress by leaving it inside your freezer for a while. For best results, it is advisable to apply the cold compress within 12 hours of getting the hickey. Apply a cold compress for about 10 minutes a few times a day for the first two days.
After 48 hours after getting the hickey, you can apply a hot compress over the bruise to speed up the healing process by increasing blood circulation. Soak a clean cloth in warm water and press it against the bruise, or use a hot water bottle and press it against the bruise. You can also massage the bruise with a heating pad or a warm towel. Gently massage the bruise from the centre and move outwards to move blood clots away from the injured area. You can do this several times throughout the day.
Gently massage the area with your fingers to relieve pain and to stimulate blood flow. Massage your hickey daily for a few minutes. Be gentle as too much pressure could worsen the bruise.
Massage with peppermint essential oil
For a more effective massage, you can add peppermint essential oil. It helps stimulate blood flow which results in reduced severity and size of the hickey. Ensure you use the essential oil and not the extract, and dilute it with a carrier oil of choice, like coconut oil.
To make this massage mixture, add around 12 drops of your preferred carrier oil to 1 or 2 drops of the peppermint essential oil. Before applying, test the mixture on your arm to check whether your skin will react. If after a day you feel no irritation, you can apply the mixture to the bruise. Massage the oil mixture gently on your hickey as often as you want.
Apply arnica gel or cream
Arnica gels help your skin clear faster because of the herb’s healing properties. You can find topical and oral arnica gels in your local pharmacy.
Apply vitamin K or C on your skin to help the bruise clear faster.
Topical vitamin K can also speed up the healing process as it plays an essential role in blood clotting. Ensure you apply a generous amount on your hickey. You can also take vitamin K supplements or foods rich in vitamin K, like green vegetables.
Vitamin C is also helpful in smoothening your skin and keeping it healthy. Because of the antioxidants it carries, it boosts your collagen production, which strengthens the skin tissue near the blood vessels. This will, in turn, speed up healing. You can use a vitamin C-enriched cream on the bruise every day. Also, incorporate foods and fruits rich in vitamin C in your diet.
Aloe vera gel or cream
Aloe vera gel is also part of hickey remedies because of its anti-inflammatory properties. The gel is a natural remedy and reduces swelling and pain. You can apply a small amount of aloe gel or cream on the bruise at least twice daily.
Apply cocoa butter
Cocoa butter is rich in fatty acids that nourish your skin, moisturise it, slow ageing, and improve its elasticity. Apply some cocoa butter lotion on your hickey at least twice daily to accelerate the healing process.
Use banana peels
Rubbing your bruise with a banana peel for around 20 minutes or until the peel becomes brown can speed up healing, as banana peels also have healing properties. Ensure you use the inside of the banana peel to massage the bruise as it is rich in vitamins and nutrients that can reduce the bruise. Use the peels as often as possible every day until the bruise fades.
Pineapples contain a substance called bromelain that brings relief from pain on your bruise. To use pineapples, cut a few slices and rub them over the bruise. Apply them daily as often as possible. Alternatively, you can dip a clean cloth in some fresh pineapple juice and gently press it against the bruise.
Resting is essential so that you do not disturb the bruise as you try to remove the hickey. Disturbing the hickey will only worsen it and prolong its healing period.
How fast do hickeys go away on their own
If left undisturbed, a hickey will fade in around 10 to 14 days. Healing takes a long time because your body breaks down the blood under the affected area slowly and reabsorbs it. After several days, you will notice the bruise darkening as it begins to heal. The hickey will eventually fade.
Does toothpaste get rid of a hickey
Toothpaste has soothing effects when applied to the hickey. It can also help dissipate blood clots from the affected area resulting in speedy healing. You can use your favourite toothpaste on the bruise and leave it to dry. Let it sit for a while before washing it off with warm water.
You may feel a tingling sensation when you apply toothpaste which is a good thing because it means the toothpaste is working. You can wash off the toothpaste after the tingling stops. Repeat this process once every day until the mark fades.
How to hide a hickey ASAP
You may not want the embarrassment that a hickey may cause. Also, you do not want to explain to people, especially your parents, how you got the bruise. Here are a few ways you can try to hide the bruise until it heals.
- Use makeup to hide the hickey.
- Begin by applying a yellow corrector inside the hickey gently with a thin brush to neutralise your hickey’s colour. The hickey is purple mainly on the inside and red on the outside.
- Next, apply a green corrector gently on the red area of your hickey using a thin brush.
- Apply a concealer that matches your skin tone over the hickey using a make-up brush. To get the correct shade, test the concealer on the other side of your neck to see which blends most with your skin. Apply a translucent powder over the concealer to ensure the makeup lasts longer. You can also spray some setting spray on it.
○ Finish off by applying foundation. Foundation provides your hickey with extra coverage. Use a foundation brush or a sponge to blend the foundation and create a seamless finish.
- Cover up the bruise with the right shirt. Ensure it is something you usually wear lest your friends notice that you are hiding something. You can try these clothes:
- A turtleneck long-sleeved shirt or sweater
- A shirt, jacket or sweater with a collar that covers the hickey
- Tank tops with a high collar if its summer
- Use the right accessories to hide the hickey:
- A scarf, but ensure it’s not summer as you will look and feel weird.
- Drape a sweater over your shoulders
- You can stick a bandage and come up with a different story to explain it
- If you have long hair, wear your hair down to cover the hickey
- Use a toothbrush to hide the hickey: with a new toothbrush, lightly brush the hickey to increase blood circulation. Though the area will become red, it will tone down after a few minutes. You can then press a cold compress against the hickey for around 20 minutes and repeat this process until you achieve a less noticeable hickey.
How to avoid getting a hickey without being annoying
Although you want to give your partner maximum pleasure, a hickey could be the last thing in your mind. If you do not feel the need to get one, you can communicate your concerns with your partner and have a candid conversation around it. You may be surprised to find that your partner also isn’t into hickeys.
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Although it is impossible to get rid of a hickey overnight or as fast as you desire, try using a few methods every day to speed up healing. Ensure you test products on your arms before applying them on your hickey to avoid irritation.