A hickey is bruise that is caused by sucking, biting, or having aggressive kissing of the skin around the neck or the arm. It’s also known as a kiss mark, and it may be given other names like a bug bite, or a love bite.
While to some people a hickey is nothing to worry about and in fact they are proud of it, to others, it is something they don’t desire and will want to remove or hide it. Hickeys aren’t painful or dangerous and by using some simple remedies, you can easily get rid of them.
A hickey can affect both men and women, but are common among women. When an individual gets aggressive kisses on their soft skin, there may occur breaking of the small superficial blood vessels, also known as capillaries. When the capillaries are broken, they allow blood to seep out and reach the surrounding tissue. Initially, hickeys appear red in color, however, with time, they turn to dark purple or brown.
How Do Hickeys Develop?
- 1 How Do Hickeys Develop?
- 2 How Long does a Hickey Last?
- 3 Symptoms of a Hickey
- 4 How to Get Rid of a Hickey?
- 5 How to Get Rid of Hickeys Overnight?
A hickey occurs due to a suction that bursts the tiny blood vessels found under the skin. Usually, when you kiss someone, there is negative pressure that comes from the suction, and it causes veins to rupture or break.
This in turn causes blood to start leaking out and spread to the tissue. You will see the skin looks like a bruise. The harder the sucking on someone’s skin then the worse the hickey or mark on the skin. However, it is important to point out that different people react to hickeys in different ways.
While a hickey can occur anywhere on your skin, it tends to show up pretty worse on the neck since the skin found in that area is thin and delicate. You may also get a hickey on your lips, inner arm, and chest.
In those areas, there is no tremendous tissue support to help protect the veins, so it is easy for the capillaries to rupture with pressure. Usually, people don’t realize the effect or how bad a mark of bruise is on the skin the moment it occurs, however, as the mark begins to evolve and turn to a bruise, that’s when it is visible.
The color of a hickey will depend on how fast the body breaks down the leaking blood. Your body will reabsorb the blood that has leaked out, and a change in color occurs because of the way the body breaks down the hemoglobin. This is why you see a hickey transforming from the red color bruise to a purple or brown bruise, and then to gross, sickly yellowish green.
How Long does a Hickey Last?
Many people will ask, “How is a hickey going to last on my skin? Well, if you have one, you may want to know that it’s not a permanent mark. The hickey will fade away with time and usually does not leave behind a scar. If you don’t treat a hickey, it will last for about 5 to 12 days before it heals and disappears. Sometimes, a hickey can linger around for long and this may happen if it is more severe.
If you had more damage done to capillaries, it is likely to affect the time it would take for the hickey to disappear. Again, your personal health is going to affect the time it takes for the hickey to go away or fade. If you are healthier, it may heal faster. Some people may not be comfortable seeing a hickey on their arm or neck and will want to seek methods of how to get rid of hickeys.
Symptoms of a Hickey
- A hickey starts out in form of a flaming red mark but slowly changes its color to appear bluish purple. Those dark passionate colors appearing on the affected skin indicate aggressive as well as passionate love making.
- While the skin turns red or purple, it’s not usually hurtful although it can be embarrassing in public. If the suction was so intense, it may create bruises that could become painful.
- A hickey disappears in a week however, people would look for ways to remove it. (1)
If you feel that a hickey you have is bothering you or causing embarrassment, you may use the following treatment options. You can easily manage a hickey at home and you will find that when you use these methods of treatment, soon it will disappear(1,2,3,4,5,6).
When you massage the skin where the hickey has formed, it scatters blood that has clotted and this helps reduce its color. When massaging, you can use essential oil. To massage the hickey, you want to place two fingers over the skin and rub them using a circular motion and in one direction. Make the rubbing for about one or two minutes and then change direction of the motion. Ensure you do the rubbing firmly and gently.
It is likely that you will see some outlines when you have massaged a hickey, but this does not always occur. The effectiveness of massaging a hickey is much depended on the severity of the bruise.
You can use cold compresses to constrict the broken blood vessel and reduce bleeding. In cold compressing, you wrap ice cubes in a clean cloth or towel and apply on the affected skin. Make sure you press it on the skin and hold it there for about 15 minutes. The ice will relieve pain that may be caused by a hickey and helps prevent swelling of your skin. Do not apply ice directly onto your skin because it may cause frostbite or ice burns that may further injure the skin.
Alternatively, you can use a metallic spoon instead of ice cubes. What you need to do is place the spoon in a freezer, let’s say for about 10 minutes. Remove the spoon from the freezer and then wrap it using a cloth. Now, rub the spoon onto the affected area is a gentle way or just press it on the affected skin.
If you are going to use cold compresses, make sure you use them as many times as deems appropriate, especially during the day. The more the cold compresses, the faster your hickey is going to fade away.
Scraping With a Coin
Although scraping may be painful, it’s often considered as an effective way of getting rid of hickeys. Scraping can produce good results if done properly. To scrap the hickey, you need to stretch the skin that surrounds the hickey and see that it’s flat. This is achieved by pulling the skin on opposite ends to stretch it. When you have stretched the skin, you now want to scrape it with a large coin.
When scraping using the edge of a coin ensure that you do it in a similar way to applying butter on bread. This method of removing a hickey requires that you scrape hard the skin but ensure that you don’t hurt yourself or break the skin. You may notice that once you have scraped the skin, it looks a little tender and reddened, however, that redness is going to fade out faster.
Using a Toothbrush
You can use a toothbrush to help remove a hickey. A new toothbrush is going to work well than an old one. What you should do is to brush the affected skin so that you stimulate the circulation of blood. When brushing the hickey avoid pressing too hard since it may worsen the bruise.
You can wait for about 15 minutes after brushing to see results. While brushing is going to cause swelling and redness around the affected area, that redness is be less obvious in just about 15 minutes.
You can use a cold compress after brushing the hickey to help relieve pain and swelling. If necessary, you can repeat the procedure. Use of a toothbrush can actually work in the first attempt but again, it depends on how severe the bruise is. The use of a toothbrush may cause the discoloration to spread around, but that should go away after sometime.
Using peppermint offers a stimulant effect that enhances the flow of blood. Peppermint helps to heal the broken capillaries. An individual will need to apply some peppermint oil and gently rub onto the skin. There may be some tingling sensation after you have applied the peppermint, however, that should fade soon.
You may also use something like a peppermint-based toothpaste instead of peppermint oil. In using the toothpaste, what you do is to rub a layer over the bruised area.
Do it in a gentle way and allow it to sit there for a couple of minutes. Once you stop feeling the tingling sensation, you can wash away the toothpaste using some warm washcloth.
A toothpaste may produce good results when it’s used as soon as you have had the hickey. You should not use peppermint more than one time in a day since it is likely to cause skin irritation. You may use olive oil or almond oil if you cannot get peppermint oil.
The best time to use alcohol is if you have had the hickey in just a few hours. Rubbing the hickey using alcohol offers a cooling, soothing effect. Alcohol is also an effective disinfectant that is going to prevent bacteria from entering the skin to cause an infection.
Alcohol can help remove the hickey fast and is considered the fastest way of getting rid of hickeys. What you need to do is take the alcohol and rub it onto the skin using a cotton ball. Ensure you gently massage the affected area a couple of minutes to reduce discomfort.
When done, ensure that you apply a moisturizer lotion since alcohol tends to dehydrate the skin. Also, rubbing alcohol to remove a hickey should be done some few times in a day and this should be done for one or two days.
Use Hot Compresses
If your hickey are becoming stubborn, you can consider using hot compressing technique to get rid of them. The hot compress method is recommended for use in hickeys that have proven difficult to deal with. In this method, you take some hot water and saturate a washcloth.
Take the soaked washcloth and squeeze it to let excess water to drain away and then place the hot washcloth onto the skin for several minutes. You can reheat the cloth if you feel it’s necessary. Applying heat on the skin helps dilate the blood vessels and this ensures there is fresh blood flowing and circulating to the hickey. With the blood circulation, it helps heal the hickey.
Instead of using a washcloth, you may consider using a reusable heat patch. These are cheap and easy to use. Reusable heat patches tend to stay hot for long. The patches can be obtained from a local pharmacy. Sometimes, you may use a hair dryer to direct the hot air onto the affected skin as you massage the hickey using your fingers.
When you use vitamin K, it helps to prevent clotting of blood. Vitamin K has anticoagulant properties that help the body to reabsorb blood that is pooled in the skin. Vitamin K also helps speed up the healing of the hickey. You can use a cream or lotion that has vitamin K and apply it onto the skin. Make sure you apply it two or three times every day until you see that the hickey has disappeared. Taking foods rich in vitamin K or using supplements also helps facilitate the healing of the hickey.
Using cocoa butter provides an effective way of treating bruises and hickeys. Cocoa butter helps promote the growth of new skin tissue and it is considered an excellent moisturizer. To get the best results, apply the cocoa butter after you have had the warm compresses. When you have applied cocoa butter ensure you massage the skin for a while.
Use Orange Fruit or Juice
Oranges provide a source for vitamin C and this helps to heal bruises like a hickey. Vitamin C has a bleaching effect that helps clear hickeys fast. You can take fresh orange juice soon you have a hickey. The vitamin C in the orange juice will help in the healing process. You may also take an orange, cut it and apply directly onto the skin.
Aloe Vera is among the miracle plants we have around, it helps in treatment of many diseases and ailments. In a hickey, aloe Vera helps provide moisturizing effects. It helps sooth the bruise and acts as an anti-inflammation agent. Using aloe Vera helps lessen the skin sensitivity and enhances the healing of broken blood capillaries.
What you should do is rub the aloe extract onto the bruised skin and massage it. Do that two to three times in a day. In case you don’t have access to aloe plant or you aren’t comfortable with that sticky substance sitting on your skin, you can use a lotion or cream that has been prepared using aloe Vera as the active ingredient.
Another way you can get rid of hickeys fast is by using banana peels. These tend to have a soothing effect and cooling sensation. An individual will need to cut a fresh banana that is ripe and peel it out. Cut the peel so that it’s of the same size as the hickey and then take the inside of the peel and place it onto the hickey.
You can leave the peel on the skin for about 10 to 30 minutes. Do that about two to three times each day and you will find that the size of the hickey reduces significantly.
Hiding it with Proper clothing
When you find that other techniques are not helping to remove a hickey, you may want to hide it by wearing appropriate clothing. For example, you can wear turtleneck tops to cover the bruise. Scarves wrapped around the neck may also come handy. An individual may wear long sleeved t-shirts to hide the marks. If you are going to wear clothes to hide the mark, make sure that they match the weather or it could make the bruises too obvious.
How to Get Rid of Hickeys Overnight?
You can use medication such as aspirin or Excedrin that help with blood circulation to get rid of a hickey fast. Aspirin boosts the circulation of blood and tends to act the same way as heat. You can take aspirin before going to bed and this will help clear the marks overnight.
Note that if you are going to take aspirin, ensure you do so about twelve hours following the bruise. Taking it earlier could result in additional bleeding and may make the hickey to become larger.(1)
Many people are able to get rid of the hickey mark with use of simple home remedies, however, there are some things that may affect how a particular remedy is going to work. For instance, the amount of blood that has leaked out and the length of your hickey may determine which kind of method to use. Sometimes, hickeys can turn dangerous in situations where they create blood clots, so ensure you let your partner who is causing the hickeys to know about the possible dangers.1 If you are going to use these home remedies, make sure you don’t use products or substances that will worsen the bruise. If you are rubbing something onto the hickey, just do it gently.