Hickeys are a common occurrence nowadays, and most people either have seen a hickey on someone or have had one. Hickeys are usually not painful or dangerous for the receiver and mean different to different people. To some, they are something to be proud of and a sign of love while to others they are often not desired and need to be hidden or removed. This article is designed to improve your knowledge about hickeys such as how to remove them, hide them or give them to your partner according to your needs.
What is a Hickey?
A hickey, also known as a love bite, bug bite or a kiss mark, is a bruise caused by biting, sucking or aggressively kissing of the soft skin usually around the neck or on the arm. When a person aggressively kisses your soft skin, small, superficial blood vessels, known as capillaries, are broken, letting the blood seep out into the surrounding tissue. Hickeys are initially red in color but turn dark purple or brown as they heal.
After asking, “What is a hickey?” most people want to know whom they can be given to. A hickey is not gender-exclusive; both men and women can get one from their partners. The fact that hickeys are most common among women does not mean that men cannot get them.
How long do Hickeys Last?
If you have a hickey, the first question that comes to mind is, “How long does a hickey last?” A hickey is not a permanent mark. It fades with time and does not leave any scar behind. If untreated, hickeys typically last about 5 to 12 days. However, hickeys may linger for some time because of:
- Harshness- some hickeys are more severe than others are and take a longer time to heal. The amount of damage done to the blood vessels in the skin will affect the time it takes for the hickey to fade away.
- Personal Health- your personal health also affects how long you will have to live with a hickey. The healthier you are, the faster the hickey will fade.
How to Get Rid of a Hickey
Most people consider hickeys an embarrassment and inappropriate, especially in professional, social or family environments. If you are such a person, here are methods on how to get rid of hickeys fast.
1. Cold Compress
The use of cold compressing constricts the broken blood capillaries and reduces bleeding. To use this hickey removal method, wrap several ice cubes in a towel and press it on the affected area. Hold the ice cubes in place for about 10 minutes. The use of ice relieves pain caused by hickeys, if any, and prevents swelling of the skin. Avoid placing the ice onto your skin directly to prevent ice burn and frostbite, which will damage your skin.
You may use a metallic spoon in place of ice cubes. Place the spoon in a freezer for about 10 minutes. Take the spoon out and wrap it with a cloth. Rub the affected area gently with the spoon or press it into the skin.
Cold compress methods should be used as many times as possible during the day. The more you do it, the faster the hickey will fade.
Massaging the hickey scatters the clotted blood and reduces its color. You can use any essential oil. Massage the hickey by placing two fingers over the affected area and rubbing them in a circular motion in one direction. After a minute or two, change the direction of motion and continue rubbing. Make sure that you rub the hickey firmly.
After massaging the hickey, you may notice a few outlines, but this is rare. How effective massaging is on a hickey depends on its severity.
3. Use a Toothbrush
A new toothbrush is preferred for this method. Brush the hickey and the area around it using a stiff-bristled toothbrush or a comb. Brushing the affected area helps to stimulate blood circulation. Avoid pressing too hard while brushing because it might make the hickey much worse. Wait for about 15 minutes to see the results. The swelling and redness will spread, but it will become a lot less obvious after 15 minutes. Apply a cold compress to the area.
Repeat the procedure if necessary. Depending on the severity of your hickey, this method may work at the first attempt or just cause the discoloration to spread a little. If you are lucky, it will help you get rid of a hickey fast.
This is the most painful method used to remove hickeys, but it can produce great results if you choose to use it. To do it, stretch the skin around your hickey until it is flat. You can do this by pulling the skin away from the hickey on opposite ends. Once this is done, scrape the skin using the edge of a large coin. Your motion should be similar to that of applying butter to bread, that is, it should spread outward.
This method requires you to scrape the skin as hard as you can, but not so much as to break the skin or hurt yourself. This method pushes the clotted blood out of the surface skin.
After scraping, your skin may be a little tender and reddened, but the redness fades a lot faster than the hickey. The scrapes are also much less conspicuous than hickeys.
5. Hot Compress
How do you get rid of hickeys that are proving stubborn? Hot compressing is recommended for hickeys that are proving to be hard to deal with. To use this method, saturate a washcloth in hot water. Wring the cloth out properly and place it on the affected area for a few minutes. Reheat the cloth if necessary.
The heat from the cloth helps to dilate blood capillaries and make way for fresh new blood to circulate to the hickey and clear up the mess.
In place of a washcloth, you can use a reusable heat patch. They are easy to use, cheap and stay hot for longer. You can get one at your local pharmacy. Alternatively, use your hair dryer to heat the area while you massage it with your fingers.
6. Rubbing Alcohol
Rubbing alcohol works on the hickey if it has only been around for a few hours. It has cooling, soothing and disinfectant properties that help to get rid of a hickey quickly. It is seen as the fastest way to get rid of a hickey.
Apply rubbing alcohol to the hickey using a ball of cotton. Gently massage the area for several minutes to help minimize any discomfort. Once you are done, make sure that you apply a moisturizing lotion because rubbing alcohol can dehydrate the skin. Rubbing alcohol to a hickey should be done a few times a day for one or two days.
Peppermint has a stimulant effect that helps to improve blood circulation. It also aids the healing of capillary vessels. Apply a little peppermint oil gently on the affected area. You may feel a tingling sensation after application, but it will fade after some time.
You can use peppermint-based toothpaste as an alternative to peppermint oil. Rub a layer of toothpaste over the hickey gently and leave it there for several minutes. When the area stops tingling, use a warm washcloth to remove the toothpaste. The use of toothpaste produces the best results if it is done as soon after you got the hickey as possible.
Peppermint should not be used more than once daily because it can cause skin irritation. If you do not have access to peppermint oil, you can use almond oil or olive oil.
8. Aloe Vera
Aloe Vera is a natural moisturizer well known for its anti-inflammatory and soothing qualities. It lessens skin sensitivity in the affected area and speeds up the healing of the broken capillaries.
Rub aloe extract on the affected area and massage it two to three times a day. If you do not have access to the plant or do not want to apply the sticky substance on your skin, an Aloe Vera based cream or lotion should do the job for you.
Oranges are a good source of Vitamin C, which is vital for the healing of bruises. The vitamin also has bleaching properties that can help clear hickeys as soon as possible.
Drink fresh orange juice as soon as you notice a hickey. It assists in the healing process. You can also prepare and apply an orange pack directly onto the affected area. If timed well, the use of oranges can help you remove a hickey quickly.
10. Banana Peelings
Want to know how to remove a hickey in the comfort of your home? Banana peels are the answer for you. Banana peels have soothing and cooling properties that will help minimize your hickey fast.
Cut a fresh piece of banana peel from a ripe banana. The peel you cut should be roughly the same size as your hickey. Place the inside of the banana peel on the hickey and leave it there for 10 to 30 minutes. If you do these either two or three times a day, the size of your hickey should reduce significantly.
11. Cocoa Butter
Cocoa butter is an effective healing agent for hickeys and other bruises. It promotes the growth of skin tissue and is an excellent moisturizer. If you choose to use cocoa butter to remove your hickey, you should apply it after a warm compress to increase its effectiveness. Remember to massage the area for a while after application of cocoa butter.
12. Vitamin K
Vitamin K prevents the clotting of blood and can be used to treat hickeys. Its anticoagulant qualities help your body to reabsorb pooled blood. It also expedites the healing process of your hickey.
Apply a lotion or cream that is rich in Vitamin K to the hickey two to three times a day until it has vanished completely. You can also eat foods that are rich in the vitamin or buy vitamin supplement to facilitate the healing process.
13. Arnica Salve
Arnica salve is a medically proven healing ointment. It reduces soreness and swelling when applied to a hickey. It also aids the repair of broken blood capillaries in the skin. If you are wondering how to get rid of hickeys, Arnica salve can do it for you.