A hickey, also known as love bite or passion mark can often become a source of embarrassment, especially when you have an important presentation, conference, etc. coming up.
In medical terminology, a hickey is called Ecchymosis. It is basically a bruise caused by suction.
It happens when the capillaries beneath the skin are damaged due to a passionate kiss or bite. The blood released by these ruptured capillaries into the surrounding tissues becomes visible under the skin.
Initially, the leaked blood remains red but it gradually turns darker in color due to lack of oxygen. Thus, hickies tend become purple or brown over a period of time.
However, they do not leave scars after healing. Hickey marks mostly appear on the neck or around the shoulders. If the bruise is severe, it may be accompanied by swelling as well.
How to Get Rid of a Hickey
The resultant bruise usually fades on its own within a week or two, depending on the severity of the bruise. If you want to get rid of it sooner, you can apply the following 6 remedies.
- Warm Compress
- Finger Massage
- Toothbrush or Comb Trick
- Aloe Vera
- Witch Hazel
- Mint Toothpaste
- Over-the-Counter Treatments
- Wrap a few ice cubes in a wash cloth or paper towel and apply it on your hickey for 15-20 minutes at a time, two to three times in a day. You can also press it firmly. This trick facilitates the process of healing and helps reduce swelling. If you do not have ice, you can use a bag of frozen peas. Besides, you may place a stainless steel spoon in the freezer for about 20 minutes and then place the back of the spoon on the affected area. This cold treatment works best when applied within the first 12 hours of getting a hickey.
- Place a hot water bottle or a warm compress on the affected area for about 10-20 minutes. It is suggested to use heat treatment on a hickey that has stuck around for a couple of days or more, that is, when the ruptured capillary had healed. It helps disperse the blood collected under the skin.
- Rub the affected area with your fingers in a circular motion, from the center of the hickey to its outer edges. Preferably, do this finger massage after using a warm compress. You can repeat the massage again after two to three hours.
- Brush the affected area lightly with the bristles of a soft toothbrush or comb to break the hickey and stimulate circulation to promote healing. Keep in mind that you need to swipe from the inside out. After about 15 minutes, place a cold compress.
- Aloe vera is useful in the natural treatment of a hickey because it contains vitamin K. Moreover, it soothes the skin and provides relief from pain. Thus, you can apply pure aloe vera gel on the skin.