Hickeys are bruises that appear as a result of sucking or biting the skin. It is not possible to get rid of a hickey in seconds or minutes because the bleeding underneath the skin takes its own sweet time to clear up. A hickey may take up to two weeks to heal.
Some remedies, however, can help them clear up a little faster, such as:
- Cold packs or compresses: Applying cold or ice compresses over the skin may help clear the hickey through various mechanisms such as controlling bleeding under the skin and reducing inflammation. It may also make the skin less painful and sensitive. You may use some ice cubes wrapped in a clean cloth to apply over the bruise. A metallic object such as a small spoon or metal bowl kept in the freezer for some time can also be used as a cold compress. A cold compress must be applied as soon as possible or within the first 12 hours of getting the hickey for best results.
- Hot packs and massage: When 48 hours have passed since you got a hickey, hot compresses can be applied to speed up healing. You can use a clean cloth soaked in warm water or a hot water bottle on the hickey. A heating pad or warm towel can also be used to massage the bruise. This has to be done in such a way that you gently massage from the center of the bruise outward so that the clotted blood moves away from the injured skin. Repeat this process several times a day.
- Arnica gels or creams: Applying arnica gel or cream to the skin may help clear up the hickey faster. Arnica is an herb that has healing properties. It is used in homeopathic remedies and is available over-the-counter.
- Topical vitamins: Applying vitamin K or C topically to the skin may help clear up the bruise faster.
- Aloe vera gel: This is a safe and natural remedy that may help a hickey heal faster.
- Banana peel massage: Rubbing the hickey with the inside of a banana peel for 15 to 20 minutes may help get rid of it faster. Banana peels are supposed to have healing properties.
- Rest: Do not irritate or disturb the affected area to try to get rid of your hickey. This may make the wound worse. If the hickey doesn’t get better in a few days, you get more bruises on the body or if there is severe pain or swelling, you must consult with a doctor.
What is a hickey?
A hickey is a small red, blue or purple mark on the skin caused when someone sucks or bites on your skin as done during passionate kissing. It is essentially a bruise that occurs due to bleeding under the skin surface because of a minor injury to the superficial blood vessels (blood capillaries).
Because these bruises appear during acts of lovemaking, they are also called love bites or kiss bites.
They are not a serious condition, nor do they lead to any serious side effects. However, hickeys can make the skin pretty tender. They may also be a cause of embarrassment, especially during public or social appearances.
The size and color of the hickey may vary. Although they can appear anywhere on the body, they are most commonly seen on the neck.
How long do hickeys last?
Hickeys may generally disappear in a few days or up to two weeks. The time it takes for one to disappear may depend upon the size of the bruise. A larger hickey may take longer to disappear than a smaller one.
Are hickeys bad for you?
Hickeys are dark red or purple bruises on the skin caused by light biting or suction by a lover. The suction can result in the blood vessels under the skin to break. A normal hickey is not dangerous and may fade within two weeks
However, if you observe the following problems, consult a doctor:
- Hickeys that do not fade away after two weeks
- The bruise stings
- The sudden appearance of other bruises on the body at places far from the hickey
- There is a lump over the bruise
- Sudden paralysis of the face or weakening of face muscles
These could be a sign of something serious, such as blood disease or clotting disorder. There might be rare instances where hickeys have led to stroke, which might be due to putting undue pressure on the carotid artery that runs down on either side of the neck. Carotid arteries supply blood to the brain, neck, and face. Trauma on the carotid artery may cause a blood clot or disperse the already formed clot.
To be on the safe side, do not give hickeys near the jawbones angle on either side.
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