Curling iron burns, friction burns from a tight seatbelt, and insect bites are perfectly good yet perfectly false excuses for a hickey. But, no matter which one you use, you can be sure people will know how you got your bruise.
While there’s no real reason you should be mortified about a hickey unless you’re a teenager living with your parents, today we’ll talk about different ways to make a hickey disappear faster.
Things You Should Know on How to Get Rid of Hickeys
You’re definitely not alone in wanting to get rid of a hickey or hide it with clothes/makeup as soon as possible. However, before resorting to home remedies, you should know a couple of things about these controversial bruises.
What is a hickey?
A hickey, also popularly known as a love bite, is basically a bruise that appears after superficial blood vessels burst under pressure. It most commonly occurs on the neck, shoulders, or arms.
Despite what the euphemism suggests, biting rarely has anything to do with love bites. Instead, a burst of the vessels happens due to the pressure caused by sucking or kissing (even licking), which is why people with sensitive skin are more likely to get one.
There are two types of hickeys: irritated, red skin patch (medical term — erythema) and a purple-bluish mark caused by blood from broken vessels (medical term — hematoma). Whereas both signify a bruise, erythemas will go away typically in a matter of hours, and hematomas will stick around for a while.
Are hickeys bad?
Hickeys aren’t bad for you in any way. Medically, they’re simply bruises and should be treated in the same way as any other bruise that appears on your body.
However, hickeys can be a source of discomfort, shame, or social anxiety for many people, especially those in more conservative societies. It marks one as a sexual being, and not everyone is comfortable with that.
The only bad thing about a hickey is that having one makes people think about the fact you had sex, which also makes you know that they know. While this isn’t something you should necessarily care about, it’s reasonable that you don’t want to show it off to your parents, professors, or boss.
Hickey stages — How to know when it’ll disappear?
There’s no certain way to know how long you’ll have to wear your hickey on display, but there’s a universal way to know when it’ll go away. The only thing you need to track is the color changes taking place on your love bite:
- All hickeys start as lighter reddish-purple bruises that are not very visible;
- The next stage is marked by your hickey becoming darker in color and very prominent on your skin;
- The first sign of healing you’ll notice are blotches around the edges, and after that, the hickey will start getting yellow until it fades away completely.
Is getting rid of a hickey easy?
Getting rid of a hickey can be fairly easy or a big challenge, depending on how large it is and how many blood vessels burst. While many recommend leaving hickeys to heal by themselves, it can take up to two weeks, and not everyone is comfortable with that.
Getting rid of a hickey can be considered relatively easy, considering that most of the things you need to facilitate recovery are items lying around your home. However, you need to keep in mind that different skin types and the size/intensity of a hickey also count.
People with sensitive skin may be more prone to getting a hickey and have a more challenging time healing them, in the same way as a barely visible hickey won’t be as much of a problem as a deep purple one. No matter what you decide to do, makeup remains the easiest way to cover it until it heals fully.
Tips for Getting Rid of a Hickey Fast
The first thing we need to establish is that unless your hickey’s a tiny one, there’s no way you’ll get rid of it overnight. Still, this is no reason to get desperate, as there are quite a few tips, tricks, and house remedies you can try and help your skin heal faster.
Getting rid of a hickey — what not to do
If you give in to panic and don’t do your research, you can end up further irritating the skin and worsening the hickey you’re trying to heal. Before you apply anything to your skin, you need to consider how your skin reacts to different things.
For example, massaging the place to facilitate blood flow is a popular tip. However, if your skin is sensitive and bruises easily, or you’re not very experienced, you’ll end up with an even bigger bruise than the one you started with.
Peppermint essential oil, and essential oils in general, are almost always on the list of recommended remedies. However, even though essential oils are good for relaxation and many other things, you shouldn’t apply them if you’re looking for the fastest way to get rid of a hickey.
Although essential oils can increase blood flow, they can also easily cause dermatitis on skin that’s already irritated. Getting a rash on top of a bruise doesn’t seem like the wisest way in any case scenario.
Getting rid of a hickey step by step
Now that you know what not to do, here’s a step by step guide on what should be done once you notice a love bite on your body:
Step 1: cold compress
You’ll want to do this as soon as you notice the hickey, even though it looks like just a mild irritation at the moment you notice it. The easiest way to do this is to put a spoon or a similar metal item in a fridge and place it on the spot for around ten minutes.
You can repeat this several times for a day or two. By cooling the place, you reduce the blood flow and thus reduce bruising because the broken capillaries don’t receive as much blood.
Step 2: stay hydrated
If you’re planning on getting rid of a hickey fast, get plenty of aloe vera, hydrating, and arnica creams. You’ve all heard of aloe vera and its anti-inflammatory properties — a thin layer will be enough to prevent swellings in the area of the hickey.
Keeping your skin hydrated and calm is of great importance in the initial process of healing the bruise. Hydrated skin will provide a good environment for the blood vessels to regenerate faster.
Step 3: buy fresh pineapple
While this may sound weird, eating fresh pineapple will help the bruising on your skin go away faster. Fresh pineapple contains bromelain, an enzyme that helps our body heal faster, and eating it fresh is the fastest way for your organism to absorb it.
When we’re discussing changes in your diet, you can also eat more food rich in vitamin K (found in kale, spinach, broccoli..). Vitamin K will help with blood clots, which is especially important when it comes to larger hickeys.
Bonus step: warm compress
You’ve read and applied every single thing there is on how to get rid of hickeys, but your hickey is still there? It’s time for a warm compress!
Get a clean towel, soak it in warm water, and hold it on the bruised area. This will help blood circulate faster, which means vessels will heal better. Remember, warm water will be good enough; there’s no need to boil water or make it hot, as it could potentially cause more irritation.
Having a hickey is definitely not the end of the world, nor a reason to feel ashamed in any way. However, since we’ve all been there, we hope this article will help you get rid of yours faster.
If not, you can always use makeup or dig out fashionable clothing items such as turtlenecks and scarves from the very depths of your closet!