How to Get Rid of Hickeys

Tips for Removing and Hiding Hickeys

Even if you are one of those people who believe that no self-respecting person would ever let anyone give them a hickey, you do need to know how to get rid of them, or at least reduce their appearance. Every once in a while, your close “acquaintance” may become a little over zealous and leave an ugly red mark on your neck. You may not even realize that wearing a turtle neck is only one of many available options for dealing with hickeys. You can actually make them fade very quickly by taking a few basic steps.

Anatomy of a Hickey

Just in case you were wondering, a hickey is merely a collection of broken blood vessels, caused by suction against the skin. After a day or two, the area turns bluish or purple and looks like a bruise. It then takes about a week to fade away on its own. So when your lover kisses you just a little too passionately on the neck, the suction breaks blood vessels, pulling small droplets of blood toward the surface of your skin, leaving a red mark.

First Aid

A hickey is basically a “love” injury. Just as with any injury, the first thing to do is apply ice. This will reduce inflammation, shrink capillaries and keep more blood from rushing to the area. Do not put ice directly on your skin, but wrap a few cubes in a towel first and apply the compress to the hickey. After a few minutes, you can take the rounded side of a cold spoon and apply pressure to the hickey, forcing the blood back underneath the surface of the skin. Use a twisting motion and apply pressure at the same time. This may hurt a little bit, but not as much as the red face you will get when people see your hickey. Repeat the steps several times until the hickey is gone or at least much less visible.

Some swear that the hickey will be gone in five minutes this way, but personal experience (don’t ask!) says there will still be some redness in the hickey location. Still, a little redness is much less obvious or embarrassing that an actual hickey. You can always make up some reason for a raw spot on your neck, can’t you? Maybe the edge of the seat belt was rubbing against your neck and you need someone to show you how to adjust it? This serves as an excellent distraction from the question as well.

The Next Best Thing

If it was a late night, you over indulged and are just discovering your hickey this morning, it may be too late for ice. When a day or two has gone by after the little “love bite”, you can apply a warm compress to increase blood circulation, helping the purplish spot to dissipate. Massage the area gently with your fingers, applying steady pressure. Avoid pinching because it can make the hickey worse.

Some also recommend stretching the skin tight on either side of the hickey and rubbing hard with the edge of a coin to force the blood back under the skin. This will definitely be painful, but may save you some embarrassment. The method is said to be highly effective.

Another commonly recommended treatment for hickeys is to take a smooth round object, like a lip balm or lip stick. Roll the tube over the hickey, like you are rolling out dough. Apply firm, even pressure. This is said to be less painful than the coin method and just as effective. Some people will also use a tooth brush or comb for this purpose, rubbing in a circular motion.

Home Remedies?

There are a multitude of home remedies that deal with minimizing or eliminating hickeys. These methods are less tried and true than the methods noted above. However, some people like to try some different home remedies for whatever ails them.

Hickey home remedies include the application of vitamin K, aloe and a warm tea compresses. According to those who say they know, vitamin K actually breaks down the blood so that your body can more easily absorb it. This seems a little fishy, but you never know. It might work for you. Aloe makes sense because it is known to heal common skin ailments such as dry skin and sunburn. It is good for your skin either way, so you may want to try it. The warm tea bags probably work in the same way as any other warm compress. None of these things will hurt and they may actually help.

Still more “home remedies” include rubbing alcohol and witch hazel. It is said that the frequent application of these liquids are effective for preventing bruises of all kinds, including hickeys. Rubbing alcohol is known to dry your skin, though, so follow up with some aloe lotion. You can also try an arnica salve that is said to reduce swelling and minimize the appearance of the hickey.

You can also try eye drops as a logical remedy for hickeys. Eye drops shrink capillaries away from the surface of the eye and they are said do the same thing for your skin. However, they probably will not do much to help the blood that has already escaped the capillaries. It is worth a try if you already have this product at home.

Last Resort

Even with these remedies, you may still have a mark showing. Women have the advantage in having makeup at their disposal. As with covering any red marks on your face, you can use a concealer with a greenish tint to counteract the red in the hickey. If the mark is at the purple stage, use a yellow-based concealer. Apply a little foundation or powder that matches your skin tone over the concealer and you are good to go.

Men rarely feel comfortable wearing makeup, so they may want to try a collared shirt instead and hope for the best. You could always go 80’s heartthrob on the girls and wear a bandana. Tell people it’s a fashion statement!

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