How Long Do Hickeys Last With 9 Genuine Tips

How Long Do Hickeys Last?
Photo By Becca Tapert - Unsplash Copyright 2017

While at times contributed by guest authors, our content is medically reviewed periodically by professionals for accuracy and relevance. We pride ourselves on our high-quality content and strive towards offering expertise while being authoritative. Our reviewers include doctors, nurses, mental health professionals, and even medical students.


“How long do hickeys last?” is a common question asked by many people around the world. Usually these last for a few days or a couple of weeks and are not easy to get rid of overnight. But, there are some methods you can use to fasten the process.

What is a Hickey?

Hickey also named a Hickie or a love bite in British English, is a mild bruise or bruise-like mark that is caused by kissing or sucking skin. Sucking is usually enough to give a hickey by bursting small shallow blood vessels under the skin, but, biting could be part of giving a hickey.

Kiss Mark
Image By TumisuPixabay Copyright 2020

Additionally, the origin of this word is from its previous meaning of pimple or skin lesion in 1915. It could have been an extension or spelling variation from the word with meaning, which has an unknown origin, as a small gadget, device, any unspecific object.

How long do hickeys last – usually from five to twelve days and can be treated in the same way as any other bruises. Usually, to reduce the appearance of hickeys include icing to reduce swelling, rubbing them with a chilled spoon to remove the bruise, and applying a warm compress to previous hickeys to enlarge vessels and stimulate blood flow.

Hickeys can be covered with makeup powder or concealer according to the individual’s skin tone or a fake tan. Also, people can simply cover the mark with articles of clothing such as scarves, turtle necks, snoods, or sleeves. This is a simple method to adopt instead of questioning – how long do hickeys last?

Hickeys are small blue, red, or purple marks on the skin caused as a result of someone sucking or biting the skin. This is usually done during passionate kissing or intimate touching. Furthermore, a hickey is a light bruise that happens due to bleeding under the skin surface because of a slight injury to the blood capillaries or the shallow blood vessels.

As these bruises appear during or after the acts of lovemaking, they are nicknamed kiss bites or love bites. These are not serious skin conditions nor do they lead to any kind of serious side effects. But, a hickey can make the skin tender.

Photo By Norexy_artPixabay Copyright 2019

Also, these marks are usually considered embarrassing especially during social or public appearances. Moreover, the color and size of the hickeys vary and they can appear anywhere on the body. These are mostly seen on the necks or intimate parts of the human body.

Healing the Hickeys

Coming back to how long do hickeys last, the time taken for the skin discoloration to disappear is anywhere between a few days to two weeks. This time for how long do hickeys last can vary depending on the size and color of the bruise. Additionally, a larger hickey can take a longer time to disappear than a small one.

Getting rid of a hickey overnight is not possible because the bleeding that happened under the skin can take time to clear up. However, some remedies can help heal the tiny blood vessels a little faster than usual.

  • Cold packs or compresses: A common way to help clear the hickey is by applying cold or ice compresses over the affected skin. This method is used to heal various bruisings by controlling the bleeding under the skin and reducing inflammation. Also, it can make the skin less sensitive and less painful.

Furthermore, you can also use some ice cubes, wrap them in a clean cloth and apply them over the hickey. A small spoon, metal bowl, or any metallic object could be put in the freezer for some time and used as a cold compress instead of ice cubes.

Also, a cold compress must be applied as soon as possible or within twelve hours for getting rid of a hickey quicker than usual. The overall time of how long do hickeys last after this method can still be a few days.

  • Hot packs and Massage: After 48 hours, one of the few ways to speed up healing is to apply warm compresses over hickeys. Use a hot water bottle or a clean cloth soaked in warm water on the hickey area. Also, you can use a warm towel or a heating pad to massage the bruised area.

Besides, this treatment needs to be done in such a way that you gently massage from the center towards the outward area. So, this method moves the clotted blood away from the injured skin. This treatment must be done several times a day to fasten the healing.

Photo By HansPixabay Copyright 2011

  • Arnica gels or creams: Another method to clear up the hickey faster is to apply arnica gels or creams on the skin. Arnica, a herb with healing properties, is used in homeopathic remedies and can be bought over-the-counter.
  • Topical Vitamin: Applying Vitamin C or Vitamin K topically on the love mark can help clear up the bruise faster.
  • Aloe Vera Gel: This is a natural and safe remedy opted by many to heal skin ailments and can also treat hickeys.

Banana Peel
Image By Alexas_FotosPixabay Copyright 2018

  • Banana Peel Massage: The inside of the banana peel can be rubbed on the mark for fifteen to twenty minutes to get rid of the marks faster. This thin layer supposedly has healing properties like medical herbs.
  • Essential Oil or Carrier Oil: You can also use peppermint essential oil to stimulate blood flows and help reduce the size and severity of the hickey. The essential oil used for cooking must be used instead of the extract. Always use diluted one to two drops of essential oil along with twelve drops of carrier oil like olive oil or coconut oil.
  • 34750378 natural cocoa butter oil in a wooden bowl on a brown background
    by lucia_fox / unlimphotos

    Cocoa Butter: Cocoa butter is a fat derived from cocoa beans and is also a staple ingredient in many skincare regimes. Smooth scars, wrinkles, hickeys, stretch marks, and other skin marks with cocoa butter. Apply it once or twice per day to speed up the healing process.

  • Rest: The hickey heals faster if you do not disturb or irritate the area too much. It could make the bruising worse and if it does not get better in a few days, you would get more bruises on the body. Also, if there is swelling or severe pain, you must visit a doctor so that he could provide medical advice.

Hickey’s Healing Process

In short, how long do hickeys last depends on how much damage is done beneath the skin’s surface? Concurrently, while healing the trapped blood that is the dark mark on the skin breaks down and is reabsorbed by the body.

What starts as a reddish mark under the skin will change color and go back to being the same skin tone after some time. The damaged blood cells will appear darker because of the hemoglobin, which is an iron-rich protein carrying oxygen and giving red color to blood.

Later, the hickey will most likely start fading in some spots and appear blotchy. After that, depending on the damage the mark will fade to a light yellowish color or just plainly disappear.

Hickey is just like any other bruise and minor injury. It requires its own time to reach and there are a few ways you can use to move the process along. If these love marks hurt, you can take an over-the-counter pain reliever like acetaminophen.

Are Hickeys a Cause of Concern?

There are methods to avoid getting hickeys altogether like good communication with your partner, avoiding spending too much time sucking on one area, being gentle with one another, etc. Usually, these marks cannot cause any real problems, but the following may require a doctor who can advise diagnosis or treatment.

Some causes of concern are hickey did not fade after a couple of weeks, the bruise is very sore, noticing other bruises on your body (especially if you have no idea how you got them, lump over the marked area or any other reason). These symptoms could be related to a medical condition like a clotting disorder or a blood disease.

There were a few serious injuries that occurred after hickeys, but it is not likely to happen to everyone. However, to be safe, try not to receive or even give a hickey closer to the carotid artery that is a major artery on the neck.

You could end up with a lasting mark on not just your body but also your emotions with just a few moments of passion. However, they do not cause serious skin ailments or even cancer. In medical terms, a hickey may be called ecchymosis, erythema, hematoma, purpura, or petechiae.

People who take blood thinners or anticoagulants for medical reasons can experience a long period of hickey healing, and they are at risk of bruising easily. In their case of how long do hickeys last, it can take them longer than regular people.

Several fake rumors and false warnings about hickeys exist all around the world to deter people from taking part in the act of giving or receiving a hickey. But, these usually come from embarrassment or a desire to constrain this kind of behavior. However, some people do enjoy hickeys whereas others could find them disrespectful, insulting, and even painful.

Most hickeys are harmless, nevertheless, rumors of health problems regarding these love bites may come from real concerns. For example, bruising and dark spots on body areas, which are sometimes called erythema nodosum, can be one of the symptoms of many systemic diseases, including tuberculosis, bacterial infection, fungal infection, sarcoidosis, inflammatory bowel disease, thrombocytopenia, or cancer.

These conditions are known to share similar symptoms with hickeys, but, hickeys can only develop after a specific action. These would have to develop on their own and with some more symptoms to be a serious health concern.

So, How Long do Hickeys Last?

Overall, hickeys can be uncomfortable and embarrassing, but they are pretty harmless. Moreover, they do not cause cancer or any other serious skin/body conditions. As mentioned before, there have been cases of blood clot problems related to hickeys, but they are extremely rare.

In short, how long do hickeys last depends on how fast you act to heal the blood capillaries under your skin.

Good Luck!

While at times contributed by guest authors, our content is medically reviewed periodically by professionals for accuracy and relevance. We pride ourselves on our high-quality content and strive towards offering expertise while being authoritative. Our reviewers include doctors, nurses, mental health professionals, and even medical students. -----------------------------------

Any information found on the site does not constitute legal or medical advice. Should you face health issues, please visit your doctor to get yourself diagnosed. Icy Health offers expert opinions and advice for informational purposes only. This is not a substitute for professional medical advice.


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