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“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.
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, noodles, or sleeves.
However, there are some methods you can use to speed up the process.
1. 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.
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 a meaning, which has an unknown origin, such as a small gadget, device, or any unspecific object.
Hickeys usually last 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 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.
Also, these marks are usually considered embarrassing, especially during social or public appearances. Moreover, the colour 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.
2. Heal Your Hickeys With 9 Genuine Tips
Coming back to how long hickeys last, the time taken for the skin discolouration to disappear is anywhere between a few days to two weeks. This time how long hickeys last can vary depending on the size and colour 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 happens under the skin can take time to clear up. However, some remedies can help heal the tiny blood vessels a little faster than usual.
2.1. 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 to get rid of a hickey quicker than usual. The overall time of how long hickeys last after this method can still be a few days.
2.2. 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 centre 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 speed up the healing.
2.3. 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 homoeopathic remedies and can be bought over the counter.
2.4. Topical Vitamin
Applying Vitamin C or Vitamin K topically on the love mark can help clear up the bruise faster.
2.5. Aloe Vera Gel
Aloe Vera Gel is a natural and safe remedy opted by many to heal skin ailments and can also treat hickeys.
2.6. 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.
2.7. Essential Oil or Carrier Oil
You can also use peppermint essential oil to stimulate blood flow 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.
2.8. 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.
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 can provide medical advice.
3. Hickey’s Healing Process
In short, how long 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 colour and go back to being the same skin tone after some time. The damaged blood cells will appear darker because of the haemoglobin, which is an iron-rich protein carrying oxygen and giving a red colour 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.
4. 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:
- The 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, a 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 which is a major artery in 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.
Several fake rumours 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 behaviour.
However, some people do enjoy hickeys whereas others could find them disrespectful, insulting, and even painful.
Most hickeys are harmless, nevertheless, rumours 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.
5. How Can I Avoid a Hickey?
For some people, hickeys are the most disliked thing they want after sexual intimacy with their partner. Who wants all that unwanted attention and judgment?
We read about various tips on how to hide a hickey, but better safe than sorry. Let us now know how we can avoid hickeys and some immediate tips if by chance we get it anyway!
- Good Communication is always the key. Communicate with your partner, that you do not want a hickey on the visible skin, rather they might shift to the hidden skin of your body.
- Suggest your partner not to suck on one area, this will give you a hickey.
- Talk to your partner and ask them to be gentle.
- Do not take aspirins or painkillers, this will make your hickey even more prominent.
- Go by the message of ‘spread the love’ by which your partner will love all the body parts equally, this will save you from getting hickeys.
- Minimize the pressure in one spot. Giving a hickey also requires effort so talking it out will save you both.
- If you get a hickey then apply ice immediately. Or you can press the hickey with the cold back of the spoon to reduce the bruise.
6. Cover Your Hickey With Makeup! (Step-By-Step Guide)
If nothing helps, quick makeup will surely fix your hickey. We are providing a step-by-step guide.
Hope you do it precisely to get the desired hide from the hickey:
6.1. Step 1: Use a Non-greasy or Creamy Primer
Select a primer that is not too creamy or greasy. Primer will help you to create a canvas to apply a lot more makeup to hide your hickey.
Primer will eliminate the greasiness and shine and thus give you a subtle platform to layer it out with other products like foundation and concealer.
6.2. Step 2: Colour Correct your Hickey
Now here you need to check the colour of your hickey to match it with the correct colour corrector. Hickeys have different colours depending on the time. A hickey can be purple-red at first, then black-blue in the middle, and before healing it might turn to yellow-green.
You are required to customize the colour corrector according to the colour of your hickey.
A guide to it is:
- A purple-red hickey – Green colour corrector
- A black-blue hickey – Red or orange colour corrector
- A green-yellow hickey – Purple undertone colour corrector.
6.3. Step 3: Even out with Foundation and Concealer
In this step, use foundation and concealer according to your skin tone to even out the makeup.
In the first two processes, you have evened out the skin and corrected the bruise mark, now you have to blend the hickey with your makeup.
For this take your foundation and concealer, and check if your products are opaque and dry. Shear and creamy products are unwanted. Add the foundation on your beauty blender and dab the area of your hickey.
In this step, you not only blend the area of the hickey but also the surrounding area near it, so that it matches and leaves no trace of it. For example, if your hickey is on your neck, you will want to give good coverage to your jawline so that it looks even and cannot be differentiated.
Use a round blender to dab it around, Do not brush or rub it as the makeup might go away exposing the hickey (which we least want now). First, cover it up with a foundation and then use a concealer to conceal that area. Make sure your makeup is not a cakey one, use fewer products and gradually increase the quantity of it if required.
6.4. Step 4: Set It With Powder
If it is humid outside, you are required to set it with setting powder. Even if it is not humid, it is better to set the hidden hickey makeup with setting powder, this will keep the makeup in place.
6.5. Step 5: Check Yourself in the Mirror, if Required Add More Layers:
Check yourself carefully in the mirror. If your hickey is still visible then layer it out with concealer, and foundation and set it again with the setting powder.
A single layer might not be enough, so go for another round but be careful not to make it cakey, so apply in a small amount and blend it out properly.
Some Quick Tips:
- If you have a fairer complexion, then avoid bronzer. Bronzer will only darken the area.
- Do not use an illuminator or highlighter, as they will illuminate and highlight the hickey spot. They will catch attention which we definitely do not want.
- Blend, blend and blend. Blending with a round blender is the trick here. Layers of makeup will only create a mess and make it cakey, but patient blending will definitely help in concealing the hickey like a pro!
7. 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.
So the real answer to the question of ‘how long do hickeys last?’ This depends on how fast you act to heal the blood capillaries under your skin.
Q1. Where Must We Avoid Giving Hickeys at Any Cost?
Ans. To be on the safer side, avoid giving hickeys close to the carotid artery. This is the place on the top of the neck and the side to the chin.
Q2. Is There Any Danger in Giving a Hickey?
Ans. No there is no such danger in giving hickeys except that you will have a blood clot for a few days on that spot of the hickey.
Q3. Do Hickeys Last Longer Than Bruises?
Like any other type of bruise, it takes time to heal. However, there is good news. Most bruises occur between three days to two weeks, and a hiccup, which is a superficial bruise, does not take long to heal like other types.