A hickey has caught the fancy of the young generation. Many enjoy giving hickies, and quite a few enjoy receiving it.
But do we know what it is in reality? Also, why does the hickey hurt? How can we cure it? Can it get complicated?
Know all about hickey, if you have already got one, and even if you have not got yet.
What Is A Hickey?
Hickies used to happen accidentally and unintentionally in past days. However, it has turned into a fad in modern times. It seems there must be hardly any youngster who is not aware of it.
Apart from the apparent angle of intimacy, let us explore other aspects of a hickey. Mainly, it is a ‘bruise’ left behind on skin because of some intense kiss or sucking on the skin surface. Over passionate kissing is seen as the main reason for this. Besides, considered to be a very ‘youngish’ thing to do in intimate moments. Popularly that is known as a love bite or kiss mark. It is generally found and given on the neck or in the arms.
Medically speaking, the intense kissing or sucking of the skin damages the delicate blood vessel (capillaries) just below the surface of the skin. As a result, blood oozes out of the blood vessels to form the ‘petechiae’.
Initially, the bruise is a bright red patch. Gradually, it turns violet and then browns in due course of time.
Anemic people (low iron content in the blood) are more susceptible to the formation of a prominent hickey.
How To Get Rid Of A Hickey Fast?
Hickey appears because of being swept off the feet by high emotion and overzealous expression of love. People may enjoy it at the moment. But within a few hours, they start thinking about ways to get rid of it.
There is no technique that can make the love bite disappear overnight. Even using the laser technique (which would be quite expensive), takes two days for it to go completely.
However, the following remedial measures can ensure a quicker recovery as HealthLine mentioned:
1. Cold Compress
Apply cold compress like an ice pack on the mark. Moreover, it can be done as many times as possible in the first two days. It stops the blood from flowing out of the capillaries into the bruised spot.
However, at times there could be unavailability of an ice pack. Then, one can put a metallic spoon in the freezer for half an hour and apply it in the bruise. Keep the spoon on the mark for about ten minutes at one go.
Ensure that the bruised spot does not chill down and create frostbites. However, a cold compress will also reduce the swelling and spread of the bruise.
2. Aloe Vera Pulp
Fresh aloe vera pulp has excellent anti-inflammatory properties. Also, it helps manage the swelling and hastens the healing of the bruise.
If available, extract the pulp from the center of the aloe vera leaf. Then, apply it on the hickey at least twice a day. However, people who are allergic to aloe vera should not use it. Before applying aloe vera, be sure it suits you. Else, the hickey may aggravate and lead to other complexities.
3. Peppermint Oil
Peppermint stimulates and enhances blood flow. The bruise heals faster because of hastened blood flow.
The peppermint oil is quite useful to use directly. Mix about two drops of peppermint oil with 15 drops of almond oil, to make the medicine oil. Apply very lightly on the scar and leave it. Do not rub the oil vigorously on the mark. It will spoil and also aggravate it. In case the peppermint oil is not handy, you can apply peppermint-flavored toothpaste on the hickey. Do not rub the toothpaste just apply very gently.
One can apply this oil 2-3 times a day.
4. Cocoa Butter
Apply the cocoa butter very lightly on the hickey about two times in a day. Do not rub it vigorously on the bruise.
It improves the elasticity of the skin. Additionally, it reduces stretch marks and smooths the scar. The curing of the scar is indirectly enhanced if the elasticity improves. Rough and dry skin leave bad scars.
Pineapple naturally contains protein-digesting enzyme ‘bromelain’. This enzyme has anti-inflammatory properties. Furthermore, it reduces pain and ‘soreness’ of the scar.
Simply cut a small slice of ripe pineapple and keep it on the bruise 4–5 times in a day. Delicate skin may show signs of irritation, as pineapple is acidic. Discontinue the use of pineapple slice, if the skin is not able to tolerate.
6. Vitamin K Cream
Vitamin K assists blood clotting. If one has vitamin K cream, apply it directly on the bruise a couple of times.
Vitamin K can also increase by eating vitamin K rich food. Generally, food like leafy greens, soybeans, poultry, pork, brown rice, kale, spinach, and broccoli is good.
7. Banana Peel
Many consider banana peel to be a wonder drug. Since, it has a vast store of vitamins, nutrients and most importantly, the antioxidants. Besides, it leaves a remarkably soothing and calming effect on the skin. Apply the fruit side of the peel on the bruise and keep there for about 30 minutes, ’til the color turns brown.
8. Vitamin C
Apart from boosting immunity, vitamin C helps in producing collagen (protein). It keeps the skin healthy, elastic and young. The application of vitamin C creams will undoubtedly heal the bruise quicker.
All remedies and suggestions mentioned above will help improve the bruise faster. But, realistically speaking it will still take 5-7 days before any substantial improvement.
How Long Does A Hickey Last Without Treatment?
In general, it will depend a great deal on the skin quality of the person and also on the intensity of the bruise.
A susceptible skin, coupled with a very intense hickey, will take the longest time to heal. Besides, one can track the natural healing process of the hickey as follows:
- The day love bite happens, it is bright red because of the capillary damage and blood clots. The skin is also raw and sensitive.
- In about 2/3 days times, the color of the hickey will turn brown from red. So the color change indicates that the natural healing process has started.
- In about 5-7 days, the hickey patch may start fading. The color begins moving towards the skin type.
- Though it depends on the damage to the skin and its sensitivity, the complete cure may take anything from 10 to 15 days.
One may decide to leave the hickey as it is, untreated to heal naturally. But that may not be the right choice. Untreated hickey may complicate, develop infection and take a much longer time. Therefore, curative measures are a must. At least to ensure it does not aggravate.
Can Hickies Be Dangerous?
According to WebMD, there was a known case in the year 2011, where a young woman died as a consequence of hickey. It so happened that her boyfriend gave her a hickey. That somehow messed up with the carotid artery on the neck. Consequently, it led to a severe blood clot, and finally, a fatal stroke killed her. Such occurrences are infrequent. Nonetheless, they happen.
Also, the oral transmission of herpes is very much possible by way of a hickey. If herpes infected person penetrates the skin of anyone, however lightly, with his mouth, the infection travels through saliva to the receiver.
People indulge in the activity of hickey are so young that many of them are not aware of the underlying dangers involved.
But unfortunately, many youngsters unwittingly believe in flaunting their hickey as prized awards. Medically it is a scar and should be treated like a scar.
Can Hickies Scar?
There is no one clear verdict either in favor or against the hickey scar. On the contrary, different people have different opinions on that.
Some are very sure of leaving it alone; it will heal itself and eventually will fade. At the same time, others strongly feel that natural healing may be possible, but some kind of mark will be left behind. At least some discoloration of the skin will appear.
The most logical outcome of this issue is a middle path between the two extremes of scar or no scar.
If the skin is sensitive and the damage is intensive, it might leave a scar. Otherwise, the mark may not appear.
The other factor is how well has the mark healed. If the healing is complete, and the skin is not overly stretched or dried, It has its natural elasticity, and collagen level are high, it may not leave a scar.
But it could be that bruise has not healed well. It itches or irritates even after 15-20 days. Also, the skin is dry and chaffed. Then we have the danger of injury looming high in the air.
It is tough to anticipate any outcome on the appearance of the scar. It might vary by case to case. But, it is always advisable to be cautious and try to do everything to avoid discoloration.
Prevention And Cure Of Scars
Generally, if the hickey is a prominent one, it has a possibility of scarring. And, if one is concerned and wants to prevent hickey scars, some simple steps need to be followed. Remember, a hickey is ultimately a scar, though a minor one at that.
- Keep the hickey area clean. Also, wash with soap and water and do not allow any infections to take place.
- Do not enable the hickey to go bone dry. Note, that dry healing results in a scar. Apply some cream on it to keep it moist.
- Protect the skin from direct sunlight. Since UV rays tend to darken the scar.
And in case the scar seems to form then one can try the following:
- Application of vitamin E creams especially manufactured to prevent scars.
- Cocoa buttercream. It is also known to reduce scars.
- Commercial products like Vaseline and Aquaphor with their unique curative formulations claim to manage scars.
- For superficial scars, a micro derma abrasion is also an option. Light abrasions on the surface of the skin ensure color to match with the surrounding. Although it is a very specialized procedure performed by a dermatologist.
- Laser resurfacing is one more high technology option to manage scars. Laser beams work upon the topmost layer of the skin. Furthermore, it matches them with the tone and texture of the surrounding skin.
The micro derma abrasion and laser resurfacing are costly procedures. Hence, advisable to avail only if necessary.
In most of the cases, there may not be any requirement of the above methods or treatment. But, just in case, if one needs to know the options available, some mentioned here.
Why Do People Give Hickies According To HickeySolution
Hickies are given and taken in high moments of emotions and hormonal rush. Probably, without any specific thoughts going in the mind.
However, experts in human psychology have over the years listed down some possible reasons, as to why people want to give hickies.
- Teenagers and very young people find it exciting and stylish to do it. It has become a fad culture among the state age group.
- The presence of hickey on the neck or elsewhere proclaims to others that one is ‘taken’ and that someone exists who is intimate to that person. Probably, this flaunting gives satisfaction to some people.
- Many people transfer hickies to their partners as a mark and token of love and affection.
- Some boys/girls leave hickies on their partner’s body to keep others off their partners. It is a kind of branding that she/he is mine. So, noticing the hickey, the other knows, she/he is taken and is to be left alone. This tendency has an element of insecurity in it, according to the psychologists.
- Many boys are sexually attracted to the neck of the girl and in the process, leave a hickey there.
- In quite a few cases, both the partners find it pleasurable.
In most of the cases, the hickey may pass off as a pleasurable experience for the partners. But, in some cases, it could turn nasty. Primarily, we have seen it as a scar.
With whatever intent, one gives or takes a hickey; one must carefully monitor it. Moreover, we have ample information available about how to manage it. Also what remedies can one adopt to try and stay clear of any complications.