Below are some of the popular hacks and tips on how to get rid of a hickey and fasten the healing process.
Hickeys or love bites are formed by kissing, sucking, or biting someone’s skin hard enough to cause capillaries (tiny blood vessels) underneath the skin to burst, leaking blood under the skin which clots resulting in a bruise.
It is pink, red, or purple colored at first and then changes color as it heals. The skin is inflamed and feels tender. Hickeys take anything from 1-2 weeks to heal and fade away, depending on their severity. The most common site for a hickey is the neck, but it can form wherever the skin is thin or extra sensitive.
“There is no instant remedy for a hickey to disappear. Hickeys are bruises, which means that they will not go away instantly!” – a New York-based dermatologist. Hickeys in visible places on the body are an embarrassment in work spots and in public. Some supposedly quick fixes have become very popular. Let us see how effective they are.
How to Get Rid of a Hickey – Common Hacks
1. Cold spoon hack
Place a metal spoon in the freezer for 10 minutes and then place the convex side down on the hickey. Repeat the process until the hickey disappears. This slows down the blood flow from the ruptured vessels and reduces the size of the hickey.
According to dermatologists, this is just effective in bringing down the inflammation in the bruised skin. It may soothe the area but will not help vanish the hickey overnight.
2. Using toothpaste
Rubbing toothpaste on the hickey is said to increase circulation and hasten the healing of the bruised skin. But, this is not a good idea as both the rubbing and the ingredients in the toothpaste can irritate the damaged skin and make the hickey worse.
3. Banana Peel Rub
Rubbing the inside part of a banana peel on a hickey is supposed to make it go away. The peel indeed has anti-inflammatory properties and helps soothe the skin but will not have an instant erasing effect on the hickey. Pineapple and papaya also have similar effects on the skin. You can apply a thin slice of the fruit on the tender skin. However, stop if your skin feels irritated.
4. Toothbrush hack
Massaging the bristles of a toothbrush on the hickey is supposed to increase blood flow and better the healing process. However, this hack does not work, and you could end up irritating the skin further.
5. Using Aloe Vera
You can apply fresh aloe vera gel on the bruised skin as it’s anti-inflammatory and soothing properties help reduce swelling and pain. But if you have sensitive skin, then it is best to avoid this method.
6. Cocoa butter
Applying cocoa butter on the bruise once or twice a day can help in fading it away. But too much vigorous rubbing can worsen the condition.
7. Vitamin C cream
It helps in the production of collagen in the skin, making it supple and elastic. Applying this cream can help heal the damaged skin faster.
8. Peppermint oil
The presence of menthol in peppermint oil increases blood circulation when applied on the skin, thus promoting healing. But it potentially irritates the skin in its pure form and thus its best to dilute it with milder oils like almond or jojoba oil.
Use 1 or 2 drops of peppermint oil in 20 drops of the carrier oil. Vicks vapor rub, which contains menthol, also has the same effect.
9. The coin trick
Use your fingers to pull the skin around the hickey so that it becomes taut. Scrape the skin with a coin from the center to the periphery. This is supposed to break up the blood pooled under the skin and spread it.
Note: This hack gets strict disapproval from dermatologists as the metal scrape might only harm the already tender area.
10. Vitamin K cream
Vitamin K aids the clotting of blood. It helps speed up the bruise’s healing, but it also does not give instant relief.
11. Aspirin paste
When you apply this on the hickey, it stimulates blood flow and helps the skin to heal. You can take aspirin tablets orally as well, to help deal with the pain.
12. Using a chapstick to get rid of a hickey
You can use a chapstick or a lip balm to moisturize dry, chapped lips. The method is to rub ice cubes on the bruise till the skin becomes numb. Then, use the chapstick to apply moderate pressure and massage the skin in a circular pattern for a few seconds. This works because the ice causes the broken capillaries to contract, and the massage increases the blood circulation hastening the healing process. Do this two times a day for better results.
What surely works?
Once a hickey forms, it takes time for your body to heal the broken blood vessels, break it down, and absorb the pooled blood. The bruise will lighten and fade away gradually. Rubbing and massaging the skin with too much pressure will only cause further damage.
- Using makeup to hide the bruise is a viable option.
- Cover hickeys on the neck with high collars or scarves while going out in public.
The fact is that there are no Magic tricks to make a hickey disappear, but there are ways to speed up their healing time.
- A cold compress applied immediately after the hickey forms also work well to stop the blood flow and reduce swelling. After 48 hours, warm compresses help to increase blood circulation and healing.
- Ointments or gels containing arnica help heal bruised skin.
- Creams containing Vitamin C or Vitamin K are effective.
- Pineapples contain an enzyme called bromelain, which aids bruise healing. Eating pineapple and applying slices on the bruise is one trick that works with hickeys.
The bottom line is that it is advisable to let the hickey heal naturally with a minimum of intervention.