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Are Hickeys Bad for You?

Reviewed on 12/2/2020
A normal hickey is not dangerous and may fade within two weeks
A normal hickey is not dangerous and may fade within two weeks

Hickeys are dark red or purple bruises on the skin caused by light biting or suction by a lover. The suction can result in the blood vessels under the skin to break. A normal hickey is not dangerous and may fade within two weeks. However, if you observe the following problems, consult a doctor:

  • Hickeys that do not fade away after two weeks
  • The bruise stings
  • The sudden appearance of other bruises on the body at places far from the hickey
  • There is a lump over the bruise
  • Sudden paralysis of the face or weakening of face muscles

These could be a sign of something serious, such as blood disease or clotting disorder. There might be rare instances where hickeys have led to stroke, which might be due to putting undue pressure on the carotid artery that runs down on either side of the neck. Carotid arteries supply blood to the brain, neck, and face. Trauma on the carotid artery may cause a blood clot or disperse the already formed clot. To be on the safe side, do not give hickeys near the jawbones angle on either side.

What is a hickey?

Hickeys are dark red or purple bruises on the skin caused by light biting or suction, resulting in the blood vessels under the skin to break. A normal hickey is not dangerous and may fade within two weeks.

Hickey's size and color change over the healing process, which you can expect as follows:

  • During the first stage, the hickey will appear as a reddish mark under the skin.
  • With a day or two, the hickey appears darker because the hemoglobin in the blood changes color.
  • By the fourth or fifth day, the hickey starts to fade and may appear blotchy.
  • Finally, after two weeks, the hickey may fade to a light yellowish color depending on the amount of damage.

How to get rid of a hickey?

You can get rid of hickeys by trying out the following methods:

  • Applying a cold compress on the mark for one to two days to reduce swelling and bleeding
  • Taking painkillers for hickeys that are painful and stinging
  • Applying a warm compress after two days to the hickeys to increase the blood flow
  • Massaging the hickey area to stimulate blood flow and reduce pain
  • Applying aloe vera paste to soothe swelling and pain
  • Applying cocoa butter once or twice a day on that area to speed up the healing process
  • Eating more citrus-based fruits and applying vitamin C–enriched cream to the affected area daily
  • Including more of vitamin K–rich foods and applying vitamin K cream on the hickey area may help fade the marks and hasten the healing process

You can also conceal the hickey by

  • Applying makeup over the area.
  • Wearing a turtleneck or scarf around the neck.
  • Wearing a collared shirt.
  • Covering the hickey with a bandage.

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References
https://www.webmd.com/skin-problems-and-treatments/hickey-what-you-need-to-know#1

https://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/868794#:~:text=In%20theory%2C%20it%20is%20possible,the%20brain%2C%20causing%20a%20stroke.

https://lpi.oregonstate.edu/mic/health-disease/skin-health/vitamin-C

https://www.mdpi.com/2072-6643/6/8/3202

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/12140470/

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