Hickeys are either a badge of honor or a source of embarrassment – depending on how you look at it. But however you find them, we can all agree that it’s something we’d rather be without!
So let’s talk about how to get rid of the notorious love bite in the fastest and most natural way possible!
Keep in mind that hickeys are nothing more than bruises, albeit received in a more loving way! So remedies used to treat them can generally be used to treat hickeys.
How Long Does a Hickey Last?
Hickeys typically start out as reddish marks, and turn brownish or purplish as they heal over time. They last anywhere from 5 to 12 days if left on their own. But maybe that’s too long of a time to wait and you want them gone right now!
How to Get Rid of a Hickey (Practically Overnight)
So, here are a few practical tips to make them go bye-bye using everyday household objects you surely have lying around in the house!
1. Massage the area
A quick way to relieve the hickey is to massage the affected area. The pressure breaks up the clots and encourages blood to circulate. You’ll notice a change in color, indicating the clot is breaking up.
Apply oil in the area and, using two fingers over the hickey, rub in a circular motion. Use a fairly firm pressure even if it might hurt a little bit. Change the direction of your rubbing every minute or so, to fully disperse the bruise.
2. Scrape the area
This one is particularly painful, but if you’re in a hurry to get rid of the hickey and have a decent tolerance for pain, this is a great option! This technique forcefully pushes the blood clot away from the affected area.
You will need a large coin. Flatten the hickey out by stretching the skin around it with your one hand in opposite ends to as far as it can go. Then, with your other hand, scrape the skin using the edge of the coin, spreading it outward as if you’re applying butter on toast. Your skin might become tender after a while, but this is expected.
For this to be effective, you need to scrape the skin as hard as you can without breaking it. This technique might work better for smaller, less painful hickeys that are not as severe.
3. Use Aloe Vera to make hickeys heal faster
It is no secret that aloe vera does wonders for your skin. It’s a natural moisturizer and great at healing wounds and bruises – which is exactly what a hickey is!
You can use any number of aloe vera based moisturizers and ointments available commercially, but it’s cheaper and easier to just use the real stuff. Simply cut a leaf of the aloe vera plant with a clean knife or scissor.
Apply the gel inside to the affected area for around 10 minutes, then rinse. Do this twice a day, and you’ll notice the area becoming less painful and healing faster.
4. Use a banana peel
Banana peel, who knew?! But this little trick is very effective at quickly shrinking that hickey in no time. This is because the inside of a banana peel has a soothing and cooling effect that speeds up the healing of the hickey.
Simply take the peel off a ripe banana and cut a piece of it, roughly the size of the hickey. Place the inside peel on the affected area and hold for 30 minutes. Repeat this procedure 3 times a day and you should see your hickey get noticeably smaller.
5. Use a cold spoon
This one is more effective if the hickey is relatively fresh. Take a spoon and place it in the fridge until it is noticeably cold, maybe around 10-12 minutes. Then gently rub the back of that spoon on the hickey.
Repeat this a few times a day, as needed. The cold temperature can help reduce the swelling of your hickey by stopping the flow of blood seeping out of the bruised blood vessels.
6. Use a toothbrush
Just when you thought toothbrushes are only for brushing your teeth, it turns out the bristles of the toothbrush can be used to help promote the blood circulation of hickeys. The rubbing movement of the bristles can promote healing and reduce swelling.
Make sure to use toothbrushes with super soft bristles, or else you risk creating more bruises! For hygiene purposes, it also goes without saying that a new toothbrush is preferable when using it for this purpose.
Apply a fair amount of gentle pressure with your brush over the hickey, stroking it in different directions to help further spread the blood clot. Repeat the process for 5-10 minutes. You’ll see the redness begin to spread, which is normal and should fade after about 15 minutes. Apply cold compress to the area afterwards.
7. Use Rubbing Alcohol
A standard rubbing alcohol works wonders in providing a cooling, soothing effect on the hickey. This is best used on hickeys that are just a few hours old and delivers results fast!
Use a ball of cotton and dab with a small amount of rubbing alcohol, then rub the hickey for a few minutes. Afterwards the skin might get a bit dry because alcohol has a dehydrating effect, so have some moisturizing lotion on hand to counteract this. Repeat this as needed throughout the day for around 1-2 days.
8. Apply warm compress
The key to treating bruises is to allow proper blood circulation to flow, so as to relieve blood clots. Warmth is a good way to promote this circulation by helping break clots so that fresh blood can pass through the area.
Heat some hot (but not boiling) water and place it in a tub or shallow pan. Next, take a small cloth and submerge into the water, and wring out any excess water. Place it on the hickey for about five minutes at a time. You can reheat the cloth if it cools by discarding and refilling the tub with fresh, warm water.
9. Apply Cold Compress
As with the warm compress, this tip will be beneficial if the hickey is recent. Apply an ice pack for 10 minutes a few times daily to help reduce the swelling and prevent further bruising.
10. Use Arnica Gel or Lotion
Research has shown that Arnica has anti-inflammatory properties that can reduce swelling and improve the appearance of a bruise.
11. Vitamin K Cream
Vitamin K is a powerful antioxidant and can help by reducing clotting. Any Vitamin K cream or gel can help improve the blood flow to the site of the hickey. We highly recommend Dermal-K Vitamin K cream.
12. Up your Vitamin c Intake
Not a quick fix for getting rid of your hickey but increasing your intake of Vitamin C-rich food will help improve your skin health. Vitamin C boosts collagen production and protects against UV damage.
13. See a dermatologist
Get a laser treatment done by a board-certified dermatologist for a super quick fix. The laser will break down the bruising, and your body will naturally clear it within a day.
14. Conceal with makeup
Dr. Julie Russak, M.D., FAAD., of Russak Dermatology in New York City, recommends using a full coverage concealer to cover up any bruises and discolouration of your skin around the site of the hickey.
15. Cocoa Butter
Cocoa butter is rich in skin-healing compounds, which is why it’s a skincare staple. It has been shown to be highly effective in treating hickeys. It is recommended to be applied to the hickey and surrounding area twice a day for a couple of weeks to see the full benefit of healing.
16. Use Peppermint Oil
Peppermint oil is a highly recommended hickey home remedy as it could help improve blood flow to the affected area.
Be careful not to massage the area too much as it can irritate the skin and worsen the bruise – making the hickey worse.
17. Apply Comfrey
Research has shown Comfrey applied topically as a gel or cream may help reduce swelling and help with the appearance of your bruise. For centuries, the roots and leaves of this shrub have been used to treat sprains, bruises and inflammation. So give it a try, and let us know if this worked for you.
How to Avoid Getting a Hickey in the First Place?
Amy Baldwin, the co-host of Shameless Sex Podcast, suggests “kissing mindfully”. Kiss by pressing your lips or tongue against the skin as opposed to suctioning, as this is what can trigger the hickey in the first place.
Next time you’re the lucky (or unlucky??) recipient of a hickey, try one or all of these practical remedies to make that love mark go away faster.