If the word “hickey” makes you laugh, you’re not alone. The very idea of those purple love bites makes most people think of their early teenage years when making out was exciting, forbidden, and tons of fun. It still is, of course — only these days, we should have a bit more self-control when it comes to leaving marks on another person’s body. If you do end up with an unsightly or embarrassing splotch on your neck or another visible area of your body, you’ll want to get it cleared up ASAP. You’re a classy lady, after all. Here’s how to get rid of a hickey quickly, as in overnight or sooner.
What causes hickeys?
The dark pink or purple mark left behind on your skin is the result of suction. A little nibble or pull here or there is okay and probably won’t cause damage. However, hickeys happen when the suction is too intense and the small blood vessels just under the surface of your skin break, exposing minuscule spots of blood known as petechiae, WebMD explains.
If you were to leave your hickey to heal naturally without intervention, that dark color would eventually fade to yellow before disappearing completely, just like bruises on other parts of the body. Of course, most people won’t want to let them run their course naturally and will instead try to cover or fade them as quickly as possible.
Do hickeys hurt?
Generally speaking, no. Having a hickey doesn’t automatically come with pain. However, depending on how hard your partner sucked on the area, it might be slightly sore for a day or so. The area might also experience a small amount of swelling, but in most cases, this is nothing to worry about.
If the area is particularly tender and painful, you could use an ice pack on the area for 10-15 minutes for the first day or so to reduce the swelling and discomfort. It’s worth noting that ice won’t get rid of the hickey, it simply helps manage the side effects. Also, be sure not to keep the ice pack on too long, or it could cause additional redness. Nobody wants that, right?
Oh, and if it’s really painful, you can always pop a Tylenol for some relief. That shouldn’t be necessary in most cases, but it’s an option.
How to get rid of hickeys quickly
With a coin
In this method, you’re supposed to pull this skin around your hickey taut before scraping a coin — a penny seems to be a popular choice — through the center of the love bite in outward motions. Supporters of this method claim that it “breaks up” the hickey and helps to fade it since the broken blood vessels aren’t all concentrated in one spot.
Whether or not it works is another matter entirely. It’s possible that if you use too much pressure, you could make things even worse rather than better. Try this remedy at your own risk.
With rubbing alcohol
Putting some rubbing alcohol on a cotton ball and dabbing it all over your hickey a couple of times a day can apparently soothe and disinfect it. And as it turns out, this is actually a worthwhile exercise.
However, there’s a caveat: It’s only useful immediately after you notice you have a hickey. Continuing this practice regularly will dry your skin out and could irritate the area. Be careful!
With a whisk
This is painful just to type, but for those desperate to get rid of a hickey, it might be worth trying to… whisk it. Yes, that means getting a whisk from your kitchen and acting like your hickey and the skin it covers is a nice bowl of heavy cream.
The idea is that by “whisking” your love bite, you’ll spread all the blood around and make it less obvious. People on TikTok swear by it (of course), so there might be something to it.
With a spoon
Can you really use a spoon to get rid of a hickey? Yes and no. In this method, you have to place a metal spoon either in the fridge or freezer long enough to get it really cold. Once you take it out, apply the back of the spoon (i.e. not the side that holds your cereal) to your hickey and hold it there.
This is a pretty solid approach since it’s similar to putting an ice pack on the area. It will help bring down any inflammation and make the spot less painful.
Desperate times call for desperate measures, and many believe that toothpaste can help get rid of a hickey. Trying it is simple enough: You put any minty toothpaste you can find on the hickey to stimulate circulation and heal it faster. Many people swear by peppermint oil for the same reason.
This won’t necessarily make your hickey worse, but it may not make it better, either. And since there are a lot of ingredients in toothpaste that your skin might not like, don’t do this any more than once a day.
With a banana peel
Sounds odd, but hear us out. The gist of this one is as simple and straightforward as the others. Just rub the inside of a banana peel all over your hickey. The anti-inflammatory ingredients inside the skin are said to be pretty calming, so why not?
Granted, a lot of people probably wouldn’t be jazzed about the idea of dousing themselves in eau de banana, and it should be noted that it’s not likely to make your hickey go away. However, it does have some helpful properties.
Okay, so you’re not actually going to get rid of your hickey with makeup. However, you can cover it up if none of the other methods here work for you. It’s the easiest way to make it look less obvious and keep it out of sight until it fades naturally. Hit up your favorite concealer, cover with foundation, set with powder, and you’re off.
How to avoid getting a hickey in the first place
- Ask your partner to go easy on the suction. Even if you’re into getting rough in the bedroom, this is advice worth heeding. Let your partner know that you don’t want marks left on your skin. Or, if you do, direct them to places on your body that other people won’t see. This way, you can keep it just between the two of you.
- Don’t allow your partner to focus too heavily on one particular area of your body. Suggest moving around. Have them kiss you head to toe, never stopping for more than a few seconds in one particular area. This will make it way less likely that you end up with a visible love bite. And seriously, for a grown woman, it’s not a good look.