It’s Monday morning. You’re getting ready for a busy week at work. As you brush your teeth, you casually glance over at your reflection in the mirror. You notice a bright, purple bruise on your neck. At first, it’s not immediately clear what it is, so you lean in for a closer look.
A few short seconds later, you gasp in horror when the realization that you have a hickey on the most visible part of your neck finally hits you. There’s no way to hide it. Wearing a turtleneck in 80-degree weather won’t cut it either.
If this scenario sounds familiar to you, you’re not alone. We’ve all been there. Having a hickey is nothing to be ashamed of. It’s a sign that you got some action, in which case, congratulations…?
That being said, showing it off may not be appropriate for every situation, much less if you have a scheduled meeting with potential clients, or worse, Human Resources! If you ever find yourself in such a predicament, here’s a comprehensive guide on how to get rid of hickeys.
1. Apply a Cold Compress As Soon as Possible
Of all the hickey removal methods available, this is by far the most effective one of the bunch. A hickey is a bruise, so treat it like you would any other superficial injury on your skin. It means
applying a cold compress, an icepack, a cold, wet cloth, or even a cold spoon to the site of the injury.
When someone sucks on your neck long enough, it ruptures the blood vessels right below the skin surface. As a result, a pool of blood collects beneath, which appears as a reddish-purple blotch on the skin.
Applying a cold compress to the site of the hickey slows the rate at which blood leaks out of the ruptured capillaries into the skin. It also helps reduce inflammation which, in turn, reduces some of the redness. Use a cold compress on the region several times a day (at least 10) for the first 2-3 days.
2. Apply Heat
After three days of using a cold compress, it’s now time to apply heat to the region. A warm compress boosts blood circulation in the affected area, which, in turn, accelerates the healing process. This helps the hickey fade a lot quicker compared to not using a warm compress at all. A cloth dampened with warm water works just as well. Do this several times a day (at least 10) for an additional 2-3 days.
3. Massage the Area to Boost Blood Flow
Massages are quite effective in boosting circulation in the bruised area of your skin. Rub your hickey for 3-5 minutes three times a day until you start to notice the bruise fading. You’ll need to be gentle with your massage; otherwise, you might end up making a bad situation worse.
Applying too much pressure may end up re-rupturing the healing blood vessels causing even more bruising. Tapping on the hickey using your index and middle fingers is equally as effective.
4. Add Some Peppermint Oil to Your Massage
Rubbing peppermint essential oil to the affected region stimulates blood flow. This helps fade the hickey faster and reduce its severity in the first few days. Keep in mind that you need to use essential oil and not the variety extracted for cooking. Additionally, never use essential oils in their purest form. Always dilute them with a carrier oil such as olive or coconut oil.
Mix two drops of essential oil in 10-12 drops of the carrier oil. Before you massage it onto the affected area, it’s always a good idea to perform a skin patch test first. The process involves rubbing a small amount of the diluted peppermint oil to the inside of your forearm, then leaving it on for 24 hours.
If you don’t experience any irritation, you can safely apply it to the hickey. Do this twice a day
for a couple of days. If skin irritation occurs, you’ll need to further dilute the peppermint with two more drops of the carrier oil. Repeat the skin patch test to confirm that you can safely apply it on the bruise site.
5. Apply Vitamin K Cream
If you’re wondering how to get rid of hickeys fast, using topical vitamin K is a great option to consider. It is available in most drug stores and has been proven to fade bruises fast by speeding up the skin’s healing process. Vitamin K, in general, plays a critical role in the blood’s ability to clot properly.
For best results, apply the topical cream on the bruise 2-3 times a day. You can go a step further to increase your vitamin K intake by consuming foods rich in the nutrient. These include pork, poultry, soybeans, and green leafy vegetables. The idea behind this is to boost the healing process both inside and out.
6. Apply Vitamin C Cream
As you grab some vitamin K cream off the shelf at your local drug store, be sure to pick up some topical vitamin C as well. Not only is it effective in boosting your skin’s collagen production, which, in turn, strengthens the tissue around the ruptured blood vessels; it also has powerful antioxidant properties, which could help heal your hickey quickly. Apply vitamin C cream to the bruise 2-3 times daily to fade it.
7. How to Get Rid of Hickeys with Banana Peels
As healthy as a banana might be, it’s not the only part of the fruit that’s beneficial. Banana peels are rich in antioxidants, nutrients, and vitamins. They also have soothing properties when applied to bruised skin, which may help speed up the healing process.
To reap these calming effects, place the inside part of the banana peel onto the hickey, and leave it in place for at least 30 minutes or longer. To reap the maximum benefits, leave it on until the peel turns brown. Repeat this process three times a day, every day, until the hickey fades.
8. Cover the Hickey With Makeup
As effective as the techniques we’ve outlined so far might be, none can fade your hickey in a matter of hours. While these methods will speed up the healing process, the bruise will be evident for at least five days.
If you’re wondering how to get rid of hickeys, at least temporarily, consider using makeup. When we say makeup, we don’t mean you should cover with lipstick. We’re talking – concealer and foundation. Don’t forget to blend!
9. Throw On a Scarf or Turtleneck
Again, this won’t get rid of the hickey entirely. We’re simply giving you a temporary solution to an immediate problem. Showing up to your parents’ house for Sunday night dinner with a visible hickey on your neck is one of those awkward situations we’d all rather avoid.
One option would be to wear a turtleneck that covers it up until it fades. If the weather’s warm, a fancy scarf will do the trick. There’s no reason why you can’t look cute while concealing a hickey. Switch up your style every couple of days to make it less obvious.
10. Get Laser Treatment
You read right! For roughly $350 or more, you can book a laser treatment session with a qualified dermatologist to get rid of your hickey. While it may sound like a drastic move, it is extremely effective in fading bruises. The specific type of laser used in these treatments targets the blood cells that pool underneath the skin surface. It breaks them up to catalyze the healing process. These pooled blood cells are what cause the discoloration.
Although the hickeys won’t fade immediately, you’ll be able to notice a huge improvement within 3-4 days. If you would rather avoid spending your hard-earned cash on laser treatment to get rid of a hickey, remember – prevention is always better than cure. If your partner was sucking on your neck in the heat of passion, get an ice pack immediately and apply it to the affected area. Then, follow it up with the other techniques we’ve outlined in this guide.
Here are the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions we get from our readers.
How long does it take for hickeys to fade?
A hickey can last anywhere between three days and three weeks. It all depends on how intentional you are about getting them to fade. To speed up the healing process, apply a cold compress to the affected area immediately you get a hickey. Follow this up with a warm compress. Massage the bruise with peppermint oil to boost blood circulation and rub topical vitamin K and C cream to the hickey to fade it fast.
How does toothpaste work to get rid of hickeys?
Most brands of toothpaste contain peppermint. This is what is responsible for the cooling effect you get when applied on a hickey. It has proven effective in boosting blood flow to the affected region, which, in turn, fades the hickey.
Can you get rid of hickeys using a coin?
No, you cannot. According to dermatologists, there is no scientific evidence to prove that this method works to get rid of hickeys. If anything, it might cause further trauma to the bruised area, which will only make the appearance of the existing hickey worse.