If you’ve ever gotten a hickey, you know they’re usually nothing to write home about. They’re small, they’re red, and they can be mildly embarrassing—but in the scheme of things, they’re not too bad.
A hickey can last anywhere from a few days to a few weeks.
But if you’ve ever wondered how long does a hickey last, you may have been surprised to find out that there’s no clear answer. After all, there are factors that affect how quickly your body heals from almost any injury—and since a hickey is the result of an injury (a tiny one at that), it makes sense that your body has to heal from it just like it heals from anything else. So what are some of the factors that can determine how long does a hickey last?
For starters, age seems to play a big role in how long it takes for anything on your skin to heal: in general, older people take longer to heal from wounds because their bodies aren’t as good at repairing themselves. In fact, older people tend to be more vulnerable to infection after cuts or scrapes because their immune system isn’t as robust as it used to be.
What Causes a Hickey?
Hickeys occur when a person sucks and lightly bites an area of skin, causing the capillaries just below the skin’s surface to break. The body responds by forming clots to seal off the broken capillaries, which causes a bruise.
Is It True That Hickeys Get Worse Overnight?
Hickeys are a real problem. They don’t go away just because you ignore them. In fact, they can get so bad that they become unsightly and scary. As that happens, you might even start to wonder if there is any way to reverse the damage. There isn’t. But there is something you can do: You can act today and make sure all your hickeys are visible ones, which means that everyone can see the results of your bad behavior, which will help you recognize it for what it is (and make you feel really bad!).
Why Are Hickeys Called Love Bites?
The name “hickey” has been around since at least the late 1920s, and it’s thought to be a corruption of the word hickie. Before that, these pesky reminders of necking sessions were referred to as “love bites” or “kiss marks.”
The earliest known instances of the word hickey date back to 1928. The first was in a slang dictionary written by John Stephen Farmer, who included it in his Dictionary of American Slang along with other colloquial words like goob and gump. He defined a hickey as “a biting kiss,” which is exactly what it is—just not usually on purpose.
What Are Some Ways To Get Rid Of A Hickey?
Sometimes, getting rid of a hickey can feel like a mission impossible which leaves people wondering how long does a hickey last. They’re hard to hide, and you only have so much time before you have to face the inevitable conversation about what happened and why you have a hickey. That’s why we’ve put together this list of the best ways to get rid of a hickey, so you can pick which method is right for you and get back out into the world in no time.
Apply ice wrapped in a towel on the affected area for 10 minutes to reduce swelling, make the blood vessels constrict and make the hickey less noticeable. You can use a piece of ice or an ice pack.
Repeat the process three times a day for five days after receiving or giving a hickey to get rid of it fast. Although using ice is the best way to get rid of a hickey, you can also try other methods if you don’t have access to ice.
Conceal With Makeup
If you’re looking to get rid of a hickey overnight or at least conceal it ASAP, don’t fret: We’ve got you covered. Literally.
It’s important to remember that concealer can only do so much. If you want to reduce swelling, you’ll need to make sure your concealer is applied just right and paired with other techniques.
First things first: You’ll need a green-based concealer with a thin consistency. Look for something that has salicylic acid in it to help reduce swelling, then apply lightly under the area where your hickey is located. Blend the edges of the concealer so that it looks more natural.
Next, grab your favorite foundation and apply gently over top of the area of your hickey, making sure to blend well on the edges. Once that’s done, apply a light dusting of translucent powder to set it all in place and prevent any smudging throughout the day.
Pro tip: To prevent having to do this all again tomorrow and deal with unsightly redness in general, use an alcohol-free toner on your face once or twice daily—this will keep your skin balanced.
Try Arnica Cream
Arnica cream is a topical product that helps to speed up healing and reduce swelling after injury. It has been used for many years to help treat bruising, sprains, and muscle strains.
After applying the Arnica cream to your bruised skin, you should notice a reduction in swelling within a few days. Your hickey may also fade faster than it would without the Arnica cream.
Eat Fresh Pineapple
The reason why is because fresh pineapple contains enzymes that can break down the color in your hickey, making it fade over time. In fact, it works so well that some people say eating fresh pineapple will actually help you get rid of a hickey altogether!
Eat Vitamin-K Rich Foods
If you have a hickey and want to get rid of it, try eating foods high in vitamin K. Vitamin K helps your blood clot. It will help break up the clumped-up blood vessels that are causing your hickey. The faster your body breaks up the blood vessels causing your hickey, the faster your body can heal and get rid of the red mark on your skin. Eating vitamin K-rich foods will also speed up the healing process by providing your body with nutrients needed to repair itself.
Moisturize With Aloe Vera
To use it, just get an aloe vera leaf and break a piece off. Then cut the top off and squeeze out the gel from inside the leaf.
Apply some of the gel to your hickey and massage it in for a minute or two, which should help your skin absorb the aloe vera.
Then let it dry for about 15 minutes before washing it off with warm water. You can repeat this process every few hours until your hickey is gone!
Hickeys can be done on purpose, but that doesn’t mean you have to advertise them. If you wear light-colored tops or dresses, consider using a highlighter pen of the same color to make it hard for anyone to notice a hickey. If you are well-endowed in your chest area, it’s best to let your shoulders do most of the talking. Contrary to popular belief, necklines on shirts are not as revealing as one might think.
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