How To Get Rid Of Hickeys

By Kwabena Okyire Appianing •  Updated: 03/01/22 •  11 min read

So, you got caught up in the heat of the moment and you woke up with a purple-red bruise a.k.a hickey, embarrassing right? No one wants people constantly asking them where those ‘red rashes’ came from and so would do anything to get rid of them. 

If you’re here looking for a way to get rid of that hickey overnight, sorry for being the bearer of bad news. Unfortunately, there is no magic cure to get rid of hickeys in a flash. However, there are ways to speed up the healing process of a hickey. Keep reading to know how to get rid of hickeys.

But first, what at all is a hickey?

A hickey is a purple-red, dark red or purple mark on the skin caused by intense suction. Hickeys can be gotten on any part of the body but it’s common to have them on the neck because it’s easy to access the neck. 

Hickeys form as a result of broken or ruptured blood vessels or capillaries right beneath the skin. When your partner bites or sucks on your skin, the pressure breaks the blood vessels and they release tiny spots of blood called petechiae. These then come together to form a larger collection of blood spots, which becomes the hickey.

The best way to get rid of a hickey is to allow time to do the trick. The body has its own way of healing bruises and a hickey is only a minor bruise. So while allowing time to fade the hickey, you’ll need to hide it (no one wants to go around with that “I’m taken” mark parading itself). Before looking at how to speed up the healing process, let’s look at how to hide a hickey.

How to hide a hickey

  1. Be friends with your concealer: 

This product was named knowing you’ll have to conceal your hickey one day. If you choose the best concealer, it can easily match your skin color and hide the hickey. Naturally, you may think going shades lighter will be perfect but it is the exact opposite. Use a darker shade as it will perfectly hide the hickey. Also you should know this; a green tone will conceal redness while a yellow tone will conceal purple bruises.

  1. Use a bandage:

Treat it like a cut and apply a bandage large enough to cover it. Be prepared to tell a very convincing story of why you got a bandage. You could say you got a cyst drained out from the side of your neck. Just make sure you have a very convincing story in mind even though you’ll be hearing a few jokes about hickeys.

  1. Turtlenecks and scarves:

Hope you get your hickey in the winter. Nevertheless, you don’t need to limit wearing some stuff to certain seasons. You can wear a sleeveless turtleneck and use a stylish silk scarf if it’s the warm season. You’ll get to hide your hickey and look good at the same time.

How to get rid of hickeys faster

  1. Aloe Vera pulp:

 An aloe vera leaf contains thick, gelatinous pulp which is an effective treatment for reducing inflammation, pain and skin swelling. You can use it to speed the process of fading a hickey. To use this to fade your hickey, apply a thin layer of the pulp directly on the hickey two times a day. Stop using it in case your skin is sensitive to it or if it causes some irritation

  1. Arnica cream:

Arnica, a herb, has been used to treat bruising for ages, so you can also use it to treat your hickey.  It works by stimulating the blood cells to break up the fluid built around a bruise which causes redness and inflammation. Nowadays, it is commonly available in the form of a topical cream or gel and you can easily get it over-the-counter. 

Read: Treatment For Gingivitis

  1. Cold compress:

You might have heard of this as it is one of the commonest ways of treating a hickey. 

Place a spoon in the freezer for about 30 minutes. Take it out and apply it directly to the spot. Take a break of approximately 10 minutes and continue the process for the next 24 hours. You can also use blocks of ice in place of the cold spoon. A cold compress will slow the flow of blood from broken capillaries and reduce inflammation. You can also use a wash cloth dampened with cold water.

  1. Warm compress:

After 24 hours of a cold compress, it is best to start a warm compress because a cold compress will not be effective any longer. You can use a microwavable heat pad, hot water bottle or a warm flannel. A warm compress will speed the healing process, reduce pain and inflammation as well as boost blood flow.

  1. Peppermint oil:

The main component in peppermint oil is menthol and it is effective in the treatment of a hickey as it stimulates blood flow to the area. Peppermint oil could easily irritate your skin and so you should use it with a carrier oil such as almond oil or jojoba oil. To be on the safer side, take a skin test to be sure that peppermint oil will not irritate your skin before you use it. For treatment of a hickey, add two drops of peppermint oil to fifteen drops of your preferred carrier oil and gently massage the oil onto the hickey. Be sure to massage gently as too much pressure may worsen the bruise.

  1. Tea tree oil:

Tea tree essential oil is known to help with healthy skin. Because of irritation and inflammation, it is best to use diluted tea tree oil. For treatment of a hickey, it is best to dilute tea tree oil with coconut oil. Dilute two to three drops of tea tree oil with ten to twelve drops of coconut oil. Apply the mixture onto the hickey with a cotton ball, leaving it for ten to fifteen minutes. Rinse it with cold water afterwards. You might also want to take a patch test before proceeding with this.

  1. Turmeric oil:

Turmeric oil is very effective in fading a hickey as it has loads of anti-inflammatory and soothing properties. To prevent irritation, dilute turmeric oil with jojoba oil. Mix 4 to 5 drops of turmeric oil with 10 to 15 drops of jojoba oil. Soak a cotton swab into the mixture and rub it on the hickey for a minute and repeat for about fifteen minutes. Do this twice a day until the hickey completely fades away.

  1. Rosemary oil:

Rosemary really speeds up the fading and healing of a hickey. It has antiseptic, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties which will heal and fade your hickey within a short period of time. You also need to dilute rosemary oil before using it on a hickey. It is preferred that you mix it with coconut oil before use. Mix 3 to 5 drops of rosemary oil with 10 to 12 drops of coconut oil. Soak a cotton ball in it and apply onto the hickey. Leave it for about 15 minutes and wash it off. Repeat twice a day until it fades away.

  1. Cocoa butter:

Cocoa butter, an edible fat extracted from cocoa beans has been a skincare staple for a very long time and many people swear by it to fade scars, reduce stretch marks and fade marks on the skin. It has properties that improve the skin’s elasticity and makes it look younger. Apply it twice a day unto your hickey and be sure to do it gently. You don’t want to bruise your hickey more.

  1. Banana peel:

Yes, the banana peel! Not only is the flesh important, the peel is also beneficial. It can have a calming and soothing impact on your skin as it has an amazing number of nutrients, antioxidants and vitamins. Gently put the peel on your hickey, leaving it for about 30 minutes or until you realize it has turned brown. Repeat this two to three times a day. If it causes irritation, stop using it.

  1. Use a vitamin K cream:

Researchers found that vitamin K creams help reduce bruises after conducting studies on some people, especially those who have undergone laser treatment and developed bruises afterwards. Vitamin K is an essential vitamin for blood clotting and could help to speed up the process of  healing your hickey. Apply a vitamin K cream to the area twice daily. It is not going to make your hickey vanish in the blink of an eye. You might want to take a patch test especially if you have sensitive skin. Vitamin K is not known to cause irritation but other ingredients in the cream may irritate your skin.

Read: Saffron: Price Uses, Side Effects, Interactions, Dosage And Warning

  1. Pineapple:

Yes, pineapple. You can eat it or rub it on your skin to help fade a hickey, either way will work. Pineapple contains a group of enzymes that stimulate the body to fight swelling, inflammation and pain. If you do not want to eat it, apply a slice onto the hickey four to five times a day. Be warned, pineapple is acidic and may irritate your skin or even worsen inflammation.

  1. Massage:

At this time, a self massage will be of great help. It will reduce the pain and inflammation and boost blood flow to the area. Give the area a gentle massage a few times a day. Do not massage intensely as it will only increase the pain and inflammation. Also, be reminded to keep your hands off the hickey, constant touching may lead to scarring.

  1. Tuna oil:

Tuna oil? Yes, that’s right. Tuna oil is rich in omega 3 fatty acids, which will help your skin heal perfectly. It will help in reducing the clothes by thinning the blood and fading the hickey in the process. Put your fingers in tuna oil and rub it on the affected area for 10 to 15 minutes. Wash it off and repeat for 4 to 5 times a day. You should start seeing significant results after a day or two. 

  1. Rubbing alcohol:

Rubbing alcohol has disinfecting and cooling properties. So it will soothe the skin and make it less prone to an infection. It is best to use rubbing alcohol when the hickey is still fresh. Did some cotton wool into alcohol and rub it on the infected area. Give the hickey a gentle massage after that. Repeat this until the hickey fades away. Be sure to moisturize your skin after using rubbing alcohol as it will cause the skin to dry up and that may lead to irritation and more inflammation of the hickey. 

  1. Garlic and onion paste:

Garlic and onion will reduce the inflammation and fade the hickey as well. Grind equal proportions of garlic and onion into a paste. Put the paste into. Cloth and gently press it on the affected area. The swelling will reduce significantly while the hickey fades away within a few days.

  1. Laser treatment:

Where money is no object, you might want to dig deep into your pockets to try something that will take a few days to make a difference. In laser sessions, dermatologists use a special type of laser to break the clots formed under the skin causing the bruise. The laser treatment won’t heal the bruise immediately but it will make it disappear within 48 hours (along with some serious cash). First, consult your dermatologist before undergoing laser treatment.

Keep these in mind when trying to get rid of a hickey

  1. Avoid aspirin:

Aspirin thins the blood and may increase the probability of bruising. Other painkillers may also increase bruising so avoid them. You’ll also notice that if you get a hickey while on aspirin it’ll appear larger. 

  1. Consult your doctor before mixing medicines:

Do not mix any medications without letting your doctor know and before you try any medicine to help you with hickey or burgers, first be sure if you are not sensitive to it. 

  1. Don’t use tobacco:

Do not use tobacco or any tobacco products while trying to get rid of a hickey because it will just prolong the healing time. Smoking decreases blood supply and that’ll just delay the healing process.

Read: 7 Benefits Of Apple Cider Vinegar

Wrapping up,

The best way to prevent a hickey is to not get it in the first place. Always remember that time is the best bet to get rid of a  hickey, all these remedies will just speed up the healing process (some may not even have an effect on it) but they won’t let it disappear immediately.

 If none of these work for you, just take it as a sign to let nature take over and allow time to do the trick for you. During that time be best friends with your concealer and use those scarves and turtlenecks sitting idle in your closet. All the same, you need to know some ways to quickly get rid of that stubborn hickey and save yourself from some embarrassment.

Kwabena Okyire Appianing