“Love hurts, love scars, love wounds and marks…”
You’ve probably heard this one by the Nazareth on your radio on Throwback Thursdays. When it’s Karaoke Night with the gang, you’ve probably heard this being sang by buddies who were heartbroken. In fact, you may probably sing this song yourself after your love interest jilted you after letting you feel she wanted you or that guy you totally had the hots for went missing in action after the 3rd date.
Indeed, love hurts sometimes. Oftentimes, it leaves marks behind, too. And unfortunately it can kill sometimes. Like what happened to a 17-year-old boy from Mexico City, for example. What was supposed to be a romantic tryst with his girlfriend ended up like in a horror movie when the hickey caused blood clots which triggered his eventual death.
While a love bite is not deadly, per se, getting them can lead to horrific events. Hickeys are one of the most common sex injuries that can easily be prevented when extra precautionary measures are taken. For example, not sucking your lover’s neck too hard.
If you just can’t help it and you love giving your wife or boyfriend a hickey because you love her or him, just remember not to overly suck the skin so as not to bruise it. Also, there are things you can do to get rid of kiss marks fast.
Before that, however, let’s learn the basics of a hickey in order to understand how it occurs and why the remedies make a lot of sense.
What is a hickey?
Also known as a love bite or a kiss mark, hickey is a bruise of some sort. This is caused by biting, sucking or aggressive kissing of soft skin, especially in and around the neck. It’s also sometimes found in the arm, but the neck is where a hickey is usually spotted.
In an adult body, there are many different kinds of tiny blood vessels that run about 100,000 miles all throughout the body. The tiniest type of blood vessels is called capillaries. When somebody kisses you hard or sucks on your soft skin, it can make the capillaries that are found beneath the surface of the skin to rupture, causing blood to seep out into the surrounding areas.
So similar to bruises, hickeys are blood vessels under the skin’s surface that has broken up or has ruptured and the blood has seeped out. When the blood that has built up and clotted under the skin dries out for lack of oxygen, it turns from red to brown or dark purple. And that’s what you see on your neck after letting someone kiss you there hard.
The reason that hickeys are often found in the neck is because it’s one of the most erogenous zones in the body. As a matter of fact, it’s included in the top 10 most sensitive areas in the body and most likely to respond to sexual stimulation, such as a kiss or a caress, almost immediately. This is especially true for people who have low levels of body fat. And here’s another interesting fact: Women who have spinal cord injury are turned on easily by simply stimulating the neck, according to a study found by the University of Washington, Rehabilitation Medicine.
How long does a hickey last?
Hickeys stay visible, depending on the size and damage in the capillaries. Generally, a hickey can last up to one to weeks, depending on the damage as well as how fast the person receiving them can heal. This explains why hickeys are said to be a mark of possession by the one giving them.
Just like most bruises, a hickey can heal on its own. The accumulated blood in the tissue where the hickey is located will spread into the surrounding tissues, gradually disperse and dissolve, and reabsorbed into blood stream.
Hickeys are generally safe and do not cause any damages or leave any unsightly marks. However, they can be embarrassing to the receiver or may be viewed as inappropriate in certain families, professional or social environments.
In a romantic relationship, giving hickeys to your partner can be a fun and passionate thing to do. However, it’s wise to ask if your partner is okay with you giving him or her a hickey before doing it. If your partner consents to it and doesn’t mind having a love bite, consider not going overboard with it as it may be uncomfortable for him or her.
While hickeys tend to last long, there are many ways to get rid of them fast. Some may not happen overnight, as healing will also depend on the health and body of the person, you can shorten the length of time.
How to get rid of a hickey?
Makeup can do a lot of good to conceal any love bites. And if you use waterproof concealer, kiss marks can stay hidden even if you sweat. The problem with this, though, is when the bruise is much bigger or that you feel even more uncomfortable in trying to cover up your hickey.
So, one of the best things you can do is to use home remedies that can get rid of you love bites fast. You can try these together with makeup, but the good thing is that these can make hickeys disappear fast.
COLD AND WARM COMPRESS
Many studies show that cold and hot therapy is very effective in reducing inflammation and relieving pain. In fact, cold and heat are the two most common types of non-invasive, non-addictive pain relievers for muscle and joint pain. Many athletes use these therapies to reduce pain or inflammation for injuries.
As said earlier, hickeys are bruises or bruise-like marks caused by too much kissing or sucking of the skin. And using cold and hot compress is effective of getting rid of them. But, remember, it is very important to know when to use ice and when to use heat because incorrectly using them may cause further discomfort.
As you try to heal hickeys, consider the basics of hot and cold therapy: both relieve pain. They use different methods but the end result is the same. Same goes with inflammation. In general, ice will decrease the blood flow to the injury, thereby decreasing inflammation and swelling. The pain that accompanies it can be treated with heat, which brings blood to the area and promotes healing. Following this information can guide you as to when and how to apply temperature-related therapies.
Placing an ice pack on the hickey can help reduce swelling. This will make the mark less noticeable as well as reduce pain in the area.
When cold therapy is used, the blood vessels narrow, which decreases the blood flow and reduces the swelling. Skin temperature goes down during the therapy leading to a numbing or analgesic effect that helps control pain.
To apply, just wrap the ice in a clean piece cloth and press it gently on to the hickey for around fifteen (15) minutes. Another alternative method is you can use a cool spoon, a bag of frozen vegetable, or freeze a Styrofoam cup of water. As you place the cold compress, be sure not to rub it into your skin. Wait for an hour or two after reapplying. Apply cold compress several times a day for two to three days. When you apply, be sure to remember these words so you’ll know when to remove the cold compress: cold, burning, aching, numbing. Also, remember not to apply cold compress to open or infected wounds and acute dermatitis or eczema.
Heat is used mostly in sub-acute and chronic conditions of injuries to decrease pain and spasm, promote healing, and decrease inflammation. After applying cold therapy for two to three days, you can apply heat on your hickey.
Heat opens up blood vessels, which increases blood flow and delivers oxygen supply and nutrients to cells that helps with the removal of cell waste, alleviate pain, relax the sore muscles, ligaments, and tendons, and promote healing.
Like cold therapy, hot therapy can be applied in several ways. Sources of heat can supply either dry or moist warmth. Dry heat source may dry skin while moist heat may penetrate better. The heat should be warm, not too hot, and should be maintained at a consistent temperature if possible. You can apply heat by using an electric or microwavable heating pad, hot water bottle, gel packs, or saturate a piece of cloth in warm water. Apply for fifteen to twenty minute at a time for several times a day. Don’t apply it longer than twenty minutes. Make sure to give your skin a chance to return to its normal temperature after each heat application to avoid burning your skin. If there is swelling, don’t use heat therapy. Don’t use heat therapy on an open wound or stitches.
While both Cold and Hot Therapy can be effective, if used improperly they can make it worse or slow down recovery period. So be sure to use cold and hot compress appropriately.
Peppermint is well-known perennial herb. It is a typical member of the mint family with a square purple-green stem with purple and lilac-colored flowers. It is actually a natural hybrid cross between water mint and spearmint.
Aside from being used as flavoring for candies, fresh peppermint leaves and peppermint essential oil have therapeutic effects and are used since ancient times. Today, many researchers concluded that peppermint is one of nature’s most valuable herbal remedies.
Peppermint essential oil has a stimulant effect that improves the circulation of blood and can heal the capillary vessels around the injured area. It gives a cooling sensation and has a calm effect on the body, which can relieve the pain you are experiencing and reduce inflammation. Some may feel a tingling sensation after application, but it will quickly go away. This method works best if you recently have your hickey.
Apply peppermint essential oil gently on the affected skin area. As a substitute, in case you don’t have peppermint essential oil, you can use peppermint-based toothpaste. Gently rub a layer of toothpaste on the infected area. After leaving it for several minutes, use a warm piece of cloth to remove the toothpaste. This remedy is for use once a day only. Using it more than once may cause skin irritation, adding another problem to the previous one you are trying to get rid of.
Aloe Vera is a well-known natural moisturizer for its rejuvenating and healing properties that can reduce skin sensitivity and accelerate the healing of broken capillaries. It also has soothing and anti-inflammatory properties that can help reduce the bruise and speed-up the healing.
Collect the aloe vera extract directly from the plant by peeling off its skin. Gently massage it on the affected area and let it sit for at least ten minutes before wiping it off. Do this two to three times a day for two to three days.
If you don’t have any Aloe Vera plant nearby, or you don’t like the smell the pure extract gives out, or don’t like the stickiness of the substance, you can use cream with aloe vera in it as an alternative.
Like any other skin bruises, medication does little help in getting rid of a hickey. However, medicines can help alleviate pain, reduce swelling or change the blood composition so the clots can heal faster. One good example is vitamin K.
This vitamin supplement has anticoagulant properties that help prevent blood clots. By taking vitamin K supplement immediately after you get a love bite, it will help the re-absorption of blood clots back to the blood stream, clearing the hickey at a much faster rate. This is the reason vitamin K is recommended to treat bruises, especially after a surgery. However, large bruises need to be checked by a medical doctor.
If you don’t like to take vitamin K supplement for some reason, you can get it from different sources. For example, you can apply vitamin K cream on to the affected area as soon as you see signs of a bruising. Use the vitamin K cream at least two to three times daily until the kiss mark vanishes.
You can also get a healthy dose of vitamin K from the foods you eat. Eggs, spinach, kale broccoli and liver are great sources for vitamin K so you might want to feed your body on those to speed up the healing process.
If you’re love bit is small, you’re luck. If you use vitamin K immediately after getting the mark, it’ll be gone almost overnight. You won’t have to worry about making an excuse or using heavy concealer.
Banana is one of the healthier natural food sources in the world. They contain almost no fat, are very low in calories, and are high in Vitamin B6, fiber, and potassium. Bananas are the only fruit to contain the amino acid, tryptophan plus vitamin B6, which together help the body to produce serotonin.
If you are planning to have a longer night and avoid cramping out, aside for its suggestive size and shape, bananas can help prevent muscle spasms or cramps. Nutrients found in bananas shown to improve mood, increase oxygen flow throughout the body, give you the energy and endurance to keep at it, and increase testosterone production in men. It has very high potassium which is good for the heart and nerves.
But that’s not all. If you’re going to have bananas for dessert, don’t get rid of the peel just yet. Save the banana peels for later because it may help get rid of a hickey.
A banana peel is rich in vitamins and antioxidants that can help protect blood vessels and improve blood circulation. It has this soothing and cooling quality that can effectively reduce pain and the hickey itself.
Cut a piece of banana peel roughly the same size as the hickey. Place the peel on your love bite and leave it undisturbed for about ten minutes to half an hour. You can use a band-aid or tape to hold the banana peel on the position. For best result, repeat the methodology two to three times a day. You’ll surely see significant shrinkage fast.
If you don’t like the thought of walking around with a taped banana peel on your arm or neck, which makes it more obvious that you have a hickey, you can turn the banana peel into a tea. This may sound uncommon you. In fact, it’s probably your first time to hear about banana peel, but a lot of people use this.
What you’ll do is to fast the banana peel first. Make sure it’s completely clean and free of any food labels. Next, throw the peels in to the freezer. Once they’re frozen, thaw them in a pan and bake them at 65°C until completely dry. Crack and shred the peels before placing them in a blender to be pulverized. Once you’re ready to make tea, use a strainer and pour hot water in to a mug. Let it steep before drinking.
Hickeys are not something to be afraid off. As long as you don’t overdo it, the blood vessels are safe. And these remedies can help heal bruises fast. So no need to put that heavy scarf around your neck anymore.