How Long Do Hickeys Last: Treatment and Prevention

Have you ever gotten a hickey? They can be fun, but they can last long if you don’t know how to treat them.

But what happens when they don’t go away? How long do hickeys last?

Hickey typically lasts for a week or two. If you take steps to remove them, the time may reduce to a few days. However, if the hickey signifies other health issues, it may last longer than expected and sometimes even for a month. In this case, you need to consult a doctor immediately. 

This post will tell you how long hickeys last and how to treat and prevent them. Keep reading to learn more!

How Long Do Hickeys Last Without Treatment?

A hickey, if left untreated, will dissipate on its own in about 10 days to 2 weeks. Your body will reabsorb the pieces of blood under your skin over time. The bruise will darken and dissipate in the days following the initial injury.

how-long-do-hickeys-last

A few of these methods may shorten the duration of the hickey by a couple of days, but applying too much pressure to the bruise will just make it worse and delay its healing. Please take care not to overdo the massaging or other treatments you use.

Do Hickeys Hurt?

There may be some discomfort for the first day or two after receiving a hickey from your significant other. Possible side effects include mild edema.

However, you shouldn’t have any significant discomfort or edema. Take nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen for a few days if the pain is bothersome.

Medications used to prevent blood clots, often known as blood thinners, may increase your risk of bruising. Common blood thinners that can increase your risk of bruising are:

  • Aspirin
  • Coumadin (warfarin)
  • Eliquis (apixaban)
  • Plavix (clopidogrel)
  • Xarelto (rivaroxaban)
hickeys

In addition, the use of some vitamins and supplements can exacerbate bruising, leading to the formation of a more noticeable hickey. Some examples are as follows:

  • Fish oil
  • Garlic
  • Vitamin E
  • Ginkgo biloba
  • St. John’s wort.

How Long Does a Hickey Take to Heal?

A hickey might last for a couple of days to a couple of weeks. If you have one and are trying to cover it up, you might spend a lot of time wearing turtlenecks or applying concealer.

However, there are a few methods that can hasten recovery. Although nothing can make a hickey go in a matter of minutes, the following nine methods may hasten the healing process.

How to Get Rid of a Hickey Fast?

As I said earlier, nine effective methods will help you to get rid of hickies quicker than usual. Most of them are natural and come with almost no side effects.

Aloe Vera Pulp

Because it contains anti-inflammatory characteristics, the aloe vera plant can help reduce discomfort and swelling in the skin.

When treating a hickey, apply a small layer of aloe vera gel or lotion to the bruise at least twice a day. This will help the hickey heal faster.

Arnica Cream

Both topical and oral, Arnica is sold without a prescription at most pharmacies. The use of arnica helps hasten the recovery process of a bruise that a hickey caused.

arnica-cream

Pineapple

The enzyme bromelain can be found in abundance in pineapple. It is anti-inflammatory and can be administered topically to relieve pain and swelling.

The treatment consists of placing a pineapple slice on the affected area. Four or five times a day is fine, but check for inflammation. The acidic content of pineapple could easily irritate the sensitive skin on your neck.

Cold Spoon or Cold Compress

Applying a cold compress to the area can help reduce swelling and bruising. Wrap ice in a cloth and apply it to the hickey for 10-15 minutes. Repeat this several times a day for the best results.

Banana Peel

Vitamins and nutrients found inside a banana peel can help diminish the look of a bruise.

For up to 30 minutes, or until the peel becomes brown, rub the inside surface of a ripe banana peel on your hickey. If you want your hickey to go, you must do this at least twice daily.

Cocoa Butter

There’s a solid reason why cocoa butter, a lipid extracted from cocoa beans, is a mainstay in many people’s skincare routines.

Researchers have shown that cocoa butter can reduce the appearance of scars, stretch marks, wrinkles, and other skin imperfections.

It’s lauded for its ability to nourish skin, boost suppleness, and delay aging due to its abundance of fatty acids and phytonutrients.

Applying cocoa butter lotion to your hickey once or twice daily will hasten its recovery.

Heat

After the first few days, you can apply heat to the hickey to speed up healing. The heat helps to increase blood flow and promote healing. Use a warm cloth or heating pad on the hickey for 10-15 minutes. Do this several times a day.

Vitamin K Cream

Vitamin K helps to reduce bruising and can speed up healing. You can find it in stores or online. Apply the cream to the hickey 3-4 daily until it fades away.

vitamin-k-cream

Vitamin C Cream

Vitamin C has a crucial role in maintaining healthy, smooth skin. It’s rich in antioxidants and may encourage collagen formation in the skin. It’s possible that vitamin C can help your hickey mend by fortifying the skin tissue around your blood vessels.

Daily use of a vitamin C lotion in the afflicted area is recommended. It may also be helpful to increase one’s intake of citrus fruits and plant-based diets.

Are There Any Risks to Having a Hickey?

Hickeys are generally harmless and will go away on their own. However, there are a few risks to be aware of.

Hickeys can sometimes lead to an infection if the area is not cleaned correctly. It’s essential to clean the area with soap and water and avoid picking at the scab.

Hickeys can also cause swelling and bruising. It can be painful if you have a hickey that is large or in a sensitive area. Applying ice or heat to the area can help reduce pain and swelling.

If you have a hickey that lasts longer than a week or two, it could be a sign of something more serious. You should see a doctor if you have other symptoms, such as fever, fatigue, or shortness of breath.

Hickey ‘Hacks’ to Avoid

If you have a question you don’t feel comfortable asking somebody in real life, the internet is your savior (like how to get rid of a hickey). The biggest drawback of the internet is the abundance of false information that might cause skin problems.

Some of the “hickey removal hacks” floating around the web are laughable, but there are plenty to choose from. Some of these are safe, while others might make your hickey even worse.

Here are some dubious methods for getting rid of hickeys that could hurt your skin.

Massaging the Area

The benefits of massage therapy, such as increased blood flow and decreased pain, are not advised for your hickey. If you roughly rub a bruise, you risk bursting more blood vessels, resulting in a bigger hickey.

Using Peppermint Oil

Another “tip” for getting rid of a hickey that hasn’t been proven to work is peppermint oil. However, peppermint oil can cause more harm than good when applied topically.

peppermint-oil

As with other essential oils, peppermint oil might trigger allergic responses in some people. If you are set on giving this hickey hack a go, at least dilute the oil and perform a patch test first.

Dabbing Toothpaste on Your Hickey

I don’t think slathering a lot of toothpaste on your love bite will help. Indeed, you risk further irritating the skin.

Many of the components in toothpaste also cause skin irritation and pore blockage. Stay far away from this “fix” if you value clear skin and a healthy neck more than a chance of acne and red, inflamed skin.

The Bottom Line

Hickeys are usually harmless and will go away on their own within a week or two. However, there are some things you can do to help speed up healing, such as applying ice or heat, taking vitamin C or K supplements, or using aloe vera pulp or cocoa butter. You should see a doctor if you have a hickey that lasts longer than two weeks.

Dr. Swathi Kilari

Dr. Swathi Kilari

Hello there! This is Dr. Swathi Kilari here, a writer in progress. I am a graduate of Cebu Doctors' University from the Philippines and am currently registered to practice in India. I write now and then to share my knowledge and experience about healthcare. I am happy to help you make wise choices to lead a healthy life. Healthcare and teaching are two of my passions. I am a food enthusiast, home baker, and cook. If I am not doing any of these, I am probably sleeping.

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