Hey there! Wholesomealive is reader-supported. We may earn a small commission from affiliate links at no extra cost to you. Your support helps us create great content. Thank you!

7 Rash That Looks Like a Hickey and Makes You Embarrassed

Having a skin rash is not a pleasant experience. There’s an itchy uncomfortable feeling and sometimes even pain. Rashes stand out and don’t exactly do wonders for your looks. But what’s even more embarrassing is having a hickey like rash. So what is a skin rash that looks like a hickey?

Rash that looks like a hickey includes contact dermatitis, ringworm or tinea rash, drug reaction, erythema annulare centrifugum, isolated psoriasis, neurodermatitis, bruises, and SLE. You can get a hickey like rash due to measles, typhoid, parvovirus, or dengue.

Something like that can cause quite a few misunderstandings. So it’s quite natural to want to be rid of that rash. And those rashes are what we’ll be talking about here.

Rashes that look like a hickey can occur from various causes. It’s best to contact your doctor regarding the treatment plans. That being said, let’s take a deeper look into these rashes.

Table of Content

What Is a Hickey?

We all know that a hickey is a reddish-purple mark on the skin. This occurs during intimacy when your partner bites and sucks on the skin.

So, why is there a red mark? The suction force is to be blamed. The teeth hold the skin in place. And the suction force pulls the skin outwards. This causes the small blood vessels immediately below the skin to tear.


All that blood leaks into the surrounding space from the blood vessels. As more blood flows in, this accumulates. That’s why you see the surrounding areas become red.

In the heat of the moment, you might not feel the pain. But, your skin has to be damaged quite severely for there to be a hickey. In fact, a hickey is a type of bruise. It’s just smaller than regular bruises.

Hickeys are generally seen on the neck or the shoulders. The more accessible parts of the body are the common sites.

What Does A Hickey Look Like?

A hickey looks like a 1-inch wide oval or circular-shaped red to purple patches on the skin. As it’s made by sucking and biting during intimacy, a hickey mostly occurs on the accessible part of the body like the neck, shoulder, hands, and face.

Hickey is a common thing among young adults. But it doesn’t mean older adults don’t get or give a hickey. They simply prefer to keep it as discreet as possible by covering it up.

7 Skin Rash That Looks Like a Hickey

Skin rashes come in different shapes and forms. And a single disease can cause rashes of different shapes. So, it is possible that a rash can look like a hickey.

The location of the rash is also essential. There can be a skin rash that looks like a hickey on the neck or a skin rash that looks like a hickey on the breast. Either way, a number of skin conditions can cause a rash like that. So, let’s take a look at a few of them.

Contact Dermatitis

The rash in this condition can sometimes look like a hickey. Contact dermatitis is a type of inflammatory skin disorder. In fact, this disease is a form of allergy.


This happens when your skin comes in contact with an allergen. An allergen is something to which you can be allergic. There are no signs or symptoms during the first contact with the allergen.

But being exposed to the allergen the next time would cause a reaction. Some of the cells in your skin can recognize that allergen. Then they release various chemicals. This causes local damage to the skin. So, you can see a rash.

The rash can be red, itchy, and blistered. And it can occur anywhere on the skin. So a rash on the neck can look like a hickey.

Ringworm or Tinea Rash

If you’re infected by ringworm, the rash can look like a hickey as well. Medically, this is called tinea corporis. Different types of fungus are responsible for this disease. The most common ones are from the Trichophyton and Microsporum genera.

These fungi can penetrate the upper layers of the skin. They release some harmful chemicals. The white blood cells or the body’s defensive cells fight them off. They also release some harmful substances to destroy the fungi.


All of these result in the formation of the rash. There is a single ring-shaped red patch that can be itchy.

Drug Reaction

Different drugs can cause a rash. Drugs contain chemicals that are foreign to the body. So, your body can show reactions to the drug. And a drug reaction can present in the form of a rash. This rash can look like a hickey.

Erythema Annulare Centrifugum

This is a chronic disease with a rash. This rash can affect any part of the body. This condition is a type of hypersensitivity reaction. Your body’s immune cells are responsible for most of the damage.

There are various causes of this. But drug hypersensitivity, cancer, rheumatic disease, pregnancy, blood disorders, etc., are the common cause.

The rash here looks pinkish and raised. It develops over time. So, you’re likely to spot it before it gets big.

Isolated Psoriasis

Psoriasis is a chronic autoimmune disease. Here, the defense cells of your body mistakenly attack the normal tissue of your body. This causes a skin rash.

The severity of the disease varies from person to person. In severe cases, there can be rash all over the body. In some cases, there can be localized rash.


Psoriasis rash can be of different types. And some of these types can look like a hickey. However, this is very rare.


This is another disease that causes a chronic skin rash. The critical feature here is that there’s a lot of itching involved. So, if your rash inches a lot, it might be due to this condition.

The rash in this disease is dry, tough, and leathery. The color of the rash also varies. So, it can be read like that a hickey.


Since a hickey is a type of bruise, you can see why a normal bruise might look like a hickey. Blunt injury or trauma is the cause of a bruise. The internal bleeding is what gives the bruise a reddish-black hue.

You shouldn’t apply heat in the first few hours. But, if you see that giving a cold compress didn’t make your hickey go away, then you can consider it.

So, if you remember getting injured in the spot of the rash, then it might be due to a bruise.


Systemic Lupus Erythematosus is an autoimmune disorder. This disease can have skin manifestations as well. This rash is generally seen across the face. It’s called a malar or butterfly rash because the red rash looks like a butterfly.


It is unlikely, but lupus rash can sometimes look like a hickey. This rash can be on the neck, making it resemble a hickey.

How Long Do Hickeys Last?

Like any other bruise, hickeys can last for around a week or so. The reason is that your body must go through the same steps to heal both.

You might even notice color changes in the hickey. At first, it might be bright red. Then, it can change to a bluish-black color. Sometimes, you might even see a hint of green or yellow.

Don’t worry; all of these are normal. There is a type of cell called macrophages that work here. These cells eat up the blood cells and digest the components of the cell. Then they remove them. Various chemicals are produced. So, you see the different colors.

Skin rashes come in different shapes and forms. And a single disease can cause rashes of different shapes. So, it is possible that a rash can look like a hickey.

This entire process takes around a week or two. So, you can expect the hickey to go away within that time.

Skin Patches That Look Like Hickey But Not Skin Rash

Anything which can give you that red mark can look like a hickey. And if the mark is on the neck or the shoulder, it can definitely look like a hickey. Some common everyday things that may look like that are:

  • A birthmark
  • Bruise due to an injury
  • Paint smear
  • Insect bite
  • Stamps and tattoos, etc.

If you have a skin rash that looks like a hickey, that’s a cause for concern. So, that’s what we’ll be focusing on.

What Diseases Have a Rash as a Symptom?

That was all about rashes that look like a hickey. But what about rashes in general? Quite a few diseases have a rash as a symptom. The prominent ones are:

  • Measles
  • Rosella
  • Parvovirus infection
  • EBV (Epstein-Barr virus)
  • Scarlet fever
  • Lyme disease
  • Rocky Mountain spotted fever
  • Typhoid
  • Acute Rheumatic fever
  • Henoch-Schonlein purpura
  • Dengue
  • Chickenpox
  • Drug reaction

What to Do About These Rashes?

The first obvious thing you must do is see a doctor. Your primary care doctor can assess your situation and refer you to a dermatologist if necessary.

They will prescribe you the proper medication depending on your disease. Taking care of your skin can prevent such rashes in the future. Some of these include:

  • Don’t rub your skin too hard
  • Try to stay out of situations where you sweat a lot
  • Avoid hot and humid environments; if you can’t avoid these, then try to stay as dry as possible
  • Try to wear loose clothes
  • Avoid caustic skin products

What Does Hickey Mean Sexually?

Sexually, a hickey means someone had an intimate time with their partner, and the partner either bitten or sucked the skin in the heat of the moment.

A hickey may seem socially awkward for a particular group. However, young adults and those with a carefree attitude towards eye-brow raising love to show off the hickey.

Lovers consider hickey a reminder of a great intimate time together, so they prefer to cherish and show it. The dominant partner of the pair considers hickey as their possessive mark on the partner.

How Do You Get Rid of a Hickey?

Very few people want to walk around with a visible hickey. So, you might be searching online for easy, quick fixes. But, in most cases, you’ll have to wait for your body to heal.

But you can try some things to accelerate the process. So let’s take a look at a few of those:

  • Applying Cold: You can try applying cold with ice packs, ice cubes, or even chilled metallic objects. The cold temperature can cause your damaged blood vessels to constrict. So, less blood escapes and leaks out.
  • Applying Heat: You shouldn’t apply heat in the first few hours. But, if you see that giving a cold compress doesn’t make your hickey go away, you can consider it.
    Heating does the exact opposite. It brings in new blood and thus new white blood cells. These cells can engulf the dead cells in the hickey.
  • Aloe Vera Pulp: You can try lightly massaging the area with aloe vera pulp. This can reduce your body’s inflammatory response. So, there will be no further damage. However, if you’re allergic, you should avoid it.
  • Arnica: Using this homeopathic cream can provide some benefits. This can accelerate the healing of bruises. So, you can try this.
  • Using Vitamins: Vitamin C is called the healing vitamin. It is because this vitamin is vital for wound healing. You can try topical vitamin C and eat lots of vitamin C-containing food. These include orange, lemon, lime, strawberry, broccoli, etc.
  • Using Makeup: This might be the only sure-shot way of ensuring your hickey isn’t visible to the world. And the best thing is, you won’t have to wait! Although it doesn’t make the problem disappear, it still does the best job of hiding the hickey.

Final Words

A rash that looks like a hickey is a cause of concern. A number of skin conditions can be responsible for this. With proper treatment and skin care, the rash will go away.


What causes a rash that looks like a hickey?

Different diseases can cause a rash that looks like a hickey. They include contact dermatitis, tinea, drug reactions, bruise, isolated psoriasis, etc.

What does a worry rash look like?

Worry rash looks like a classic wheal and flare reaction. They are elevated and have red patches. They can be itchy as well.

Can anxiety give you a rash?

Yes, anxiety can give you a rash. If you have anxiety, it can cause various chemicals and hormones to be released. These can make the blood vessels in the skin dilate. They can also cause direct damage to the cells beneath the skin. Thus, a worry rash forms.

How do I know if my rash is fungal or bacterial?

Only a trained doctor can properly tell bacterial and fungal rash apart. So, it’s best to seek their help. However, fungal rashes are on the upper layers of the skin. They can be patchy, dry, scaly, red, etc. Bacterial infections generally contain pus. Deeper infection by bacteria can cause red rashes as well.

What does gluten rash look like?

Gluten rash can appear as red, elevated, and sometimes glistening blisters. They usually are in groups. Gluten rash is common in the elbows, knees, back, or face.

Wholesomealive.com -a blog about Healthy Living