How To Get Rid Of A Hickey - What Causes It And How To Get Rid Of It

by Jerrico_Usher

What is a hickey? We'll cover exactly what it is and how to remove it

A hickey is a form of hemotoma. A hematoma is a "circumscribed collection of blood, usually clotted, in a tissue or organ, caused by a break in a blood vessel" according to the dictionary.

A hickey is formed when ruptured blood vessels called capillaries just under the skin break/burst then (blood escapes) bleed out into the surrounding areas inside the skin and clot just like if the blood came out of a wound, (what gives it that light to dark coloring) Since the blood is literally outside the capillaries but under the skin oxygen does reach it turning it red. When enough blood clots in one spot it turns dark purple.

The darker the hickey the more saturated the blood is in that area A hickey is literally an internal hemorrhage.

When your lover starts to suck on your neck they eventually pop that blood vessel and thus the pain of a hickey ensues. The more vessels that pop the darker the hickey due to the saturation of blood and the clotting.


I have a HICKEY on my neck!

Don't people realize that theirs much more pleasure given if you DON'T leave a hickey? I don't understand this mentality actually, I can kiss a girls neck passionately and not leave a mark, even during rough or Passionate XXX.. Well ok sometimes the nibbling becomes biting but that's hardly the same thing as sucking on someone's neck until you rupture their precious blood vessels!

How is this a show of love? I think its more of a territorial marker, and a sign of low self esteem on the giver of the hickey... But that's just me..

How To Make A Hickey Go Away

Their are no instant cures, it's a busted blood vessel, and just like a cut or wound it has to heal naturally over time, a process that includes the body reabsorbing the "lost" blood and removing it.

Their are ways to slow down the damage so it doesn't get worse and to start the healing process. These tips are really not cures so much as they are ways of helping nature take its course more readily.

The red/purple tattoo is really blood and dead cells that need to be broken up and absorbed back into the system, so the "cure" is to help speed up the clotting process so the body can do its part more quickly removing the purple/red subcutaneous blood.

Realize the bursting of the vessel is just the first part of the hickey creation, the real damage (the purple ugly hickey) comes afterward from clotting blood bleeding out into the epidermis (skin).

Some of these are painful others not, I'll let you decide which ones you want to try.

Dealing with the pain of the internal wound :)

First let's deal with the pain of a hickey if you got a doozie. The pain reliever Excedrin Migraine is the best product to use for several reasons.

It contains three ingredients that help different aspects of the "internal injury".

Acetaminophen (Tylenol), Aspirin (derived from willow tree bark), and Caffeine (thins blood to help with swelling and dilates blood flow to help fix the wound, but Note: Take this ONLY after the hickey is starting to heal, as the red part of the hickey is due to blood escaping into the skin and thinned blood will make this worse! once the capillaries have sealed again its safe to stimulate blood flow again). Tylenol and aspirin help with pain.

Aspirin comes from the bark of a willow tree, the part of willow bark that does this is a chemical known as salicin. When ingested salicin is converted into a chemical known as salicylic acid, which inhibits an enzyme called cyclooxygenase 2. This enzyme is partially responsible for generating and sending the pain signals (chemically) to the brain but aspirin slows it down from doing its job and the chemical production around the damaged cells are hindered (not stopped completely). In english that means aspirin stops the brain from interpreting pain signals because the enzymes are "deactivated" temporarily by the aspirin.

Aspirin and Caffeine keeps blood platelets from sticking together (thins blood), thus reducing the amount of blood clots and slowing the flow of blood just beneath the skin.

Reverse the course of the injury so healing can begin more swiftly

When the veins burst, swelling occurs causing constrictions in blood flow (fresh blood flow helps repair the damaged areas but is hindered access due to the swelling, this is fine at first as the bursted veins are open and bleeding out, but they heal relatively quickly and once this happens you need to restore the blood flow pretty quickly to aid in the healing process. To remove this congestion/swelling use ice wrapped in something to remove the sting of the freezing cold ice cubes. If you put ice directly onto the hicky you could make it worse. Wrap the ice cubes/icepack in paper towels to absorb the melting water and to allow the cold air to circulate in the skin without the direct contact of the ice cubes to the sensitive skin. The cold ice will slow and reverse the swelling allowing blood to flow more easily (speeding up healing time). Ice also constricts the capillaries which slows down further bleeding out.. so basically the capillaries close and the blood flows again which heals the capillaries faster and the blood flow helps clean up the mess under your skin.

Now let's deal with that ugly purple blood tattoo

I call the clotting blood trapped just below the skin a tattoo because it uses the same principal as a real tattoo, which is just ink injected just below the skin. Unlike the ink in a tattoo however the blood and dead tissue can be reabsorbed into the system and hence the hickey goes away.

This can take a very long time to happen, but luckily you can speed this process substantially by helping the body out. You need to break up the blood clot (which is blood platelets sticking together) to allow the body to absorb the blood back into the system. To do this you just massage the area. Easier said than done I know..

My favorite method is the hard bristled toothbrush. This stimulates the clotted blood with a vibrating motion along with force. I think of it like a mini earthquake shaking the platelets apart :~)

I don't know if it would help but using one of those vibrating toothbrushes may help as well as the bristles only move side to side fast (not spinning around as that would likely cut your gums).

Put a spoon in the freezer for about 10 minutes then hold it against the hickey for about 30 seconds then scrape the area with the toothbrush. The cold helps break up the clot and the toothbrush works much better. You can use a lipstick lid, a coin, or any hard edged surface to do this but the toothbrush is the most comfortable and I believe the most effective.

As the blood un-clots (it takes some time) the hickey and redness will spread but this will change after several minutes. Left untouched a hickey will stay for up to 2 weeks in full bloom. If your hickey is big, you may want to put the bulk of your spoons in the freezer so you can swap them out when they warm up- the cold helps a great deal.

After a few days the wound should be healed. The ice pack (cold) helps to constrict the capitulates to slow blood flow so reduce the bleeding but now that the area is healed you will need to circulate fresh blood in there, to do this you use heat. A heating pad works well. As the area heats up the blood circulation will increase speeding up healing time as well.

Other remedies that are supposed to help

Aloe lotion helps moisturize the skin where the sucking of it by your lover may have dried it out, and will sooth the area that is probably sensitive to the touch, especially after the scraping endeavors!

Apply peppermint to the area of the hickey (toothpaste with mint is sufficient) this will tingle for a minute when it stops tingling you can wash it off. The mint stimulates circulation and helps break up the clot. Don't do this repeatedly however as it could cause irritation but once a day works wonders. Sooner the better too.

For cover up use green tinted concealer as the green counters the red in the hickey helping to hide it!

Lastly, try taking a hot bath submerging your entire body in the water (other than your face of course) to get the blood circulating well.

I hope you found this informative. Remember the best cure and only instant cure is abstinence! (haha)


Do not apply too much pressure to the hickey. Although the blood clotting will subside, too much pressure could cause a real bruise which is green in tint and looks much worse than the purple hickey! Use your head!

Reader Submitted Tips:

1. After you get the hickey, use a toothbrush w/ mint toothpaste (dry -- do not wet the brush). Work the bristles in a circular motion against your skin. You should see the hickey disappear and not so bright. Your skin will be red from the brush movement. Try that in areas of your body you don't mind having redness for awhile. But it works wonders.

2. Rub a penny on the hickey it kinda hurts but the copper seems to do something. They are usually gone in the morning. you have to do it in intervals though or you'll just bruise yourself.

3.  I used the spoon method and scraped the hickeys with a penny an got a towle with the hottest water i could stand and placed it on the area and my redness was gone in a hour.

4. Put mint toothpaste on it before bed and the wash it off everytime you wake up. Put a spoon in the freezer for ten minutes and put it on there for 30 seconds. Massage it to loosen up the blood that clotted, and it should work, at least make the hickey dissappear quickly. Worked for me :)

5.  We used mineral ice. same as icy hot and just gently rubbed it on the hickeys. I think that it has the same principle as the toothpaste but with a little more "kick." We also used the back of the toothbrush to massage it into the surrounding skin and hickey. (very careful not to push too hard.) Amazingly it started working pretty fast. In about 2 hours my hickeys on a scale of 1-10 went from a 8 to a 3. After removing the mineral ice we put a hot compress on it and gently massaged it. Hopefully they will continue to heal. Hope this helps!

6. I heard using the flat end of an Alkaline battery works well, rubbing it firmly but not too hard. I tried this and it helped some but not as much as I would have liked. I am torn between a cold compress and hot compress, people have suggested both...

7. I used frozen spoons for about 10 minutes. The hickies faded within a couple of minutes, but you must apply pressure or it won't work that well. Then I put Ice on them. After 15 minutes of ice they almost completely dissipated. Taking Tylenol will help the pain & makes the blood thin. That will help too.

8. The toothbrush worked really well!! Around 7 I started to massage the area gently with a toothbrush. I was scared at first because it looked worse, but once the redness was gone, the hickey was significantly less visible. I did this about once every hour. Now it's just faintly pink, I assume from the toothbrush still. Great stuff!

9. So my brothers friend marked his territory so I had to remove his tattoo it didn't completly go away I am in day one I put neosporin on at night plus pain relief and I iced with pressure used the bottle cap method.. Tonight I am going to try toothpaste.

10. First ice it...after you ice it...while its still cold, get some mint flavored toothpaste and rub it for about 10 mins (you should feel it tingle, keep wetting it so it doesn't dry out). Keep doing this until you see it go away...HOWEVER, I'm not sure how much luck you'll have if you have a humongous dark purple hickey...

11. I'm trying just a cold water bottle for a few minutes, then I take it off and gently rub a penny on it. It seems to be working alright.

Updated: 06/22/2012, Jerrico_Usher
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