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How to Get Rid of a Hickey: Tips and Tricks

I am an avid writer, and I love providing the community with useful DIY beauty advice.

A very large and detailed hickey.

A very large and detailed hickey.

How to Get Rid of a Hickey Fast

As you may already know, a hickey is actually bruising of the skin. It can occur virtually anywhere—from the face and neck down to the feet and toes. The idea of sucking on someone's foot is not usually the definition of attractive, so many hickeys are usually going to occur on the neck.

How are Hickeys Formed?

The act of creating a hickey usually involves biting or sucking on the surface of the skin, with enough damage being caused to rupture small capillaries. Capillaries are the smallest blood vessels in the body and are those closest to the surface of the skin. When the capillary ruptures, the blood is drawn to the surface of the skin due to irritation and inflammation; this is a result of biting and sucking the skin repeatedly. The blood is so close to the surface of the skin at this point that it becomes visible. It pools in the injured area, creating a large bruise that can last for weeks. Now, we will move on to the ways that guys and girls can use to get rid of hickeys.

Plenty of ice will help to soothe and get rid of a fresh hickey.

Plenty of ice will help to soothe and get rid of a fresh hickey.

Immediate Treatment

If the hickey is very fresh, you can use cold objects to stop its growth. After it is created, blood will continue to trickle to the surface of the skin. If your body is hot, the blood vessels will be dilated. This means that the vessels are open wider than usual and is usually an attempt to cool the body. This works against you because it allows more blood to reach the surface of the skin.

Use Cold Items

By using cold items, you can reduce the temperature of the skin, reduce inflammation, and constrict the blood vessels and capillaries that are feeding the hickey. A cold compress, ice cubes in Ziploc bags, or even bags of frozen peas will work. The compress should rest on the skin for around 15–30 minutes. This method will generally only work if the hickey is fresh.

Getting Rid of Older Hickeys

If a hickey is over 24-hours old, then this method can help. It will make the situation worse if the hickey is fresh, however. Here, you use heat to treat it. A warm compress, a washrag soaked in hot water, or a heated pillow will suffice. The goal here is to warm the hickey for 10–15 minutes at a time to increase blood flow. At this age, the vessels that ruptured have healed over well enough to avoid any other leaking. This means they will not add more blood cells to the hickey, so it will not become worse.

Use Hot Items

The reason that heat helps at this stage is that the resulting increased blood flow will help to remove the dead blood cells. Eventually, the body will remove these decaying blood cells naturally. Increasing blood flow will help the area to purge itself of this "waste." It works in a similar way to flushing the kidneys with lots of water. "Combing" the hickey with a comb or a brush will help to further stimulate blood flow to the area. However, you must be careful to avoid further damaging the skin.

Your Hickey Is Too Big or Severe to Get Rid of: Now What?

If you cannot get the hickey to disappear, it is time to try a few other tactics. These tips may help you to barely slip under the radar when it comes to avoiding being caught by others, especially family or coworkers.

  • Concealer: Many women are already aware of this tactic, but it works for men who need to hide hickeys as well! The issue is finding a concealer that matches your skin tone perfectly, but will be strong enough to make the hickey disappear. If you can find the right concealer, the need to balance it out with foundation will not occur.
  • Green Eyeshadow: Green and red cancel one another out, and will create a tan or brown color. A very faint layer of green eyeshadow should be applied to the center of the hickey and blended outwards until the redness is less obvious. Afterward, a light layer of concealer should easily erase the hickey from view. This is one of the best methods for combating the worst of hickeys.
  • Turtleneck Shirts and Collars: If no other method seems to cut it, it is time to pull out a collared shirt or a turtleneck. For some, it may be clear that you are trying to hide something. If you are notorious for receiving hickeys, ensure that you wear these shirts at least 1–2 times per week to avoid suspicion when you need them!
  • Curly, Loose Pigtail Hairstyle: As a last resort, this is a really good idea- but it will only work with hair that reaches past the shoulders. Hair should be curled and teased. Hairspray should be used to give a big hair effect from root to tip. Afterward, the hair should be divided equally on the left and right, and each side should be pulled into a loose ponytail. You will be able to hide hickeys that are on the left side or right side of the neck easily this way.

Avoiding Hickeys in the Future

While some people may enjoy showing off their hickeys, it can lead to issues many times. You can avoid hickeys by ensuring that the action is not so rough, or the hickeys can be moved to an easy-to-hide area if you like receiving them. If there are important dates and events coming, it is wise to remember to stay hickey free. It will not only save you a headache and time, but quite possibly money as well if you are not outfitted with the equipment needed to hide a hickey!

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.


angryelf (author) from Tennessee on June 09, 2013:

Thank you! Trying to get up some intriguing ones haha :)

kidscrafts from Ottawa, Canada on June 09, 2013:

Interesting way to treat hickeys! Thanks for sharing!