“A form of love bite. A bruise raised on the body of a sexual partner by very hard kissing / biting /sucking.” – Urban Dictionary
“Nothing happened last night, I swear!” These were the words I blurted to my friend as she caught me sneaking into the house the next morning. “Oh yeah? So what that right here and there?” she pointed to the side of my neck and the spot right on my left cleavage. “I was attacked…by wild beast.” I muttered in utter embarrassment.
I wish I could say there’s such a thing as an accidental hickey, but that’ll be a lie. It takes a conscious effort nibbling or sucking passionately or semi-violently on someone’s neck and body parts until it turns whichever hue off the existing 50 shades of red.
Hickeys are given for all sorts of reasons ranging from an act of marking ones territory, a fetish or out of vengeance (because you started it first), a misguided attempt at passion or because your partner is a Vampire (think Damon from hit TV Series Vampire Diaries) or a combination of these reasons.
Either way, this tramp stamp or love bite, unlike the infamous Chinese tramp stamp tattoo, is nothing to be ashamed of. It is a sexy reminder that you got some and it was damn good…I hope. You’ll be in luck if your love bite was strategically etched on parts of your body concealed by clothing otherwise, way out of luck if you are stuck with those public ones. The type that has your entire family, office or church playing a game of ‘spot the hickey’ every time you walk into the room, leaving everyone with the constant reminder of what was supposed to be your private and intimate weekend hook-up and you to deal with the eyes and whispers. In this case, drastic action has needs taken and ASAP!
Since hickeys are sexy bruises and like every other bruise, just needs time to heal. Time you don’t have because of its obvious location which has you feeling frustrated. The kind that will birth shitty ideas like wearing a band-aid over it or turtle neck in this hot Naija weather. All of which will make matters worse, trust me! In times like these, you realize Google doesn’t really have your best interest at heart as results from your search includes methods that involve scraping, peeling, pinching or worse applying some weird concoction not approved by NAFDAC, conjured by some broad with a degree in cosmetology from the University of Yaba Market or Ikeja Under bridge. To get rid of a hickey, you need to understand how it works.
When someone sucks on any part of your body, the small blood vessels close to that area of skin breaks. Blood seeps out, spreading to the surrounding tissue and clots therefore giving you a bruise, reddish most times but eventually turns brown. When the blood dissolves and is reabsorbed into the vessels, the hickey disappears, in most cases 3 -5 days! However, this depends on a whole bunch of factors; eating habits, type of skin, white blood cells etc. Don’t let a mare hickey ruin your day or stop you from rocking your fave fashion pieces, here are some DIY tips you could try…at home.
Apply pressure on the spot using an ice pack immediately, that is within 12 hours of getting the hickey. The cold from the ice will constrict the blood vessels and reduce the blood flow hence stopping the hickey from growing. Hold and press for 20 minutes and the move the ice pack around gently for another 20 minutes and repeat as often as can.
Apply Moist Heat
This helps after your blood vessels have healed and you need to get circulation going. Applying moist heat for about 15 to 20 mins will help the blood vessels dilate, increase blood flow and aid reabsorption.
Massage the Area
This is effective after the first 48 hours.
Toothpaste, Oils & Creams
Anything peppermint based including toothpaste can help increase blood circulation. Apply on the affected area(s) the tingling sensation means it’s working. Clean off with a damp towel afterwards. This method should be used sparingly to avoid irritation.
Concealer or Foundation
Apply on the affected area(s). This is a temporary but very effective quick fix.
Use an item of clothing or accessory to cover it up such as scarves, or styling your hair to cover the spot. Be careful not to wear jewelry like chunky earrings that will draw attention to it.
Hickeys are memories and who doesn’t love a good memory. However, where everything else fails, a white lie never hurts. Try some of these classics “I got burnt with a curling iron” or “ While frying dodo, the oil jumped and splashed on my skin” or “ I got bitten by that nasty Skirt & Blouse insect” or my fave, “I was attacked by a wild beast”.
Photo Credit: Dreamstime