Whether you have just had an amazing date with a new beau or you have a long-term partner, you may discover that you have a hickey on your neck. If the prospect of putting on a turtleneck to avoid the glaring eyes of parents or co-workers does not sound appealing, you might try to use a toothpaste concoction to make it go away. Here’s what you need to know first.
What Is a Hickey?
In order to get rid of a hickey, it helps to know exactly what a hickey is. A hickey, or “love bite,” is the result of suction on the skin to the point that it bursts small blood vessels. Discoloration occurs, creating a purple, red or blue bruise. Usually, hickeys are on the neck, shoulders or arm, but they can be anywhere.
Hickeys can last just a few days, but they can also last a couple of weeks. A hickey will feel and look similar to a bruise as long as it remains on the skin.
The Best Toothpaste to Use
People who recommend using this method to remove hickeys recommend using a minty toothpaste. No specific brand is recommended to use for this purpose, but the mint is said to help circulate the blood in the area, giving you a tingling feeling while soothing the skin.
How to Apply the Toothpaste
Once you have selected your toothpaste, apply it as quickly as possible after you notice that you have a hickey. Use your finger to apply the toothpaste, and then lightly massage it into your skin.
If you have sensitive skin, make sure to remove the toothpaste within a few minutes. You can remove the toothpaste with warm water and a cloth. Be gentle. Make sure not to scrub the area, as you could risk leaving other types of red marks.
If your skin is not very sensitive, you can leave the toothpaste in place overnight. Wipe the toothpaste away with a warm cloth in the morning.
Your next step is to simply wait. You will probably still see some parts of the hickey after the toothpaste trick, but wait about 24 hours before you try to do it again. If you try to use toothpaste on your skin too often, you can damage your skin.
Other Ways to Get Rid of Hickeys
Keep in mind that medical professionals do not tend to recommend the toothpaste method, as it could irritate your skin. Additionally, it doesn't necessarily make the hickey go away any sooner.
Aloe vera soothes the skin, which can fix broken capillaries. Apply aloe vera several times a day for best results. Don’t have any aloe vera on hand? Try rubbing the inside of a banana peel on the area. It sounds strange, but it could be the key to soothing your skin because it's packed with vitamins, antioxidants and nutrients.
Another common way to say goodbye to a hickey is to ice the region. Ice helps eliminate the swelling and any pain caused by the bruise. Hold ice, wrapped in a cloth, to your skin for about 15 minutes.
No ice available? Put a spoon in the freezer until it's very cold, and then hold it against the bruise to ease swelling. The sooner you apply cold to the area, the more likely it is that the blood will coagulate and stop causing such an intense bruise.
You can also go the other direction and use a warm compress if your hickey has been around for a day or more. The warmth will help stimulate blood flow to the area. While this might help relieve the discoloration, you might also need to cover up with some concealer to keep your skin looking fresh and bruise-free.