A hickey, also referred to as a kiss mark, can be a source of embarrassment for many people. This is because these kiss marks or love bites as they are commonly referred to as, are an indication of rather intense moments of passion. You need not fret, however, if you realize you have a love bite and have a business meeting to attend at 8AM the very next day! There are natural remedies that you can use to treat hickies at home. Before looking at some of the home remedies, however, it is important to understand exactly what causes hickeys, and the mode of action behind some of the most popular home remedies of the same.

girl about to kiss guy

Hickies are actually a type of skin bruise. This often results from intense kissing or sucking of the skin that leads to the damage of blood vessels at the particular point. Consequently, blood from the broken vessels accumulates under the skin, giving it a red or purple discoloration that is characteristic of hickies. These love bites will usually last for about ten days and often heal on their own. In many cases however, individuals would like quick remedies to hasten the healing process and save themselves from the embarrassment that love bites cause.

On healing, there are rarely any marks left. So, while this is not a potentially fatal medical condition, it does help to have these tips at hand. More importantly, the golden rule to effective home treatment of hickies is quick action for quick relief. The more you delay, the less effective the home remedies are. In addition, it helps to repeat the procedures severally for significant improvements in dealing with hickies.


1. Ice Pack:

Time Required: 15 Min
What You Need: Ice cubes, and a clean washcloth OR stainless steel spoon.
Difficulty: Easy

 

The choice of an ice pack ranks first in the list of home remedies for hickies because the very low temperatures cause the blood vessels in the affected area to constrict. This is essential in this home treatment because it significantly reduces the amount of bleeding underneath the skin. The ice pack also helps reduce the swelling that is characteristic of love bites.

This is a simple yet effective remedy. Note that you must avoid direct contact of the ice cubes on the skin as this predisposes you to ice burn (frost bite). Ice packs are sometimes referred to as cold compresses. In the absence of ice cubes, you can use a refrigerated spoon as described in the steps below.

Directions:

  1. Place the ice cubes in a ziplock bag and wrap using the clean washcloth.
  2. Press the wrap on the hickey site gently for about 10 minutes. Repeat this procedure severally through out the day for best results.
  3. Alternatively, place a metal spoon in the refrigerator for about 10 minutes. Just as with the ice cubes, you will wrap the spoon using a clean washcloth to prevent ice burns. Use the wrapped spoon to massage the hickey for about 5 minutes or until the spoon loses its coolness.

 


2. Alcohol:

Time Required: 10 Min
What You Need: Quarter cup of alcohol, and some cotton wool.
Difficulty: Easy

 

Rubbing alcohol on a hickey is a timeless home remedy used in the treatment of hickies. This remedy works perfectly if only a few hours have elapsed since the hickey was formed. Alcohol has great disinfectant properties, and you will certainly love the cooling effect that it has on the skin. Alcohol also soothes the skin at the site where the ruptured blood vessels have caused the characteristic bruise. These traits allow the hickey to heal pretty fast. Follow the directions below for the best results.

Directions:

  1. Soak a ball of cotton wool in the alcohol and proceed to rub it on the affected skin.
  2. Do this gently and firmly to offer relief from discomfort. Repeat this procedure severally until you notice an improvement in the skin’s condition.

NOTE: Alcohol has a drying effect on the skin, so you need to follow this procedure up with the application of a hydrating skin moisturizer on the affected area.


3. Warm Compress:

Time Required: 20 Min
What You Need: Hot water and a clean washcloth.
Difficulty: Easy

 

This home remedy is in contrast to the first and most popular natural treatment of hickies – using an ice pack. The reason for this is that in cases where the hickey is not treated within the first 24 hours, it is less likely to respond to an ice pack, which is where the warm compress comes in handy. Note that the use of a warm compress is only restricted to later use (often after 24 hours of getting the hickey). Any sooner and all the warm compress does is increase the amount of blood circulation to the freshly ruptured blood vessels, in effect worsening the appearance of the hickey and making it more obvious.

After 24 hours, however, the bruise’s blood pool has ceased spreading. The application of heat in this case, helps relax the adjacent blood vessels so that it is easy to disintegrate the accumulated blood at the site of the hickey. This is a simple home remedy, and works well when immediate home treatment of love bites is not possible.

Directions:

  1. Place the clean washcloth in a bowl and pour over it hot water.
  2. Let the washcloth soak for a few minutes before squeezing the excess water.
  3. Put the hot washcloth on the bruised area and let it sit for about 10 minutes. Use this procedure thrice daily for the best results.

 


4. Peppermint Oil:

Time Required: 15 Min
What You Need: 3 Drops of peppermint essential oil, bandage, and the following oils are optional – sweet almond oil, lavender essential oil.
Difficulty: Easy

 

One of the most versatile essential oils as far as home treatments are concerned is peppermint oil. In the treatment of hickies, this oil enhances the circulation of blood in the affected skin area. When used immediately after you get the hickey, the oil’s properties avert clotting (clotting is what gives hickies their characteristic red coloration).

In addition, the oil has also been shown to heal the broken capillaries. Note, however, that if the love bite features broken skin, you may want to dilute the peppermint oil to avoid the tingling sensation that follows when broken skin is exposed to peppermint oil. Sweet Almond and lavender oil are excellent options as far dilution is concerned.

Directions:

  1. Mix the three types of oil and soak the ball of cotton wool in the oil mixture. This is ideal if you suspect you could have broken skin, otherwise peppermint alone will work just fine.
  2. Rub the hickey with the soaked cotton wool in gentle motions. At the onset, you will feel the tingling sensation, but this will dissipate really quickly.Use this procedure a maximum of two times daily because excessive use of peppermint oil topically can cause skin irritation.

 


5. Aloe Vera Gel:

Time Required: 10 Min
What You Need: Freshly cut aloe vera leaf and a Q-tip.
Difficulty: Easy

 

Aloe vera is, without a doubt, one of the most effective home remedies for an array of skin conditions. It therefore comes as no surprise that this is one of the ways you can treat a love bite at home. The gel of the freshly cut plant not only soothes the bruised skin, it also prevents inflammation and reddening of the hickey. As a skin moisturizer, the aloe vera gel helps maintain the skin’s hydration while allowing for the quick healing of the ruptured blood vessels in the hickey. In the absence of fresh aloe vera leaves, you can always substitute with skin products that contain aloe vera gel as a base.

Directions:

  1. Trap the gel of the freshly cut aloe leaf onto a Q-tip, and use this gel to massage the affected skin. Repeat this procedure thrice daily for best results.

NOTE: You may preserve some of the fresh aloe vera gel, but make sure you refrigerate it and use it within 48 hours.

 


6. Banana Peels:

Time Required: 20 Min
What You Need: Fresh banana peel
Difficulty: Easy

 

Banana peels are a handy home remedy used for the treatment of hickies. This is because the insides of the banana peel have a soothing effect on the hickey, speeding up the healing process. Typically, the peels are left on the skin for about 15 minutes before the peels are discarded to prevent them from turning black.

Directions:

  1. Take a fresh banana’s peel and use the inner part of the peel to rub the hickey.
  2. Do this for 15 minutes, and repeat the procedure severally through out the day.

 


7. Eye Drops:

Time Required: 10 Min
What You Need: Eye drops and cold water to rinse.
Difficulty: Easy

 

Using eye drops to treat hickies is a simple and ingenious home remedy. This remedy works because it helps to eliminate the inflammation and redness that characterizes hickies. If you occasionally use eye drops, you can always add this remedy to your list of benefits.As a general guideline, look out for the constituent ingredients to rule out any possibilities of allergic reactions.

Directions:

  1. Place two eye drops on the hickey and massage the area for 5 minutes.
  2. Rinse the affected area with cold water. Repeat this procedure twice daily for best results.

 


8. Pineapple Slices:

Time Required: 20 Min
What You Need: Pineapple slices and cotton wool (optional).
Difficulty: Easy

 

Pineapple fruit is best known for its constituent enzyme, a versatile acid known as bromelain. This acid makes the fruit a handy remedy for the treatment of bruises such as hickies, while causing the dissolution of clotted blood. Its ability to disintegrate blood proteins also contributes to the prevention of clotting. Additionally, bromelain also acts as an anti-inflammatory, effectively reducing the redness of the hickey. When applied topically, the pineapple fruit juice works well over a period of several days.

Directions:

  1. Take a sizable piece of the pineapple slice and rub it on the hickey.
  2. Alternatively, squeeze the pineapple juice and soak the cotton wool in it. Dab the soaked wool on the hickey for about 15 minutes.
  3. After either procedure rinse the area with cold water, and repeat the procedure thrice daily until you notice an improvement.

 


9. Parsley:

Time Required: 20 Min
What You Need: Fresh parsley, pestle and mortar, and a bandage.
Difficulty: Easy

 

Parsley’s use as a herb presents diverse options for those looking for effective home remedies for hickies. This herb is packed with vitamins that hasten the healing of discolored skin, a trait that is common with love bites. The herb’s high concentration of volatile oils and flavanoids help alleviate swelling, while reducing damage to the bruise’s blood capillaries. Parsley is also rich in Vitamin C which goes a long way in slowing down the process of blood clotting.

Directions:

  1. Sort and clean the parsley under running water, before grinding it to a thick paste using a pestle and mortar.
  2. Scoop some of the paste onto your palms and apply it on the hickey.
  3. You could hold the paste in place with the use of a bandage, replacing the paste on an hourly basis.
  4. Repeat this procedure daily until you eliminate the hickey.

 


Other home remedies for the treatment of hickies include the application of apple vinegar to improve blood circulation, Witch Hazel whose tannins have astringent properties as well as cocoa butter. The latter is an excellent skin moisturizer, and its ingredients act as a healing agent. No more embarrassment for you whenever you get a hickey – simply choose form any of the aforementioned home remedies.

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