We’ve all been through the teenage phase. It’s a gamut of emotions, with loads of memories attached to it. The highlight of almost all teenagers’ life: the love factor. We all remember the first time we touched a girl/boy and the bliss of the first hug. Even the electricity of the first kiss. Dreamy, isn’t it? However, not ALL acts of making out are pretty. And we all remember the first time we got a scar (or the second time, for those who couldn’t work the first one out), the infamous hickey. My personal first hickey made me feel very juvenile and, frankly, embarrassed. My aunt who could gauge the time the hickey took to be made was no help, either. Anyway, coming back, we all have had an embarrassing time trying to hide a hickey, no matter how many times you’ve garnered/donated one. The scientific explanation of a hickey is broken capillaries and pooling blood that turns the skin red or purple, caused by constant sucking or kissing. To help you out, here are ten home remedies to rid you of that “invasion” of privacy. Guaranteed to work fast, else you always have turtlenecks!
10. Cocoa Butter
Yes, even your skin loves chocolate (or, at least its parent). Cocoa butter acts as an excellent moisturiser and promotes the growth of new skin cells. It’s proven to be effective in removal of bruises caused under hickey-like circumstances. To get started, heat the area of the hickey to a warm temperature. Don’t burn yourself, just slightly warm the area. Once warm, apply some cocoa butter. Massage the area gently for a few minutes. This will increase blood flow and remove clots. Repeat this several times within a day. Thanks again, chocolate!
Note: Almond oil or olive oil are able substitutes of cocoa butter. Just a tip!
9. Finger Massage
In the heat of the moment, you marked your significant other with a hickey. Now what? Ah, yes! A romantic neck massage may do the trick! Surprisingly, it does. As the hickey gets older, rubbing the bruised area from the center to the outer edges helps increase blood circulation and aids in healing the hickey. Temperature is a catalyst in this case, so warm the “hickied” zone a little before massaging. To be done twice a day for a couple of minutes.
8. Warm Compress
As I’m sure most of you may have gathered, heat is beneficial in aiding the healing of a hickey. This healing potency of temperature is increased exponentially around the second or the third day. Heat works by dilating the capillaries and making way for fresh blood to flow, cleaning up the mess. A little preparation is required for this remedy. Saturate a washcloth in hot water. Wring out all excess water. Be thorough or risk an uneasy situation! Then, gently apply the cloth to the bruised area for five minutes. Repeat this thrice. A handy substitute for a warm cloth is a hair dryer. Use one on the area to heat it up a little, and use your fingers to increase circulation. A reusable heat patch can also be obtained from pharmacies if needed.
Never did you think citrus juice would come in handy in such a situation. Apart from ridding seamen (if you laughed, the internet has ruined you) of scurvy, they can be used to remove the scar, which is completely unrelated to scurvy, from your body. Now, the technical part: vitamin C is proven to be beneficial, and is an essential nutrient, in repairing skin cells. It also has healing properties, which will heal that bruise up real quick. Immediately post getting your hickey, drink some orange juice. The real deal squeezed straight from fresh oranges is more effective than packaged ones, but both work. If oranges are not available, you can take 500 milligrams of vitamin C three times a day for a week to help rebuild your collagen. Yeah, just some vitamin C would be okay.
6. Vitamin K
I never used to listen to my mother when she told me to apply lotion to “keep my skin soft”. However, if I’d known sooner, I’d have used a jar of moisturiser within a week. Vitamin K prevents coagulation (blood clots) and hence can be used to treat bruises. This vitamin helps your body reabsorb pooled blood and speed up the healing process. In short, this would clean up the mark which raises one too many eyebrows. As you may have understood, apply a lotion or cream which says it contains vitamin K on the mark. The higher the concentration, the better! Repeat this twice or thrice per day until the bruise disappears. Eat more food rich in vitamin K, like brown rice, spinach, broccoli, soybean oil, and fish oil for a couple of days. This will aid in the healing process. Supplements can also be taken if wanted.
5. Banana Peel
Did somebody say banana peel? But don’t they have comic purpose alone? Yes, apart from cracking Wile. E Coyote’s skull (shout out to all Road Runner fans), banana peels have health benefits, too. If you apply one the size of your hickey on the affected area for ten or thirty minutes, the soothing as well as cooling properties of the peel would help minimize your hickey fast. Repeating this twice or thrice should reduce the prominence of the mark. Make sure the banana is ripe!
4. Aloe Vera
Having a list of beauty tips (technically, this statement is not incorrect) without aloe vera seems almost impossible. However, the natural moisturising property of the aloe vera comes in handy to soothe the affected area. This, coupled with its anti-inflammatory property, will help the burst capillaries under your skin heal faster. Extract and apply fresh aloe vera gel on the affected area, twice or thrice a day. For the non-botany enthusiast who do not have an aloe vera plant at their homes, a lotion or cream which contains aloe vera should work just fine. Another use for aloe vera – check!
3. Rubbing Alcohol
No, do not rush to get a bottle of alcohol. Rubbing alcohol is a packaged spirit available at pharmacies for topical applications. If only a few hours have passed since you got the hickey, rubbing alcohol is just the right option for you. Rubbing alcohol has disinfectant, soothing and cooling properties that can help get rid of a hickey fast and clean. Using a cotton ball, apply rubbing alcohol on the “hickied” zone. Rub it gently on the area. This should rid you of any discomfort, if present. A handy note, rubbing alcohol actually dries your skin. So, apply lotion following a rubbing alcohol session. Repeat for a couple of days, as many times as you can in a day.
What? I thought peppermint was a cane shaped Christmas goody. But, no, the mint has a stimulant effect that can increase blood circulation and heal the blood vessels in the bruised area. Hence, it is very useful to treat hickies. To use peppermint, apply some of its oil on the affected skin area. There may be a tingling sensation initially, but that’ll quickly subside. Alternatively, you can use peppermint toothpaste. Apply some of it and, once the tingling subsides, wipe it off with a warm washcloth. It is not advisable to use this remedy more than once a day. Also, this is most effective immediately after a hickey
1. Cold Compress
On a list where the synonyms of “warm” were predominantly present, nobody would’ve expected this ironical entry. However, to heal a hickey, blood cots need to be relieved to allow circulation of blood. Cooling helps in soothing the affected area and aids the hickey in healing. Contact with cold would also restrict ruptured capillaries and stop bleeding. Use an ice pack on the bruise several times a day. It will help prevent swelling around the hickey and reduce pain. Do not apply ice directly on the skin because it can cause an ice burn. Alternatively, you can cool a metallic object, say a spoon, in a refrigerator. You can then wrap it in a cloth (once it’s sufficiently cold), and rub it on the hickey. Keep it up until the object becomes warm again. Repeat as many times as you can.
So, now I hope we all are more aware on how to rid ourselves of the “proofs” of our “intimate” milieu from the outside-people. Hope this comes in handy when you’re in a panic and have already started making up an excuse about a sudden rash forming on your neck.