What is a Hickey?
A Hickey (Hickie), also sometimes called a love bite or kiss mark, is a bruise caused by biting, aggressive kissing or sucking of soft skin, usually around the neck or on the arm. Throughout your body, you have many different types of blood vessels that help transport blood around. The smallest blood vessels in your body are called capillaries. When somebody sucks very hard on soft skin, they can cause the capillaries just beneath the surface to rupture, letting blood seep out into the surrounding tissue. So, hickeys, like bruises, are actually broken blood vessels just under the surface of the skin that blood has come out of. The blood that has collected and clotted under the skin is generally red at first but then, as it is no longer getting oxygen, the blood dries out and turns into a darker purple or brown color.
Hickeys are often considered a mark of possession by the person giving them, and are seen as a mild form of sadism (getting pleasure from inflicting pain). They can be sexual or non-sexual in nature and are generally very popular in high school. The neck is the most common place hickeys are given as the neck is in very plain sight and is also an erogenous zone.
How Long Does a Hickey Last?
Hickeys can vary in sizes depending on the damage done to the capillaries beneath the surface. Untreated, a hickey will generally last one to two weeks, though this will vary quite a bit depending on the severity of the hickey and the person who received it. The blood that has collected in the tissue in the area of the hickey slowly spreads into surrounding tissue, disperses, and is slowly dissolved and reabsorbed. A hickey will heal just like any other bruise you may get so, if you’re wondering how long it will take to heal naturally – just think of any other similar bruise you may have gotten throughout your life! If you have a hickey you don’t want, you can learn how to get rid of a hickey quickly here. Most importantly to know, hickeys are not dangerous and do not cause any permanent damage or leave permanent marks.
Hickeys can be fun and passionate, and are generally not painful for the receiver however, they may often not be desired. Hickeys can be embarrassing and inappropriate in social, professional, or family environments. Though you can always hide a hickey, that can be uncomfortable, and they can take several days to get rid of. Before giving a hickey, it is very important to find out if your partner is OK with getting one. That being said, if you’re in the mood and want to know how it’s done, click here to learn how to give a hickey!
|How to Get Rid of a Hickey|