How Long Does A Hickey Last? Plus Remedies.

5 minute read

Giving or receiving a hickey can be fun if both partners consent to the act. If they happen accidentally, however, they can be a bit of a pain to deal with since they are visible markers of sexy time you may not want others to see. If you’re wondering what a hickey is, what it means, and how to get rid of one, you’re in the right place. Read on to learn all about hickeys.

What are hickeys? / What is a hickey?

When a person spends some time (20-30 seconds usually) kissing, sucking, or lightly biting an area of the body, it can cause the capillaries under the skin to rupture, causing a bruise. The resulting bruise is known as a hickey. A hickey usually lasts a week or two, but it will heal over time. Hickeys are not dangerous.

What do hickeys mean?

Hickeys can mean different things to different people. Sometimes, they are known as “love bites,” and can be a sign of affection. A hickey can also mean a person is “marking territory,” in a BDSM/ kink context. A hickey might mean nothing at all — it could just be that your partner spent too long kissing an area, causing a bruise. Talk to your partner about whether or not you like hickeys and what they mean to you.

Are hickeys bad?

Whether a hickey is bad or not, is subjective: Some people like hickeys and find them pleasurable. Other people don’t like hickeys and find them painful, or they just don’t want a mark on their body. Because some people like hickeys and others don’t, it’s always important to ask for consent before giving a hickey. Ask your partner if they like hickeys and how they like to receive them.

Are hickeys dangerous?

A hickey is not dangerous. A hickey is simply a bruise caused by suction kissing and light biting. This breaks blood vessels under the skin, causing discoloration. It will heal after a week or two. While hickeys are not dangerous, some people might find them painful or not like marks on their body. Always get consent from a partner before giving a hickey.

Why do people give hickeys?

People give hickeys for different reasons. Some people may have a partner who simply enjoys the sensation and wants the concentrated attention on an erogenous zone. Hickeys are sometimes known as “love bites” and can be seen as a sign of affection. They can also be part of a BDSM kinks as a way to “mark territory.” While there are plenty of reasons to give hickeys, there are also plenty of reasons not to — it all depends on how your partner feels about hickeys. Always ask your partner for consent before giving a hickey.

How long does it take to give a hickey?

It usually only takes 20 to 30 seconds of kissing, sucking, and lightly biting a concentrated area of skin for a hickey to form. How long it takes to give a hickey can depend on the person, however. People with poor blood circulation might be prone to bruising quicker. After all, a hickey is just a bruise, or broken blood vessels under the skin.

How to give someone a hickey

To give someone a hickey, all you need to do is kiss an area of skin with suction or gentle biting for an extended period of time. It usually only takes about 20 to 30 seconds to leave a mark.

How to give a good hickey

If you want to give a good hickey, talk to your partner about what they like. Assuming they want the hickey, ask them what their erogenous zones are, and concentrate on those areas with your mouth. Kiss their skin gently, then build up with some suction, making your mouth an 0-shape. If your partner likes biting, you can vary the sucking motion with some gentle biting, too.

How long does a hickey last?

A hickey is a bruise and takes about a week or two to heal. Time is the best thing for a hickey, but there are also other ways to progress the healing process, such as applying a cool compress over it for ten minutes at a time.

How to make a hickey go away

Time is the best thing to make a hickey go away. But there are a few methods to help speed healing. 

  • Ice. Appy a cool compress, like a cold spoon, for ten minutes at a time to slow blood flow to it. 
  • Heat After two days of cool compress, try a warm compress to help circulation.
  • Toothbrush bristles. Rubbing toothbrush bristles over the hickey can help circulation.  
  • Topical vitamins. Creams or oils that contain vitamin C or vitamin K can help clear bruising. 
  • Aloe vera. Aloe vera’s anti-inflammatory properties can help stop the swelling. 

Banana peel. The inside of a banana peel can be a cooling treatment that reduces the hickey. Place the peel on the hickey for up to 30 minutes a few times a day.

Hickeys, or love bites, can mean a range of things, and, with a little practice, you can learn to give a really good hickey. But, in the end, a hickey is bruise you or your partner may or may not want to wear with pride. If you want to get rid of a hickey, there are a few methods to try. But if you like it, wear it proud!

Louise Bourchier, MPH

Reviewed for Medical Accuracy

Louise Bourchier is a sex educator and sex researcher with 8 years experience in the field. She teaches about sexual health, sexual pleasure, and communication in relationships through workshops, live-streams, and with written content. Using a sex-positive approach, a dash of humour, and bag full of fun props, Louise’s style of sex education for adults is not what you got in high school! Since 2011 she has taught over a hundred workshops to a wide range of audiences, from university students, to refugees, to medical professionals, to adult store clientele. She has a Masters of Public Health, and is currently a PhD candidate.

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