How Long Do Hickeys Last and The Complete Guide to Hickeys

Hickeys are a common part of people’s love and sex life. Most people have had one or have at least seen one and, as far as consensual sexual acts go, giving or receiving a hickey is amongst the tamest ones. Do you know how long does hickeys last and how to get rid of hickeys?

The thing about hickeys is that, while they’re done during an intimate moment, they linger for days, announcing to the world exactly what the person with the hickey was up to recently.

Some people carry their hickeys like medals, proudly showing off to the world their love marks. Others are embarrassed by them and prefer to hide them under makeup or clothes.

They’re both perfectly okay, perfectly respectable choices but, regardless of which one works for you, it pays to know more about hickeys.


What are hickeys?

how long do hickeys last


Hickeys are, in the simplest of terms, bruises.

When someone sucks on particularly sensitive and delicate parts of your body, such as your neck, blood vessels break open, which releases blood under your skin.

This blood, which starts as a dark red, gradually fades into purple or even brown, which gives hickeys their characteristic shade.

How long do hickeys last?

how long does a hickey last

Credit: Emma Kim Cultura Getty Images

There’s no general consensus on how long hickeys last as this depends on a variety of reasons.

Most hickeys can last anything between 5 days to 2 weeks but this depends from person to person.

How long hickeys last depends on things such as:

  • The strength with which the hickey was created.
  • The skin color of the hickey receiver.
  • ​The overall health of the hickey receiver, as there are diseases and conditions that slow down the healing process.
  • Hydration and diet also have an impact on how long a hickey lasts, as they can affect the coagulation process.

While it’s very rare, and chances are it won’t happen to you, some hickeys can actually scar, which means they’ll stick around pretty much forever but, don’t worry, usually the marks are light enough that only you’ll be able to tell they’re there.

Are hickeys dangerous?

Not really. Hickeys are amongst the safest forms of sexual contact and, as such, amongst the most practiced.

That said, they’re not harmless either.

  • Believe it or not, oral herpes can be transmitted through hickeys
hickey causes oral herpes

When a person with active cold sores gives a hickey to their partner they risk transmitting the disease. Luckily, the disease is usually limited to the hickey area but it can still be harmful and, at the very least, it’s painful, uncomfortable and just plain ugly.

  • Hickeys can also blister

Some people are just very, very, enthusiastic when it comes to hickeys and, whether they want it or not, there’s such thing as too much suction.

While this isn’t dangerous in itself, blisters left behind by overzealous hickeys can be uncomfortable and painful.

  • Hickeys have been known to cause strokes

Relax, no need to freak down. This is actually very uncommon.

Hickey related strokes are a thing but they’re what we consider freak accidents instead of something you should worry about.

What happens is that the suction of the hickey can lead to a blood clot, which thanks to the proximity of your neck to your head can eventually lead to a stroke.

There are two cases reported in the last 10 years, a teenage boy in Mexico and a woman in New Zealand, so there’s nothing you should worry about.

How to get rid of hickeys?

how long do hickeys last

To be entirely honest, you can’t get rid of hickeys and you can’t really speed up their healing.

After all, remember that hickeys are bruises and, unless you know a good way of getting rid of bruises then you’re out of luck.

What you can do, however, is make them more discrete and easier to hide by following some of these treatments:

Ice It

how to get rid of hickey - ice it


Wrapping an ice cube or two in soft cloth and pressing it against your hickey is an excellent way of constricting the broken capillaries and reduce the bleeding that causes hickeys.

The sooner you apply this method after the hickey the more effective it will be, as it really won’t do anything with old hickeys except, perhaps, reduce the swelling.

Massage It

how to get rid of hickey - masage it


Giving your hickey a gentle massage will help spread the blood under your skin, helping it take a lighter tone.

Of course, this will probably spread the hickey over a larger area so it can lead to bigger, yet lighter, hickeys that are easier to cover with makeup.

For better results, use aloe vera moisturizers when massaging your hickey, as this substance has anti-inflammatory properties that can help with those broken vessels.

Now it’s time to disguise that hickey.

How to hide a hickey

Once you’ve made that hickey as light and discreet as you can manage, it’s time to hide it, which will be easier now that the hickey isn’t as obvious.

  • Wearing clothing articles such as turtleneck sweater, collared shirts and scarves are a good way of hiding neck hickeys.
  • If you have long hair, you can also style it so that it hides the pesky hickey.
  • ​If they hickey is small enough you can cover it with a band aid and come up with a story.
  • You can also use makeup to cover your hickey, just remember to use a green corrector before you use a concealer. As the green will help disguise the reddish / brownish tones of the hickey. (Keep in mind that results may vary depending on skin tone)

There’s nothing wrong or shameful about hickeys and, in fact, they’re quite fun to give and get but, just in case, now you know how long hickeys last, how you can speed up the healing process and how you can disguise them so you aren’t caught unprepared next time you get one.

Thank you for reading, we hope you enjoyed this article.

Don’t forget to leave a comment if you found this guide useful or if you have any questions for us.

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