TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — So you had a fun night with your romantic partner before the holidays and now you have what no one likes to explain at Thanksgiving dinner: a hickey.
If you aren’t familiar with what a hickey is, it’s essentially just a bruise caused by, well, pressure to the skin — enough to actually cause some injury.
According to the Cleveland Clinic, they essentially work the same way as a normal bruise, although they have much less trauma than a more serious injury.
“The amount of trauma to the skin that creates a hickey isn’t as great as the trauma that causes, say, a black eye so hickies can heal earlier on the spectrum as compared to other causes of bruising,” said Dr. Alok Vij, director of the Cleveland Clinic’s dermatology residency program, in their article on hickeys.
On average, bruises take about three days to several weeks to completely heal.
The Cleveland Clinic listed a few ways to help treat unsightly hickeys:
- Use a warm compress to help open up blood vessels and break apart the bruise. This will help get the runaway blood cells back where they need to be.
- Certain creams can help when applied to the bruise, such as arnica, Vitamin C, and Vitamin K. Aloe vera may seem like an option, but the clinic said there’s not much inflammation in hickeys so it renders aloe mostly useless.
In the case that you have to make a family appearance before your lover’s blemish goes away, there are some things you can do to hide it.
First and most obvious, wear a collared shirt to hide the mark. Since it’s fall, fewer people are likely to question why you chose to dress in Steve Jobs’ turtleneck for the turkey carving (unless you’re in Florida, the land of Never-Winter).
There’s also the illusory power of makeup, which is easily accessible for any man or woman at your local drug store.
Bocaj Beauty suggests several tips for covering up hickeys, such as using a green color corrector to neutralize the purple-reddish mark and using a high-coverage foundation for added protection. Don’t forget to blend, or else you’ll have a patch of skin that sticks out just as much as the bruise does!
If all else fails, just embrace it! Despite it seeming juvenile to get a hickey as an adult, you really have nothing of which to be ashamed!