Hickey embarassment reduction?
April 9, 2006 5:36 PM   Subscribe

Emergency hickeyectomy - STAT!

I am mortified to post this, because I am no longer a 14 year old girl, but....an overzealous makeout partner left his mark - several times - on my neck last evening, in almost too many places to even cover with 6 damn scarves.

Not only do I have to teach a class all day Tuesday, but I'm going home Wednesday to my PARENTS', and I look like someone took a lead pipe to me.

Besides scarves and foundation, is there ANYTHING I can do to reduce the appearance of these bruises? Ice? Heat? Decapitation? I am so mortally embarassed I am this close to caling in sick tomorrow. Help a girl out.
posted by tristeza to Health & Fitness (27 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Blood vessels are broken. It's a bruise, and there is nothing you can do to speed up the process besides what you would normally do when you're hurt.

My only advice? Wear a turtleneck!
posted by purephase at 5:41 PM on April 9, 2006

.. normally do when you're hurt = eat well, get lots of sleep etc.
posted by purephase at 5:42 PM on April 9, 2006

Let's see...basically, it's now a waiting game. A hickey is like a bruise, in that it's made of broken blood vessels, so there isn't any treatment you can do. For concealing, however, you'll want to start with some green concealer (the green neutralizes the red of the hickey, also works for pimples!) and then some foundation or concealer in your skin tone, finished by powder. After that, just be patient! Good luck!
posted by Teh Bean at 5:43 PM on April 9, 2006

This could be pure luck, but I have had success in minimizing a hickey's appearance by icing the living bejeezus out of it. That said, it only seems to work immediately post-hickey, while it's still fresh. Ick.

You can try the concealer method, but it's probably better to just wear a turtleneck. And tell your makeout partner to stop gnawing on you, at least in conspicuous places. Good luck!
posted by bedhead at 5:49 PM on April 9, 2006

There is a mega-concealer out there made by Dermablend - it's actually made for covering up tattoos and birthmarks and whatnot, so I imagine it would do the same for hickeys. I think they sell it mostly in swanky department stores. Good luck to you.
posted by catesbie at 5:58 PM on April 9, 2006

Arnica is good for bruising - you can find it in most health food stores. Googling for arnica and hickey led to this ehow; apparently there's some crazy eraser thing you can do to get rid of them as well.

If it's really bad and not well covered by foundation, I'd recommend going to the cosmetic counter and getting some Dermablend. It covers pretty much invisibly and stays.
posted by stefanie at 5:59 PM on April 9, 2006

Put a large plaster on it. A plaster immediately indicates innocent yet serious flesh wound rather than some sort of embarrassing sucking trauma.
posted by fire&wings at 6:07 PM on April 9, 2006

via a Wikipedia mirror (the real one is down, evidently):

Various ways have been suggested for making the love-bite go away faster. This may be desirable in cases where one doesn't want other people to know that one has been kissed by another person. Some suggest applying ice right after the mark was made to stop it from getting worse. It is also suggested that one, once the bleeding has stopped, tries to stimulate circulation through various means, for instance by rubbing the area or by exposing it to luke-warm water. These methods have to be applied several times in order to have a visible effect. For some people these methods can completely remove the bites in a short time. One should apply such methods gently so as to not cause irritation of the area.
posted by danb at 6:15 PM on April 9, 2006

If you're near a health foods store and can find a balm with comfrey and calendula (get one that has those two things listed as the first two ingredients), I'd try that. I had good luck with even very old bruises fading quickly (my favorite has been one called "Super Kids Balm," which I found once in Boston and then never saw again).
posted by occhiblu at 6:22 PM on April 9, 2006

I 100% guarantee this to work: take a regular hair comb and simply comb your hickey. Everyone else is wrong.
posted by slow, man at 6:24 PM on April 9, 2006 [1 favorite]

Another vote for Dermablend... it will cover just about anything.
posted by RoseovSharon at 6:24 PM on April 9, 2006

certain lovers seem to take a perverse thrill in marking you. I am glad I never had anyone to explain to fingernail cuts in my shoulders and back.

Avoid such people.
posted by MonkeySaltedNuts at 6:29 PM on April 9, 2006

Wow slow, man (that username is a sentence sense nightmare!) I've never heard of that but it Googles well. Some people are using it in combination with a hair dryer too.
posted by tellurian at 7:12 PM on April 9, 2006

Two schools of thought:

Cold (ice): To reduce circulation. The dark stain of a hickey indicates leaking blood vessels. The logic is, reduce the circulation, reduce the prevalence of the mark. As someone above mentioned, this only works if applied quickly after, um, injury.

Heat: To increase circulation. The only way a hickey will really go away for good is if the ruptured blood vessels heal. Applying heat opens up the blood vessels, bringing in more nutrients, cells to fix the damage, etc. The catch is that applying heat may, in the short term, make things worse.

In your case, I'd start applying heat now, plan on calling in sick Tuesday, and plan on using heavy makeup/scarf/turtleneck on Wednesday.
posted by Brian James at 7:41 PM on April 9, 2006

posted by filmgeek at 7:59 PM on April 9, 2006

Like others have said, treat it like a bruise: heat, ibuprofen, and keep yourself well hydrated.
posted by nathan_teske at 8:16 PM on April 9, 2006

Sadly, they don't sell turtlenecks in the Spring. :( i'm gonna try cold/comb green concealer....wish me luck, and thanks.
posted by tristeza at 8:17 PM on April 9, 2006

I second slow, man. My freshman year roommate swore on heating the hickey (gently!) with a hairdryer, and then "combing" it out.
posted by kalimac at 8:29 PM on April 9, 2006 [1 favorite]

I think you should wear a neck brace and attribute it to whiplash/motor vehicle accident.
posted by fourstar at 9:28 PM on April 9, 2006

i've heard the comb thing before, never tried it though.
posted by o2b at 9:39 PM on April 9, 2006

Medicinal Leeches? Here's a link to find a "Leach Therapist" in your area. http://www.leeches.us/looking_for_a_therapist.htm
Seriously, my Grandfather owned a general store and kept a big jar of them on the counter for bruises and black eyes. Now surgeons are using them again. Couldn't hurt to call and ask. If I remember correctly they can take for figgin ever to fade. Some massage therapists use them too.
posted by BoscosMom at 9:49 PM on April 9, 2006

You need a cover story in case these other suggestions don't work, probably something involving drinking a strange delicious herbal concoction, impulsive midnight skinny dipping and an unexpected population of leaches.

Good luck!
posted by Good Brain at 10:04 PM on April 9, 2006

The comb and hair dryer has worked really well for me in the past, as well as for my friends who thought I was crazy for suggesting it. I found it works best to comb up, or perhaps the trick is just that it's in one direction. Sometimes they'd go away completely, other times it would just fade enough to cover-up. They sell green cover-up that cancels out redness - use that before putting cover-up on. It's great for toning blemishes down too.
posted by Iamtherealme at 10:14 PM on April 9, 2006

The comb thing has worked for me.
posted by stray at 12:06 AM on April 10, 2006

Normal bruise treatments ought to work - witch hazel (aka hammamelis water, or somesuch), or arnica cream.

Alternatively, go and get a henna tattoo inked over the offending area...
posted by Chunder at 1:15 AM on April 10, 2006

One single oversize scarf ought to cover all.
Like a pashmina-type.
Maybe this one.
posted by Sprout the Vulgarian at 10:50 AM on April 10, 2006

I had dinner once with the author of this apt book (sadly not a how-to)
posted by Rumple at 12:57 PM on April 16, 2006

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