How To Get Rid Of A Hickey

May 26th, 2015 by Michael Minehan

“C’mon bro, taking pain is easy! You just have to imagine that every bruise is a hickey from the universe. And -everybody- wants to get with the universe…” - Finn The Human (Adventure Time)

Last weekend, I kissed a girl at a party. In response, she yanked my head sideways by the hair, clamped her vampire-teeth onto my neck and presumably tried to suck my soul out through it. My memory of the weekend is limited mostly to a Sunday morning hangover and I may have mismatched some of the details, but the point is that I had to face my boss at work on Monday with a large, obnoxious love-bite. As such, I decided to learn more about hickeys, how they are caused and how to get rid of them in the future.

What Is A Hickey?

Hickey’s are basically just bruises, which are caused when capillaries (really small blood vessels) are broken, letting blood seep out to pool under the skin. The act of sucking or aggressively kissing somebody will rupture such vessels, causing a hickey to appear. No longer connected to your circulatory system, the blood settled under your skin is no longer receiving oxygen and will turn from a red colour to a deep purple or brown colour as it dries out.

How Long Does A Hickey Last?

After the ruptured capillaries have healed, they will begin to reabsorb the remaining blood settled under your skin. Left alone, this process can take from 1-2 weeks, depending on the damage dealt by the assailant and the unique physical condition of the victim.

Using the methods listed in this article, however, your hickey can be removed ahead of schedule. This can take from a couple of hours to a couple of days, depending once again on the severity of the bruising and your particular circulatory system. Before opting for this, however, you’ll need to ask yourself…

Do You Want To Get Rid Of The Hickey?

This may seem hard to believe for somebody who found this article by searching for solutions to remove a hickey, but there are many people out there who wear theirs with pride. Some people are such exhibitionists, they’ll actually ask to receive a hickey, just to show it off.

I once went to high school to find a classmate (who wasn’t known to have had much success with the ladies), strutting through the halls with a bounce in his step, a beaming smile on his face and a painful looking purple splotch that ran from just below his left ear to just above his left nipple. He asked me to guess what it was, so I pretended I couldn’t see it. I wasn’t always the friendliest teenager.

This classmate wanted me to notice his hickey because some consider such a mark to be a trophy, culturally symbolic of sexual possession or achievement. He wanted me to recognize that he had somehow convinced another person to rupture his blood vessels with her mouth. For someone who prefers to keep his sexual endeavors private, like myself, hickeys are a source of annoyance. To this classmate, it was a source of confidence and validation.

In any case, hickeys are equally fun to give and fun to receive. To people who don’t care what others think of them and have no need to separate their public life from their private life, hickeys can serve as a positive reminder of a beautiful moment shared between two weird, bruise-loving vampires. If you’ve done the dandy deed, you might want to re-think your current situation with this in mind and decide what a hickey actually means to you before proceeding.

Kill It With Ice

The first method for getting rid of a hickey involves reducing the blood flow to the bruise which will continually leak into the pool under your skin until the ruptured capillary vessels have healed. This will need to be done quite soon after receiving the hickey, as the longer you wait, the longer you’ve left blood leaking into the pool and the less effective this method will be.

Apply ice directly onto your body and it can stick to your skin, even causing frostbite. If that’s your jam, have fun, but to some this would prove counterproductive. Alternatively, wrap ice, an ice pack or a bag of frozen peas in a paper towel and you’re golden. Simply press it onto the affected area and leave it for fifteen minutes. Repeat as necessary, but leave at least a fifteen minute break to let your skin warm up between each application.

Kill It With Heat

If your hickey is still hanging around after two days, it’s safe to assume that the capillaries have healed and that the remaining splotch is just a collection of dried blood left pooled under your skin. As your blood runs through this area, this pool will be slowly absorbed into the flow. We can, however, speed up this process by applying heat, which will increase the blood flow to the area.

It is important not to apply heat before two days have passed, as increased blood flow to vessels that are still broken will flood the area and make your hickey even bigger. It’s also important not to apply too much heat to the area, because burns aren’t fun. Burns are far uglier than hickeys, are easily infected. take longer to heal and hurt like hell. To proceed with this method, take a warm cloth, a hot water bottle or a warm compress and apply it firmly to the area for fifteen minutes.

Side Note: Apparently, peppermint, toothpaste and other mint-like lotions will also cause increased blood-flow to an area of skin. Apply until it tingles, then leave it on until it stops tingling. Don’t overuse this method though, as it can cause irritation.

Kill It With Love, Bristles Or Spoons

As the body works to reabsorb the dry blood-pool into the circulatory system, you too can consciously aid in the process by breaking it up with physical contact. This should be done lightly, as being too rough with the skin is exactly what caused your hickey in the first place.

You can do this simply by moving the skin around with your fingers in the form of a gentle massage, or with objects such as a toothbrush, a coin (scraping outwardly from the center) or the butt of a pencil (twisting the skin around with the butt of a pencil is actually quite effective).

A very popular method of removing hickeys has always been the rubbing of the area with an icy spoon, as this works to break up the pool while slowing the blood flow with coldness at the same time. Simply stick a couple of spoons in the freezer for an hour and apply them one-by-one until they warm up.

Kill It With Vitamins Or Moisturizer

Vitamin K and Vitamin C are both helpful for getting rid of hickeys. Vitamin K prevents blood clots and can be found in brown rice, spinach, broccoli and Vitamin K enhanced lotions, creams and supplements. Vitamin C aids in skin reparation and can be found in oranges and those awesome little supplement tablets that taste like oranges.

Moisturizing hydrates your skin, soothing the area and promoting the growth of skin-tissue. The very act of applying moisturizer will massage the area as well as cooling it, engaging multiple hickey-eradication methods at the same time.

If All Else Fails

Look, sometimes hickeys are just stubborn things. If you’ve exhausted all of these methods and still can’t get rid of your hickey, you may just want to hide it away, or ride it out. There are many ways to hide a hickey, such as wearing scarves and turtlenecks or by applying makeup. I, unfortunately, had no idea how to apply makeup and didn’t have any time to learn how to apply makeup

In my particular situation, I had to go to work, where I toil in a very hot factory and typically wear a singlet or loose shirt to keep from sweating. This meant that, as the bruise was fresh from the night before and I didn’t have time to implement any of these methods, I simply had to go to work with a hickey.

When somebody asked me what it was, I pretended I couldn’t see it. Others saw what I was doing and played along, messing with the poor man who desperately tried to convince me that he wasn’t just imagining it. I’m not always the friendliest co-worker.

Don’t Put It Off

May 22nd, 2015 by Michael Minehan

“Only put off until tomorrow what you are willing to die having left undone” - Pablo Picasso

Sometimes I forget, when I’m writing content for this website, that the reason I created the website wasn’t to simply blast my opinions out to a needy kid somewhere who may or may not take my advice. I write on this website to share my own experiences and understanding of personal development. I write on this website to share what works or has worked for me.

One article I keep trying to will myself to write is called “setting goals and sticking to them”. It’s about choosing the one thing in your life that matters most to you and trimming off all the fluff that just won’t matter in the long run. The reason I struggle to write this article is because I don’t feel like I’ve ever actually applied this method. Sticking to my goals is still something I personally struggle with, immensely.

If you’d asked me at fifteen years old where I thought I’d be now, I can guarantee you that my answer would not be “Electroplating”. That is a job I never thought I would have. That is a job I had to google on my way to the interview. That is a job I will never return to, once I have left it.

So… why am I doing it? I find myself asking this question a lot lately. Is it the money? Surely, it’s the money. This job pays for my rent, my food, my insurance, my bills, my car and my everything else. If I were to quit this job tomorrow, I wouldn’t have the savings to retain any of my stuff for more than a couple of weeks, if even that. But… really, what is that stuff worth to me?

Is “Stuff” Really Worth Anything?

The main things I worry about losing are my house and my car. Really, though, would it be so much to lose either of those things? They’ve been such important factors in my existence for so many years that I’ve literally attuned my life to their acquisition, retention and maintenance. Yet, for the life of me, I can’t remember a single time that having either of those things has made me truly feel fulfilled.

I’ve had plenty of happy moments, mind you. I’ve loved every minute I’ve spent in that car, and I’ve loved many events and memories shared in that house. That’s just it though, the moments were happy. Just moments. What is a couple of moments in a lifetime? Am I going to look back on my story and feel proud because I worked a shitty job to pay for a handful of happy moments outside of it? Is that what I have to look forward to in my future? Is that all I can aspire to? Then, is it possible that I would have had plenty of happy moments, regardless of whether or not I had a car or house? I had experienced plenty of happy moments before ever owning a car or renting a house, so I already know the answer to that question.

I thought I needed to acquire security. I thought I needed to acquire a bunch of prerequisite material “stuff” to set my path straight on the road to happiness and fulfillment. In reality, the stuff is worth nothing because they have done nothing to make me happy or fulfilled. I don’t care about security if it doesn’t make me happy or fulfilled. The harsh truth is that I’m working in a job I don’t like to pay for stuff that I don’t want, because stuff can’t give me what I’m trying to get from it.

I want to look back on my life and be proud of what I’ve accomplished. I want to look forward to a life of making an impact, sharing experiences and doing something I love. I want a description of my life to include emotion, inspiration, love, passion, friendship, sex, culture, literature, music, experience, impact and meaningfulness. If all I have to show by the end of my life is the acquisition, retention and maintenance of stuff, then I will have accomplished nothing.

What Do I Really Want?

This is not a question I have struggled to answer, but rather a question I’ve struggled to be courageous enough to acknowledge. I know exactly what I want in my life, I’ve just been too afraid to go after it. I’ve been so afraid of failure that I haven’t even tried. I have, in fact, on many occasions, actually sabotaged opportunities I’ve had to succeed. I’ve resigned myself to a life of ease, too scared to pursue what I know I really want.

What I really want to do is follow my two passions: music and writing. I want to teach instruments, play in bands and perform on a stage. I also want to write personal development books and pop-culture articles. I don’t want to be an electroplater; I never did want to be an electroplater. I took that job because it was an easy option. If you’d asked me what I did for a living today, I’d have said “working in a factory” and quickly changed the subject. If you’d asked me what I did for a living and I was teaching music, performing and writing books, I’d never want to stop talking about it.

A change came over me today. It occurred when I decided to ask myself what I wanted without a single regard for security, practicality or sensibility. I asked myself what I wanted, only answering from a place of unfaltering, passionate longing. The answer I gave was of pure emotion, unhindered and unaltered by this false, limiting reality I’ve attuned my life to. The answer was “I want to quit my job to become a qualified music teacher.”

Don’t Put It Off

This article is a personal challenge, but I urge any readers out there who are in a similar situation to mine to take it up as well. If you’re stuck in a job you hate, or are neutral toward, it’s time to let it go, to pursue a career that really matters to you. Starting tomorrow, I’m looking for a job that will support me while i study. As soon as applications are open, I’ll be applying for every Bachelor Of Music course there is.

I’m done putting off my real goals to pursue imaginary ones. I’m done attuning my life to a mere handful of happy moments surrounded by work I’m not interested in. I’m done putting all my efforts toward the acquisition, retention and maintenance of meaningless stuff. My life isn’t stuff. My life is emotion. My life is passion. My life is inspiration, love, friendship, sex, culture, literature, music, experience, impact and meaningfulness.

And I’m done putting it off.