What is a hickey and how long does it stay? What does it symbolize? Is it bad? How is associated with pain other skin problems? Read on to find out.
What is a Hickey -Is it a Bruise?
A hickey is a mark or rather a skin blemish caused by biting, sucking a soft skin or kissing aggressively. It is commonly referred to as a kiss mark or a love bite. The kiss mark is mostly on the arm or neck. A hickey appears as an inflammation on the skin that is tender and reddened.
Is a hickey a bruise?
A hickey is a bruise since it is a result of breaking of blood vessels due to the vacuum that the mouth creates during the bite. Therefore, hickeys are similar to bruises since they are broken blood vessels that have caused blood to appear on the skin surface.
Dr. Sydney explains how a hickey comes to be and why it appears like a bruise. Once the person giving the love bite gets their lips in contact with your skin, a vacuum is created. Where the vacuum created is very strong, the capillaries break and cause what is referred to as ecchymosis by medical specialists and is commonly termed as a ‘bruise’ by other people.
Recommended Reading: How to yourself or someone a perfect hickey
How Long do Hickeys Last on Neck, Breast & Arms?
Now that you know a hickey is you probably want to know how long it will last.
Kiss marks are usually temporary marks and normally stay for about 5 to 12 days when no treatment is offered. When treatment it can take less than two (2) days or 24 hours. However, this will also depend on the type of treatment.
There are also other factors that will determine how long a hickey will stay. Some of these factors include;
Your general health– The healthier you are the lesser duration.
Severity, size and overall damage- If the love bite is large, it means it is more severe and damaging. It means blood vessels have been damaged thus more time will be required for healing.
Location of the kiss mark-Love bites that are placed in open areas such as neck, face or arms somehow heal faster compared to those on hidden and covered areas such as stomach, thighs or breasts.
Age– Compared to aged skin, a youthful and young skin will recover a lot faster from a hickey.
Gender-It is believed that they last longer on women than men.
Nature of your skin– hickeys will tend to last longer on tender and sensitive skin types
Meaning-what a does a Love Bite Symbolize?
Love bites are not out of a nasty intention and those who love giving love bites to their partner explain that it is a sign of deep love.
When someone gives you a love bite, it is because they want to show their affection. You can therefore conclude that hickeys are a symbol of love.
Apart from that, some people give love bites as a sign of possession. For instance, if your partner gives you a hickey, it is because he or she wants to mark boundaries. It is sometimes intended to act as a put off to anyone else who is interested in you. It shows insecurity on the side of your partner.
Moreover, some people explain that they give love bites at the time when they want to get into romance. It acts as a symbol of readiness to the other partner to engage in a romantic act.
Hickeys also symbolize that you recently engaged in some romantic activity. It shows that you are actively involved in a love activity. All the same, different people have varying opinions on what a hickey symbolizes and therefore, the above are just examples of what hickeys symbolize.
Are Hickeys Bad for you or Dangerous?
As much hickey is a sign of love and romance, they may turn out to be harmful to you. Hickeys are actually listed among the common sex injuries. Below are some of the dangers associated with love bites;
Hickeys are bruises
A bruise is no good thing since it is as a result of a hard hit. Just like bruises, hickeys are caused by broken blood capillaries. The only difference is that, unlike a normal bruise, hickeys are due to excessive sucking or kissing. We can refer to hickeys as ‘romantic bruises’.
Breakage of capillaries
As already mentioned, hickeys are as a result of excessive and continuous sucking or kissing a particular part of your body. A love bite with extreme intensity causes the tiny capillaries just below the skin surface to break. The result is a bruise which is uglier compared to normal bruises. Additionally, breaking of the capillaries may lead to unnecessary bleeding.
They are likely to transmit oral herpes virus
Also a person infected with herpes is advised to stay away from an infected person, they may not do so and in the heat moment, your partner may decide to give you a love bite. Bad news is, when your skin comes into contact with his during the extreme sucking of the skin, you are likely to get the oral herpes as well.
They can leave a scar
If anything, you do not want what is love to you to give you an ugly scar that tampers with your esteem. Although it is very rare, hickeys may leave a scar on an open kissed area say the neck or arm. This is mostly the case with people who have iron deficiency or people who have an extremely delicate skin.
Even that, a hickey scar is not overly noticeable and it only worsens if you start picking it instead of allowing it to heal on its own.
Can cause stroke
In 2011, a woman in New Zealand suffered a stroke as a result of hickey. This was assumed to be a result of an extreme sucking by the partner during the love bite. The bite was so strong that the woman got a blood clot and had her left arm paralyzed.
Even though this is the only documented stroke due to hickey, there is need for caution to be taken since you never know whose case is next. It is important therefore that a love bite should be given with total attention and caution.
Recommended Reading: How to Hide and Get Rid of Hickeys Fast
Do Hickeys Hurt?
The response given on whether or not a hickey hurts varies from one person to another. Scientifically, a hickey should hurt. Science expects that it causes some level of pain because it is an injury. However, you may not even realize the pain that comes with the hickey if you are so much engrossed to the love moment.
Another reason you may not feel the pain is if your partner is expert in giving love bites. Some people are so good at it that they incorporate much so romance during the hickey moment that you do not realize the pain of a love bite. Apart from that, if you are used to getting love bites, you may even have grown fond of them that you dread to get a next kiss mark.
If your skin is very tender and sensitive, a love bite may hurt a little bit. If your partner is not well experienced in giving a love bite, he may give it in a manner that hurts. Some partners may suck to hard that the bite turns out to be an extreme injury. Clearly, it is all about who is giving the love bite and how good they are at it that determines whether or not you experience any levels of pain.
Can Hickeys Cause Cancer of Skin?
Research shows that hickeys do not cause cancer. It is very rare but possible to get blood clots or tumors as a result of love bites. All the same, all tumors are not cancerous. Hickeys only cause an interference with blood capillaries when not done correctly. Clearly, you cannot get cancer because somebody did the hickey to an extreme. Even that, you should see your doctor should have a tumor after the hickey. This is so that he finds out its chances of being cancerous.
Can Hickeys give you Blood Clots
From the above, it is clear that a hickey can result to blood clots. This, for instance, is as in the case of the woman from New Zealand. However, according to the president of American Society of Hematology, Charles Abrams, it is very unlikely that you get a blood clot during a love bite.
Nevertheless, he explains that you can get the blood clot most especially if your blood vessels are extremely tone after a hickey. Broken capillaries may cause blood flow to be sluggish interfering with how well blood is transported to the heart or brain. This results to a heart attack and stroke respectively.
Can you get a Hickey Scar?
It is not always the case that you get a scar after a love bite. It is very rare but this depends on how fair your skin is. If you have an extremely tender skin and if the hickey involved some biting, you may get a scar. This scar is however not very pronounced and is something you can live with.
As well, if a hickey was very severe, or simply the love bite was given for a very long time, you may end up with the scar. You are warned against picking an area after you have received a love bite as that will increase the chances of you getting a scar. That should not worry you anyway since there are many ways of getting rid of such scars.
Are Hickeys Trashy
Opinions on whether hickeys trashy vary from one person to another. Some people adore hickeys as to them; they symbolize a high level of love from their partner. Hickeys are an intimate act and they are considered necessary by some partners. In addition to that, if your partner gives really great hickeys, you are most likely among those who consider hickeys very appropriate in love making.
On the contrary, there are people who find no fun in giving or getting a kiss mark. Some people argue that, the red marks that mostly come from hickeys interfere with the fairness of your skin. Such people feel it is embarrassing to meet their job partners or other friends with such red marks on their body.
If done incorrectly, a hickey becomes trashy. This is because, it will not only hurt but it will also leave unnecessary marks on your body. As discussed earlier, there are cases of blood clots and stroke which may lead to rare but untimely deaths. This is an argument given by many who regard hickeys as being trashy and inappropriate.