Last night a guy I hadn’t seen in several weeks came by, and things got hot & heavy. OK, really hot and heavy. I always knew he was aggressive, but I’m embarrassed to say this morning I have five hickeys as evidence of our unscripted rendezvous. I’ve tried on every turtleneck sweater, but none of them cover all of them up. I can’t go out this way; please help. —Covered in Hickeys
Don’t ask me where I learned these tips, let’s just say, as someone who knows both sides of the railroad tracks, I know a few ways to quickly rid yourself of those bad boys.
ICE, ICE, BABY. Apply ice to the hickified area as soon as after it happens as possible. Leave the ice on for about 20 minutes at a time. This will constrict the blood vessels and prevent bruising. Direct application of ice can be tricky if you’re covered in hickeys, so try a bag of frozen peas (or see Flip Flop, below). Be sure not to eat the peas, however. Does it amaze you that I even have to say that? Because it does me.
WARM N’ WET. If the hickey lasts more than 2 days, application of wet, warm washcloths will wick and dilate the blood vessels and help improve circulation to the area, decreasing the bruise’s impact. The keyword here is moist.
FLIP FLOP. An easy way to alternate between “warm and wet” and the icy therapy is to place a couple of spoons in the freezer for about 30 minutes. While they’re getting cold, warm up a few tea bags in the microwave. Then alternate application of the warm tea bags with the frozen spoons.
ERASE IT. This isn’t going to sound pleasant, but I have some good intel that this really works. After you’ve done the cold & hot compresses on the hickeys, take out a pencil eraser or other small eraser and apply in a tiny little circulation motion to each hickey. (You can actually use any tubular object with a domed end — pen caps, Chapstick caps, but doesn’t an eraser sound more comfortable?) The idea is to help work the blood deeper into the skin. You can even use the head of an electric rotary toothbrush. But be careful with the toothbrush — you don’t want to take off any layers of skin, or cause scarring!!
AN OUNCE OF PREVENTION. The idea here is obviously to avoid hickeys in the first place; it’s probably not going to help you if you’re reading this article, but remember: “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”
BE SHAMELESS. Remember the famous line from Patsy in Ab/Fab: “One can never have too many hats, gloves, or shoes?” Why not add “hickeys” to the legendary list. Throw all caution to the wind and just show off those hickeys. Think of them as your “Love Badges,” or something. —Sam
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