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Can toothpaste remove hickeys? Here’s what a dermatologist has to say!

Hickeys are a very common result of a night of canoodling and kissing. And while the internet suggests that toothpaste is a great way to get rid of the marks, the reality is much different.
Hickeys are bruises and fade within one or two weeks. Image courtesy: Adobe Stock
Anjuri Nayar Singh Published: 21 Oct 2023, 08:00 pm IST
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The internet is full of videos on how toothpaste might be an easy and sure-shot way to remove hickeys. But can toothpaste remove hickeys? While you might be wary of repeated applications of toothpaste on love bites to check this theory, we got in touch with dermatologist to understand how a toothpaste works on hickeys and how effective it is to get rid of the bruise!

Dr Priyanka Kuri, Consultant Dermatologist, Aster Whitefield Hospital, gives us the low down on how hickeys develop into those ugly purplish-red marks, and also shares with us the best way to get rid of them, and that might not involve applying your toothpaste! So, read on!

What is a hickey and how long does it last?

While you might not realise it then, but hickeys are a very common outcome of a  a passionate moment. It can result in a dark red or purplish mark on your neck. Well, that’s a hickey or a love bite! The bruise is caused by sucking or kissing that has led to broken vessel under your skin. If you are wondering how long does a hickey take to heal, Dr Kuri tells us, “Hickeys, essentially bruises, develop post-trauma or suction that typically fade within 1 to 2 weeks as the body gradually reabsorbs the pooled blood beneath the skin. However, the exact duration can vary based on the severity of the hickey and an individual’s healing process.” So, you might not want to put away the concealer just as yet!

Also read: 6 common sex injuries and how to deal with them

Can toothpaste remove hickeys?

Before you unscrew that tube, let us tell you that removing hickeys with toothpaste is a far-fetched reality! All you are probably going to get from this exercise is a very fresh-smelling neck or wherever you have a love bite! “Hickeys cannot be removed by toothpaste. It is a myth. While some believe that the cooling effect of toothpaste might help, it does not have any proven scientific backing for the treatment of hickeys,” explains Dr Kuri.

There are various ways such as compressions and Vitamin K-rich ointments that help heal a hickey faster.

However, if you still want to try your hands at this hack, there are some things to be mindful of. If toothpaste is to be used, opting for a mint-flavoured one might exacerbate the skin’s irritation due to its potential allergenic effects. It’s essential to use only a small amount of toothpaste, as applying too much can cause excessive dryness and potential burning sensations on the skin. If you are using toothpaste, keep it just for two hours and not more than that, as that can irritate the skin as well.

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How to remove hickeys or love bites?

Although hickeys are mostly are self-resolving, there are some ways to make a hickey heal fast. However, everybody’s skin is different and heals differently. Hickeys will definitely not disappear overnight. But these hacks hide them, speed up the healing process and might also relieve you of any pain or discomfort. So, they are worth a try! However, remember that before trying any home remedies or even creams for that matter, do a patch test first to check skin sensitivity.

  • Cold compress: Using a cold compress will actually help the reduce blood flow and swelling. All you got to do here is to take some ice and apply it on the love bite. This aids in the faster resolution of the hickey.
  • Warm compress: Following this with a warm compress after 48 hours might prove useful as well. This increases blood flow to the area
  • Applying creams containing vitamin K: Vitamin K is great to promote faster bruise healing. A study published in the National Library of Medicine observed the effect application of vitamin K had on wounds and it came to the conclusion that the healing was significant.

    How to get rid of hickey fast
    If a hickey gets worse, show a doctor. Image courtesy: Adobe Stock
  • Medication: Anrica, a herb that grows in Europe and the US, is great when it comes to bruises as well as pain. Application of gels with Arnica can provide relief. This will also reduce inflammation and discoloration. But it’s best to consult a doctor before you use any medicated cream.
  • Concealer: Nothing works better than a concealer to blend a hickey with your skin! Of course, be careful to use one that matches your skin tone! You might also consider using a primer and colour corrector, before application of the concealer and foundation. This will help to temporarily camouflage the hickey.

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About the Author

Anjuri Nayar Singh has over 12 years of experience in writing for various topics including lifestyle, films, television and OTT. She also writes on art and culture, education and human interest stories. ...Read More

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