|Synonym||Kiss mark, love bite, bug bite|
|Hickeys on the neck.|
A hickey, or love bite in British English, is a bruise or bruise-like mark caused by the kissing or sucking of the skin, usually on the neck or arm. While biting might be part of giving a hickey, sucking is sufficient to burst small superficial blood vessels under the skin.
Hickeys typically last from 5 to 12 days and may be treated in the same way as other bruises. Ways to reduce the appearance of hickeys include icing recent hickeys to reduce swelling, rubbing them with a chilled spoon to remove the bruise, and applying a warm compress to older hickeys to dilate vessels and promote blood flow. They can be covered with a concealer or powder corresponding to the sufferer's skin tone, or a fake tan. Alternatively, articles of clothing such as scarves, snoods, turtle necks, or sleeves may be used to conceal hickeys.
In August 2016, 17-year-old Julio Macias Gonzalez of Mexico City, Mexico, died after receiving a hickey from his 24-year-old girlfriend. The suction was strong enough to cause a blood clot in Gonzalez's neck. The clot traveled to his brain and caused a fatal stroke. The stroke occurred hours after the hickey was given, when he began having convulsions while having dinner with his family.