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Synonym Kiss mark, love bite, bug bite
Love bite.jpg
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.[1] 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.[2]


  1. ^ Amar, Charu (2009-11-06). "Ouch! That's a lovebite!". Man-Woman Relationships. The Times of India. Retrieved 2010-01-18. 
  2. ^ KTBS 3 Shreveport. "Teen dies from hickey". Retrieved 2016-08-31. 

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