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For other uses, see Hickey (disambiguation).
"Love bite" redirects here. For the British film, see Love Bite.
Synonym kiss mark, love bite, bug bite
Love bite.jpg
Hickeys on the neck.
Classification and external resources
ICD-10 Xxx.x
ICD-9-CM xxx

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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