A hickey, though unsightly and a little embarrassing, is simply a bruise and nothing to worry about long-term. And, if tended to correctly—and quickly—it'll be gone in no time. That said, if you're currently stuck with a hickey, follow these D.I.Y. tricks below from dermatologist Doris Day, M.D., to help your vampire bite vanish asap.
Use the back of a cold spoon to reduce swelling.
Place a spoon in your refrigerator for eight to 10 minutes before lightly stroking it over the hickey (this trick is most effective while the hickey is new). "The cold will help minimize the blood seeping out of the vessels into the skin," Dr. Day says. Doing this a few times throughout the day will encourage the swelling of your hickey to minimize.
Apply aloe vera to speed up the healing process.
is a natural moisturizer known for its rejuvenating and healing properties that reduce sensitivity. To minimize your hickey, apply aloe vera herbal cream or gel onto your hickey twice a day and let it sit for at least 10 minutes. This will soothe the area, which can reduce any initial pain and lead your skin to a speedy recovery.
Use the inside of a banana peel to soothe the skin's surface.
This trick might sound ridiculous, but it actually does help. Here's how: The inside of a banana peel acts as a cooling treatment that can help shrink the hickey. All you have to do is remove the peel from a ripe banana and place the inside of the peel onto your hickey for about 10 to 30 minutes. Repeat this up to two or three times a day.
Apply a warm compress for new blood to circulate.
If you still have a hickey after three to four days, it's helpful to bring heat into the equation to allow new blood to circulate throughout the area. This circulation will break up the old blood that has made your hickey visible by bringing fresh blood to the area. Simply wet a washcloth with warm water before placing it on the bruised area for about five minutes. Reheat the cloth if it cools too quickly.
Eat foods that are high in Vitamin K.
Vitamin K, which is found in foods like broccoli, kale, spinach, and brown rice, helps the body absorb clots of pooled blood, including those causing your hickey. Down a salad or other meal packed with those foods to make sure you get enough. You want to aim for at least a cup, or 4 to 5 ounces.
Use the bristles of a toothbrush to stimulate blood circulation.
Using a toothbrush with super-soft bristles helps with the stimulation of blood circulation on and around the hickey. Make sure to brush over your hickey using a little pressure, working the bristles in different directions so the clotted blood has room to spread. Repeat this process for five to 10 minutes. Note: The outcome of this method varies depending on how dark the hickey is.
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This article originally appeared on Cosmopolitan.com. Minor edits have been made by the Cosmo.ph editors.