Hickey or Bruise: Understanding the Difference
Have you ever woken up with a red or purple mark on your skin, commonly on your neck, and wondered what it was? You may have thought it was a hickey, but it could also be a bruise. In this article, we’ll discuss the difference between a hickey and a bruise and explain why they happen.
What is a Hickey?
A hickey, also known as a love bite, is a red or purple mark caused by someone sucking or kissing the skin. When someone sucks on the skin, they create a vacuum that pulls blood into the area. The blood vessels break, and blood leaks into the surrounding tissue, creating the red or purple mark we see as a hickey.
Hickeys are commonly found on the neck because the skin is sensitive and has many blood vessels near the surface. However, hickeys can appear anywhere on the body, including the lips, chest, and thighs.
Hickeys are not harmful and don’t usually require medical treatment. However, they can be embarrassing or uncomfortable, especially if they occur in a visible area. Hickeys typically last for a few days, but the duration can vary depending on the severity of the injury.
What is a Bruise?
A bruise is a mark on the skin caused by an injury that damages the blood vessels under the skin. When blood vessels are injured, they leak blood into the surrounding tissue, causing a discolored mark on the skin. Bruises are typically red or purple and can be painful or tender to the touch.
Bruises can be caused by a variety of things, such as falling, bumping into something, or even a medical condition that affects the blood vessels. Like hickeys, bruises are not harmful and will typically heal on their own in a week or two. However, if a bruise is large, spreads rapidly, or is accompanied by severe pain, it’s important to seek medical attention.
Difference between Hickey and Bruise
The main difference between a hickey and a bruise is the cause of the injury. A hickey is caused by someone sucking or kissing the skin, whereas a bruise is caused by an injury that damages the blood vessels under the skin.
Hickeys tend to be smaller than bruises and are typically found in areas on the body where the skin is thinner and has many blood vessels near the surface, such as the neck or lips. Bruises, on the other hand, can be found anywhere on the body and are typically larger and more spread out than hickeys.
Another difference between a hickey and a bruise is the social context in which they occur. Hickeys are often associated with romantic or sexual encounters and are seen as a sign of affection between partners. Bruises, on the other hand, are typically associated with injury and are not seen in a positive light.
Prevention and Treatment
The best way to prevent both hickeys and bruises is to avoid getting injured in the first place. If you’re engaging in activities that could lead to a hickey, such as kissing or sucking on someone’s skin, it’s important to communicate with your partner and set boundaries. If you’re prone to bruising, you may want to avoid activities that could lead to injury, such as contact sports or roughhousing.
In terms of treatment, both hickeys and bruises will typically heal on their own within a week or two. However, there are a few things you can do to speed up the healing process. Applying a cold compress to the affected area can help reduce swelling and pain, while applying warmth can increase blood flow to the area and help speed up the healing process.
In conclusion, a hickey is a mark caused by someone sucking or kissing the skin, whereas a bruise is a mark caused by an injury that damages the blood vessels under the skin. While both hickeys and bruises are not harmful and will typically heal on their own, it’s important to take steps to prevent injuries in the first place. By understanding the difference between a hickey and a bruise, you can better identify what’s happening to your skin and take steps to address it.