Before we jump into the nitty gritty of how to get rid of hickeys fast it'll help if you understand a few things about hickeys - like what is a hickey? How long do hickeys last? Can hickeys cause cancer? Understanding the answers to these questions will help you better understand how to get rid of hickeys fast.

What is a hickey? Hickeys (also referred to as "love bites") are for all intents and purposes a bruise. When someone kisses, sucks or bites you with any force – they are essentially breaking blood vessels beneath the skin. This subcutaneous bleeding is a bruise and is what results in a hickey!

Depending on the cause (sucking, biting, etc.), hickeys appear in a variety of forms. Typically a deep purple in color they can also be red and/or speckled or any combination thereof. Their size is also dependant on the cause, location and duration.

How long do Hickeys last? As hickeys heal they go through "phases" which can give you an indication of where the body is in the healing process. When hickeys first occur, they are generally red as blood first pools under the skin.

In 1-2 days the hickey should begin to change color, usually bluish purple as the hemoglobin in the blood begins to break down and be reabsorbed by the body. In 5-10 days it will fade to a greenish yellow as the absorption process continues and after approximately 10-14 days it will pass through a yellowish brown before it fades completely. Times will vary based on a number of factors such as how large the hickey is, if left untreated etc.

Can hickeys cause cancer? Because I know someone that knows someone that heard from a friend whose cousin's sister's brother got cancer from a hickey! Um, no. Stop believing everything you hear or read on the internet! A hickey is nothing more than ruptured capillaries (bleeding under the skin).

How to get rid of hickeys fast? The bad news first. A hickey is a wound, damage to the body. As such it will require time to heal – period. That being said, there are ways to speed up the healing process and make it "go away" faster.

If the hickey is new (as in minutes) apply cold (like an ice pack). Avoid putting ice directly on the skin, wrap it in something first. This will shrink the capillaries and minimize the amount of blood that pools under the skin. If the hickey is something you noticed after the fact (say the next day) you'll want to take a different approach.

Once a day or two has passed you'll want to apply heat. A warm compress will increase the circulation helping the hickey to dissipate. Applying steady pressure and massaging the area gently will help also. Use small circular motions and avoid any type of pinching as this may actually make it worse. Some use the rounded edge of a spoon to massage the hickey; others use a comb or toothbrush to help force the blood back under the skin.

There are plenty of home remedies out there as well. How effective they are and whether they work or not is subject to some debate – some people like to try them anyway. Most, like Vitamin K and Aloe Vera won't hurt and are good for your skin if nothing else.

If all else fails and you can't get rid of the hickey fast enough you can always cover it up! For women makeup can work wonders and for men collared shirts tend to do the trick!