A passion mark is actually a euphemism for the skin discoloration caused by extreme sucking on the skin, usually in the neck and chest areas. The more popular term, however, is not passion mark but kiss mark also informally called a hicky (alternately spelled hickey). Often, at the height of extreme lust or sexual passion, two people can accidentally cause kiss marks on each other’s skin.
Technically, a kiss mark is a bruise on the top layer of the skin. Due to extreme sucking when the mouth kisses and sucks on the skin, the underlying capillaries and blood vessels on the skin can burst and bleed. Thus, the internally accumulated blood and the bleeding in the area result in skin discoloration, usually dark red at first and then eventually turning into bluish or bluish gray. Since some nerve endings may also be damaged or irritated in the bruised area, the kiss mark can feel sore or slightly painful when touched or rubbed.
Kiss marks or passion marks will go away on their own without any intervention. Depending on the severity of the bruising, some kiss marks can go away in a day or two. Others will take more time. There are some steps, however, that you can take to hasten the speed of their fading. Some of those tips are described below.
- Cold compress. Place a cold compress on the affected area. Since kiss marks are merely skin bruises, the first aid treatment for them are just like those for bruises. Application of a cold compress on the kiss mark, especially if it is still fresh, will help prevent further bleeding—and, therefore, further discoloration. This happens because the cold temperature will constrict the capillaries and blood vessels, thus restricting the bleeding. Place the cold compress on the affected area for at least 20 minutes.
- Hot compress. If the discoloration is still visible the next day, turn to hot or warm compresses. The hot compress will help ease the soreness or the swelling, if there is any. More than that, the heat from the compress will dilate the blood vessels and capillaries, thereby improving circulation in the area. When circulation improves, the bruise will heal faster and the discoloration will fade away faster, as well. Massaging also seems to facilitate the speedy healing of bruises. If you gently, softly, and slowly massage the bruised area, you help stimulate blood circulation further. As an effect, the bruise will heal faster.
- Vitamin K. Some people have succeeded in speeding up the healing of their bruises by applying vitamin K on the bruised skin. You might also want to try this solution.
- Concealment. Concealment has nothing to do with accelerating the healing of your love bruise. But, it can help you avoid the taunts and teases of friends and colleagues. If the bruise is located on your neck, you can try wearing clothes that cover the neck marks. Scarves and turtleneck shirts, for example, are perfect for this. Sometimes, you can also get away with a concealer. Just apply the right amount of concealer on your bruise. Other people have tried sticking band aid over the bruises, and use the “I have an infected pimple” excuse for prying colleagues.
Kiss marks can be embarrassing. That’s why you need to be careful when making out with your partner.