Dear Alice,

What is the fastest way to get rid of a bruise on the neck caused from kissing and sucking too hard (of course, I mean a hickey). My mom will flip out if she sees it and it's very obvious. PLEASE HELP!!!

Thanks.

Dear Reader,

Not to be the bearer of bad news, but... there's no magic or fast way to get rid of a hickey. Like a bruise, hickeys cause broken blood vessels beneath the skin’s surface and just takes time to go away. Although there isn't an instant cure to remove a hickey, you may be able to speed up the healing process by using a cold compress or ice. This method is most effective when used directly after you get get a hickey.

Of course, you have a range of cover-up options, such as make-up, and creative uses of shirt collars, scarves, and turtlenecks. You may be able to disguise the hickey for a few days until it becomes less noticeable. Or, you can act like there's nothing wrong and be careful not to draw attention to the hickey. Maybe then your mom won't notice.

Chances are, however, that she may notice. Before she notices, it may be wise to consider how each of you may react during the conversation. For example, taking time to reflect on why you think your mom will "flip out" may help you with seeing her perspective. In what ways does your mom view sexuality? How does that differ from your own views? How has your mom reacted before when discussing sexuality? Thinking through this may better prepare you for what could be a difficult conversation. Also, it may be helpful to consider different ways to approach the conversation with her. Are you able to initiate the conversation? Starting the conversation may deescalate a situation before it turns into conflict.

Good luck with the healing, and if you choose, concealing of the hickey.

Alice!

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