What is a love bite? How to hide love bites

If your partner leaves you with a mark of their affection, you may not be too happy (or you may wear it with pride). But hey, if you’ve got a love bite on your neck that you need to hide, there’s no need to worry. We’ve got you covered (metaphorically, not literally).

A group of young people are talking about love bites. This is a full-body image.

What is a love bite?

So, we hear you asking, what even is a love bite? Well…

A love bite is basically a bruise, caused by bleeding under the skin (sounds really sexy, we know). It’s usually a result of your partner sucking on your neck. But you don’t only find love bites on the neck. Technically speaking, they can basically be anywhere on the body. If you’re interested in the science of it all, this temporary discolouration, technically called a hyperpigmentation, is caused by blood being drawn out of vessels under your skin. They usually look like purple marks on the surface of the skin.

Why do people give love bites?

Honestly, some people just get caught up in the heat of the moment. Alternatively, possessive types may use love bites as a mark of possession to show everyone else you are taken. In which case you should take that as a red flag. 

For others it’s a show of affection. Simply a regular part of a passionate kissing session. Usually the recipients are quite happy to show off to their mates that they’re getting some. Although this behaviour is usually reserved for those just beginning their dating lives. By the time you’ve got your 30th love bite, the novelty just kinda wears off.

Love bites should be consensual

No matter what, you should be able to understand the word NO from your partner. And respect it. If they’re not into it then please, for the love of everything, leave their flesh intact.

How to hide a love bite

There are a few ways to get rid of love bites on the neck. For example, to reduce the swelling all you have to do is apply a cold compress (not a warm compress). For example, try using an ice cube wrapped in a kitchen towel or just an ice pack’ll do. This serves to make the broken blood vessels contract, which’ll help slow blood flow from the vessels and speed up healing. For best results it needs to be done immediately after the damage has been done.

If a few hours have passed, that’s okay. There are other options. Try rubbing arnica or aloe vera gel on the affected area to soothe the skin. Applying a little makeup can also help hide love bites, as will a scarf, or hiding in your room till the bruising fades. Your choice really.

Your suggested cures for the love bite

One tried and tested method from our readers is apparently toothpaste. Angela says: “Toothpaste is really good. I’m speaking from experience. It does help! And of course you can always pinch some concealer or powder from a sibling to cover them up. Personally though, the best option is to tell your partner you don’t like them – it saves all the hassle really,”

How to cover up love bites 101? The trusty polo neck of course… but not in the summer, according to Paul: “Buy a selection of polo neck jumpers to cover it up. Just keep in mind that that’s a very seasonal solution. You can’t be wearing turtlenecks during a heatwave.” 

Alternatively you can try using banana peel or applying aloe vera gel on the affected area. But we can’t promise it’ll work, so proceed with caution!

Next Steps

By Nishika Melwani

Updated on 15-Jun-2022