10 Good Excuses for a Hickey on Your Neck

Save face with these believable hickey cover stories.

So, you got a little carried away in the heat of passion, and now you’re sporting an unmistakable love bite on your neck. Your first instinct may be to panic, especially if you have to face your parents, go to work or school, or see someone you’re not ready to have that “I’m sexually active” conversation with just yet. Don’t worry, we’ve all been there. A hickey is a rite of passage and nothing to be ashamed about. But if you need a good cover story to avoid awkward explanations, here are 10 clever and believable excuses for that hickey.

1. Blame It On an Allergic Reaction

One of the most plausible hickey excuses is to claim it’s the result of an allergic reaction or sensitivity to something. Maybe your skin didn’t agree with a new detergent, lotion, perfume/cologne, or even jewelry. Those with sensitive skin often get rashes and hives that can look suspiciously like a hickey. So lean into that excuse, act surprised when someone points it out, and say something like, “Oh no, I must be having an allergic reaction to that new necklace!” No one will question it.

2. You Got Burned By Your Curling Iron

If you have long hair, you can always use your heated hair styling tools as a scapegoat for that hickey on your neck. Curling and flat irons can cause burns that look similar to a hickey if you accidentally graze your skin. Just say “Ugh, I burned myself with my curling iron this morning, I’m such a klutz!” It’s a relatable mistake that most people will buy without a second thought. You may have to commit to wearing your hair down for a few days, though.

3. It’s Just a Bruise

Depending on the placement and appearance of your hickey, you may be able to pass it off as a regular ol’ bruise. If it’s more purple and blotchy than red, claim you whacked your neck on something or got hit by a ball while playing sports. Demonstrating how you supposedly got the bruise lends credibility to your story. You can also say something vague like “I’m not sure, I just woke up with this weird bruise on my neck!” Leaving it a mystery means people will be less likely to press for details.

4. Insect Bites Are the Culprit

Bug bites are another innocent explanation for suspected red marks on your neck. Mosquitos, spiders, ticks, and other creepy crawlers can leave behind itchy welts that look a lot like hickeys. You can claim you were out hiking or at a BBQ and eaten alive by bugs. If it’s the right season for insects in your area, no one will bat an eye at this excuse. Be prepared to commit to the story and give details about your outdoor adventures if asked.

5. You Experimented With Cupping Therapy

If you’re not shy about your interest in wellness trends and alternative medicine, you can claim your hickey is the result of cupping therapy. This ancient Chinese practice involves placing special cups on the skin to create suction, which leaves round hickey-like marks. People get cupping done to relieve pain, reduce inflammation, and promote relaxation. So if your friends know you as the yoga and green juice type, they won’t be surprised to hear you tried cupping. Just say you had a sore neck and wanted to test it out.

6. Makeup Mishaps Happen

For a hickey excuse that requires minimal explanation, blame it on a makeup mishap. If you wear concealer, foundation, or powder, claim that your makeup rubbed off on that part of your neck and left a mark. You can say something like, “Oops, my makeup must have smudged and irritated my skin there.” Most people will take your word for it and move on. The key is not making a big deal out of it. Quickly blot the spot with a tissue and act like it’s no biggie.

7. It’s a Birthmark

Believe it or not, some people have birthmarks on their necks that can look shockingly similar to a hickey. If your love bite is in a spot that’s usually covered by your hair or clothes, you can pretend you’ve always had a birthmark there, and people just never noticed. Act nonchalantly and say, “Oh, that? That’s just my birthmark.” Of course, this excuse works best if you don’t see the person regularly. But it’s an easy way for casual acquaintances to shut down the hickey speculation.

8. Blame an Overzealous Massage

Getting a massage is a perfectly innocent reason to have a few red marks on your body. If you’re comfortable sharing that you treated yourself to a spa day, you can totally claim your hickey is from an overly intense massage. Just say the masseuse worked on a knot in your neck a little too vigorously. People may wince in sympathy and share their own tales of painful massages. It’s a relatable excuse that won’t raise eyebrows.

9. Your Sibling/Kid/Pet Did It

When all else fails, blame your hickey on an overly affectionate or rambunctious family member. You can say your little sibling or kid gave you an aggressive neck hug that left a mark. Or claim your cat/dog nipped at you while playing and accidentally bruised your skin. Most people understand that kids and pets can be unpredictable and unintentionally rough. They’ll chuckle and say something like “Gotta love family!” Just don’t throw your loved ones under the bus too often.

10. Rock It With Confidence

At the end of the day, the best way to deal with an obvious hickey is to own it with confidence. Don’t let the awkwardness or embarrassment get to you. If someone asks about it directly, smile slyly and say, “Wouldn’t you like to know?” Or laugh it off with a casual “Yeah, things got a little heated last night!” A hickey is a sign of passion, attraction, and desirability. So wear it like a badge of honor, and don’t let anyone make you feel bad about getting caught up in a steamy moment. Chances are, they’re just jealous they’re not the one sporting a sexy love bite.