Instantly recognizable as a "hickey" (no one believes your bruise/hair straightener burn story), which is impossible to get rid of, love bites may have seemed like some innocent fun. But they actual pose a couple of health risks - and in rare cases, can be deadly! Here are reasons couples should think twice about love bites:
- They can cause a stroke
There is, however, a chance this could happen as the result of receiving a love bite. In 2011, a woman in New Zealand had a stroke after a lover sucked on her neck, leading to an artery blockage and paralysis of her left-hand side. While this is the only documented case of this sort.
Robert Glatter, an emergency room physician at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City told USA Today:
"It's possible this could happen."
He then added that it was "very rare, and parents should be reassured it's not something that happens in a routine way."
As for how it happens: "Any sudden motion of the neck including a vigorous cough or sneezing, or even aggressive manipulation by a chiropractor could lead to a carotid artery dissection.
- You can get oral herpes
With the World Health Organization estimating that 3.7 billion people have herpes, it's a lot more common than many of us realize.
It is incredibly contagious; herpes can also spread via a humble love bite.
If your partner has oral herpes and gives you a love bite while they have an active cold sore, you could end up with it too.
- They can leave a scar
Again, the probability of this is rare. But if you have fair skin, then depending on the severity of the love bite/enthusiasm with which it's given, it can leave scarring.
Obviously, any scarring will only get worse if you pick at it so if you do get carried away, then leave your love bite alone.