What is it about hickeys that has us all over the place in our opinions of them? Some of us find them disgusting, while others love walking out of their bedroom with signs of their lovemaking on their body. But beyond the social stigma surrounding this act of sucking on skin, are there physical repercussions?
In the case of one 44-year-old New Zealand woman, the answer is yes.
The woman showed up at the emergency room in Middlemore Hospital in Auckland with paralysis in her left arm. Doctors found that the only possible cause was the hickey on her neck.
“Because it was a love bite there would be a lot of suction. Because of the physical trauma it had made a bit of bruising inside the vessel. There was a clot in the artery underneath where the hickey was,” said Dr. Teddy Wu, who works in the neurological department at Middlemore.
The clot found its way to the woman's heart, and caused a minor stroke. Doctors say that had the condition not been treated, it could have worsened and even become fatal.