ZocdocAnswers"Hickey" looking mark on side of neck, what could it be?

Question

"Hickey" looking mark on side of neck, what could it be?

"I have a "hickey" looking mark that just appeared on the side of my neck - 1" below ear - when I woke up, it started off dark red and then I shaved it and deepened in color, then that side of my neck was exposed to the sun all day while driving and now is a darker purple/brown like color. The skin is normal on the surface and it does not hurt or itch. It has been there for 4 days now. I am a male/37/married. I would like to know if anyone has any idea what it could be from.

Answer

Thanks for your question. There are a few different ideas of what could have caused this to appear so it is important to speak with your doctor. First, and perhaps most obvious, is the idea of trauma. While traumatic bruising is not overly common on the neck, we are all familiar with this sort of thing in other body parts such as the arms and the legs. If you do not recall an obvious injury, that does make it slightly less likely, although there are other kinds of trauma such as sun and wind exposure. There are other options as well. There are some lesions of the skin that can take on a purple hue. Some of these can be systemic changes, meaning something that is affecting your entire body, or local changes such as an arterial or venous malformation. There are also lymphatic malformations that can sometimes have some color changes. On a more serious note, there are tumors such as skin cancer and other kinds of tumors that can grow and cause changes to the color of the skin. These are more common in some populations with specific risk factors, such as organ transplant patients, those with significant sun exposure, etc. Please speak with your doctor about this for more information.

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

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