Violin Mark/ Hickey?

December 5, 2017, 5:20 PM · I’ve got a huge violin hickey and i was wondering how i could get rid of it? thanks :)

Replies (12)

Edited: December 5, 2017, 6:13 PM · Witch Hazel, available at any pharmacy, applied with a cotton pad three times a day does wonders to clear it up.
December 5, 2017, 6:47 PM · Have you pinpointed the cause of the problem? I don't doubt the effectiveness of Witch Hazel; but, as we've heard, "an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure."

I cover my chin rests and the metal brackets with Strad Pads -- I started doing this in my teens. I can practice and play up to 3 hours a day, which is all I can fit in -- no irritation or discoloration. Some people are sensitive to latex -- I don't have this problem, either; but for those who do, there are alternative coverings.

December 5, 2017, 7:13 PM · Where is the irritation? Is it at the base of the neck/collarbone or in the middle of the neck?
December 6, 2017, 2:22 PM · Witch Hazel does not fight infection. It is merely an astringent. Potassium alum is stronger but also more corrosive and you do not want to risk getting it on your violin. If you are oozing or if there is other sign of infection then see your doctor. Antibiotic ointments are junk.

The violin hickey is usually underneath the jawbone. I jokingly refer to it as "The mark of the covenant."

December 6, 2017, 2:32 PM · Since the infamous "Violin Hickey" is a bruise, padding between the instrument and your skin should stop the formation of the bruise. Of course, your holding of the instrument will change a bit with the added padding and it's one more thing in the violin case. If all else fails there is makeup.

Paul: I love your description - "The mark of the covenant."

December 6, 2017, 3:55 PM · The violin hickey is not a mark of mastery -- instead it actually means that your setup is wrong for your body in some way.

Many people use whatever chinrest came with their violin -- this is usually not ideal. I recommend trying a variety of chinrests to determine where the extra pressure is being applied. Your teacher should work with you on this -- I keep a large box of chinrests around just for this purpose. A new chinrest is relatively inexpensive.

Another possible cause is jacking the shoulder rest up too high. I see people doing this a lot on the shoulder side bracket in particular, causing the back corner of the chinrest to dig in or pinch the flesh.

Ultimately, I cannot see you and your teacher should help you figure out the problem. There is no reason to walk around with these marks!

December 7, 2017, 6:05 PM · my hickey isn’t infected it’s just the bruising i’m eager to get rid of
Edited: December 7, 2017, 7:59 PM · Like I said: start with the Witch Hazel to clear up the symptoms. And try padding as mentioned above -- or a folded clean napkin -- to prevent further irritation while you're practicing or playing.
December 7, 2017, 10:49 PM · Haha. I used to be quite jealous of people who had huge hickeys from violin or viola, and was sad when mine was hardly existent even during the time when I was consistently putting in 4-5 hours a day on top of youth orchestra, lessons, and chamber music programs. Never used any padding either. I knew that having an especially prominent one meant something wasn't right, but I wanted something I could pop like a balloon.
December 8, 2017, 2:59 AM · Or you could just say you have new boyfriend/girlfriend??
Edited: December 8, 2017, 3:23 AM · It looks like you have some ideas and options to consider.

Assuming your setup is more or less correct (agreed that a large or bruising hickey means an incorrect setup and you should fix that), I would second Jim with the idea of the Strad Pad.

Edited: December 8, 2017, 6:57 PM · Popping a lump on or in the vicinity of the neck (a highly vascular region of the body) is NEVER a good DIY idea. How do you know there isn't a big vein, artery or other equally important structure lying just under the lump? ALWAYS get a trained medic to do the procedure.

Didn't I mention the risk of infection if the popping is DIY? Well, that risk is very much there. Another very good reason to use the medic.

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