Black Eye

Getting rid of black eyes takes time and patience. At each and every holiday gathering where my wife is present, my mother tells the story (usually by her request) of how my father dropped me down a flight of stairs the day before their court appearance to finalize my adoption. Apparently I had two black eyes and was such a mess that they decided not to bring me to the hearing, for fear of the judge declaring them unfit parents right then. Well, I turned out okay — and I’ve survived long enough to tell you that your black eye will be gone within a week. You could speed up the process, and get rid of a black eye faster though following the practical steps we share here.

What causes a black eye?

Black eyes are caused by bruising of the eyelid and the surrounding tissues. When trauma to the eye or the surrounding tissue occurs (such as getting hit with a fist, or walking into a door), small blood vessels near the surface of the skin (called capillaries) burst, releasing blood into the dermal layers (skin) where it doesn’t normally go. The blood then clots and remains where it is until your body can deploy certain functions of your immune system to clean up the mess. The blackness of a black eye (or any bruise for that matter) is the appearance of clotting or dead blood cells that have escaped your capillaries. A black eye is rarely considered a serious injury, but could lead to very lame jokes around you until it heals.

Best Ways to Get Rid of Black Eyes

Head trauma near the eye should always be treated immediately with a cold compress to help prevent swelling and a black eye.

If you have children, you should certainly be familiar with this part of the treatment for a black eye. If you’re single, put the raw steak down, that’s an old wives’ tale. Ice in a towel will work just fine to help reduce swelling around the eye by constriction the blood vessels (capillaries) in the sensitive tissue that surrounds your eye. 15 minutes on, 15 minutes off: do this for a day or two.

Administer a pain reliever with acetaminophen and caffeine immediately to help reduce pain and the chances of getting a black eye.

You will want to administer acetaminophen with caffeine (tension headache or migraine formulas have caffeine) immediately because caffeine is a vasoconstrictor, a chemical that causes your blood vessels to constrict. You want to reduce the amount of blood that can reach the damaged area at first because blood will simply seep out of the damaged capillaries and cause a larger black eye. You can get Excedrin Migraine from Amazon.

48 hours after the injury has occurred you should switch from cold compresses to warm compresses to treat the black eye.

By now the capillaries and blood vessels surrounding your eye should be repaired, and it’s time to get more blood flowing through those veins to help get rid of that black eye. Heat serves to dilate the capillaries underneath the skin, which will induce blood flow and help to flush away dead and dying tissue, including blood clots.

Keep your head elevated while you sleep, and try not to roll over to the side where the black eye may be forming.

Keeping your head and your black eye elevated will help reduce blood pressure in your head. True, by now you’re applying compresses to help improve blood flow to those areas, but think of the blood vessels being repaired as very delicate balloons, any amount of pressure could make them pop, leaking blood and making the black eye worse.

Warm compresses, head elevation during the night, and massaging the tissue in gentle circles should get rid of a black eye

but if it doesn’t you should go see a doctor. Any bruise, whether it’s on your eye or on your arm, should start to see improvement within 2 weeks if not sooner. A black eye that lasts longer than 2 weeks should be looked at by a doctor to determine whether or not more severe damage was done, or if perhaps you are suffering from a disease that makes bruising a more serious complication.

Black Eye Remedies

Because a black eye is simply a bruise in a funny place, there isn’t much of a market for black eye treatments and remedies. Most people simply use bruise remedies and bruise treatment products on black eyes, like they would on any normal bruise. So, if you’re looking for some good bruise remedies, I would try any cream that contains Vitamin A, or Vitamin K—two vitamins that play a significant role in the repair and maintenance of skin cells. You may also want to look into something like Lanosil, a product of Bayer, which is supposed to help you avoid a bruise if it’s applied soon enough after the initial trauma.

Vitamin C

Vitamin C is something you should be taking everyday. Orange juice, or any citrus fruit , is a great source of Vitamin C. More than warding off colds and the flu, Vitamin C plays an integral part in the synthesis of collagen, the building block of connective tissues like skin.

Sage Tea Compress.

A Sage Tea Compress has been recommended as a natural remedy for black eyes. Brew a pot of sage tea, and soak a wash cloth in the tea until the cloth cools off enough to be touched. Place it across your eyes for an hour before you sleep, or even overnight if you choose. Sage has been used to cure bruises for a very long time, and was particularly popular in the indigenous cultures of North America, especially in smudges. Alvita has some good tea to drink or to treat, available from Amazon.

Comfrey Tea Compress.

A Comfrey Tea Compress is another herbal option, but you should be warned that comfrey (or the compounds found in it) are known to cause liver disease if they’re ingested. Putting a warm comfrey tea compress on your black eye shouldn’t put you at risk, but I thought you should know about the danger before you try this, or take a sip of that tea.

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About the Author

Julianne Ragland

Julianne Ragland