13 Home Remedies For Black Eye, Causes, And Prevention Tips

Control your bruising and soothe your skin with the most effective natural ingredients.

Medically reviewed by M. Narendran Muthukrishnan, MBBS, ICO, FRCS, FMRF, AM (Mal) M. Narendran Muthukrishnan M. Narendran MuthukrishnanMBBS, ICO, FRCS, FMRF, AM (Mal) facebook_iconlinkedin_icon
Written by , MSc Shaheen Naser MSc linkedin_icon Experience: 3 years
Edited by , BA (Literature & Psychology), PG Diploma Arshiya Syeda BA (Literature & Psychology), PG Diploma linkedin_icon Experience: 7 years
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A black eye develops when you hit your face against an object, resulting in blood clotting under the skin near your eye and causing discoloration. While in most cases, a black eye isn’t serious, sometimes it may be an indication of a severe injury and may require medical intervention. In this article, we explore the different home remedies that can be considered quick fixes and solutions to help you get rid of your black eye.

What Is A Black Eye?

Black eye is medically known as periorbital hematoma. It is often the result of an injury to the face, which leads to bruising around the eye. This condition is named so because of the color of the bruising.

We will now take a look at the causes of this bruising.

What Causes A Black Eye?

  • Injury: When you injure your face, the tiny blood vessels under your skin tend to burst and leak blood. This causes the bluish-black bruise around your eyes. The injury to your face can result from being hit by any object.
  • Cosmetic Surgery: In some cases, a black eye can also be caused by a cosmetic surgery or some dental work and might last for several days.
  • Medical Issues: Black eye is not dangerous and is often a result of bruising. However, in some cases, a black eye can be a sign of a more serious underlying medical complication. For example, bruising around both eyes can be an indication of a skull fracture or some other injury of the head.

Irrespective of how you have injured yourself, the following remedies can help you get rid of that weird-looking black eye faster and may help diminish its appearance.

How To Get Rid Of A Black Eye Naturally

  1. Cayenne Pepper And Vaseline
  2. Coconut Oil
  3. Toothpaste
  4. Essential Oils
  5. Cucumber
  6. Green Tea Bags
  7. Petroleum Jelly
  8. Pineapple Juice
  9. Lemon Juice
  10. Orange Juice
  11. Raw Potato
  12. Ice Pack
  13. Warm Compress

Home Remedies To Treat A Black Eye

1. Cayenne Pepper And Vaseline

Cayenne pepper and Vaseline to get rid of a black eye
Image: Shutterstock
You Will Need
  • 1 teaspoon of powdered cayenne pepper
  • 5 teaspoons of Vaseline
What You Have To Do
  1. Mix one part of powdered cayenne pepper with five parts of Vaseline.
  2. Apply this mixture evenly around the affected eye.
  3. Leave it on for an hour or two and then wash it off with water.
How Often You Should Do This

You must do this twice a day.

Why This Works

The capsaicin in cayenne pepper makes this remedy very effective in treating a black eye. Capsaicin possesses powerful anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving properties that can relieve the pain and inflammation around the bruised eye (1).

protip_icon Did You Know?
The International Herb Association named chili peppers, like cayenne, their herb of the year for 2016 based on their medicinal, culinary, and decor benefits.

2. Coconut Oil

Coconut oil to get rid of a black eye
Image: Shutterstock
You Will Need

Virgin coconut oil (as required)

What You Have To Do
  1. Apply an even layer of coconut oil around your eyes and massage gently.
  2. Leave it on overnight.
How Often You Should Do This

Do this once every night.

Why This Works

The very act of massaging, combined with the benefits of coconut oil, is one of the best remedies to treat a black eye. Coconut oil has analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties that can soothe the affected eye. Massaging it can help clear up the blood clots under your eyes (2).

3. Toothpaste

Toothpaste to get rid of a black eye
Image: Shutterstock
You Will Need

Any white toothpaste

What You Have To Do
  1. Apply a thin layer of any mint-flavored white toothpaste around the affected area.
  2. Leave it on for a couple of hours or overnight.
How Often You Should Do This

You must do this once daily, preferably at night.

Why This Works

Toothpastes, especially the mint-flavored ones, are quite effective in soothing bruised skin (including a black eye). The anti-inflammatory agents in toothpaste help your skin recover quickly and fade the bruise.

4. Essential Oils

a. Lavender Oil

Lavender oil to get rid of a black eye
Image: Shutterstock
You Will Need
  • 6 drops of lavender oil
  • 15 mL of any carrier oil
What You Have To Do
  1. Mix six drops of lavender oil with 15 mL of any carrier oil.
  2. Apply this mixture evenly around your eyes and massage gently.
  3. Leave this on overnight.
How Often You Should Do This

You must do this every night before bedtime.

Why This Works

Lavender oil can help you get rid of a black eye, owing to its strong analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties (3).

b. Peppermint Oil

Peppermint oil to get rid of a black eye
Image: Shutterstock
You Will Need
What You Have To Do
  1. Add six drops of peppermint oil to 15 mL of any carrier oil and mix well.
  2. Massage this mixture gently around your eyes and leave it on overnight.
How Often You Should Do This

You must do this once every night.

Why This Works

Peppermint oil possesses excellent anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving properties that can help treat a black eye. It also soothes the swelling and inflammation, if any (4).

5. Cucumber

Cucumber to get rid of a black eye
Image: Shutterstock
You Will Need

Refrigerated cucumber slices

What You Have To Do
  1. Cut a cucumber into thin and circular slices.
  2. Chill the slices for an hour.
  3. Place a slice on each eye.
  4. Replace the cucumber slices 2 to 3 times.
How Often You Should Do This

You must do this 1 to 2 times daily.

Why This Works

Cucumber has a high water content, and hence, it can help soothe and cool your bruised eye. It can also help reduce the swelling and pain (5).

6. Green Tea Bags

Green tea bags to get rid of a black eye
Image: Shutterstock
You Will Need

2 used green tea bags

What You Have To Do
  1. Place a used warm tea bag on each eye.
  2. Keep them on for 15 to 20 minutes.
How Often You Should Do This

You must do this twice daily.

Why This Works

Green tea is packed with antioxidants, thanks to the presence of high levels of tannins. These tannins can help heal a black eye by reducing the pain and swelling (6).

protip_icon Trivia

Green tea is said to have been discovered in 2737 BC by Chinese emperor Shen Nung. As the tale goes, he was relaxing outdoors when the leaves of a nearby tree fell into his pot of boiling water. Not noticing the difference, he sipped the concoction and was enamored by its taste.

7. Petroleum Jelly

Petroleum jelly to get rid of a black eye
Image: Shutterstock
You Will Need

Petroleum jelly (as required)

What You Have To Do
  1. Apply an even layer of petroleum jelly around your eyes.
  2. Massage for some time and leave it on overnight.
How Often You Should Do This

You must do this once daily.

Why This Works

Petroleum jelly is soothing, healing, and moisturizing and is thus a great option for treating a black eye.

8. Pineapple

Pineapple to get rid of a black eye
Image: Shutterstock
You Will Need

Sliced pineapple pieces

What You Have To Do
  1. Place a sliced pineapple piece on each eye and keep them on for 10 minutes.
  2. You can also consume pineapple juice for added benefits.
How Often You Should Do This

You must do this 3 to 4 times daily.

Why This Works

Pineapple can be a great answer to how to get rid of a black eye fast. Applying pineapple topically can help in combating a black eye and consuming it can speed your recovery from within. Pineapples are rich in vitamin C and also contain an enzyme called bromelain (7). While vitamin C helps your black eye heal faster, bromelain reduces the pain and inflammation  (8).

9. Lemon Juice

Lemon juice to get rid of a black eye
Image: Shutterstock
You Will Need

1 glass of lemon juice

What You Have To Do

Consume a glass of lemon juice.

How Often You Should Do This

Do this 5 to 6 times in a day.

Why This Works

Lemons are naturally anti-inflammatory and are also great sources of vitamin C. Vitamin C possesses antioxidant properties, which heal a black eye by repairing the damage from within (9).

10. Orange Juice

Orange juice to get rid of a black eye
Image: Shutterstock
You Will Need

1 glass of fresh orange juice

What You Have To Do

Drink a glass of orange juice.

How Often You Should Do This

You must drink a glass of orange juice at least thrice daily.

Why This Works

Like lemons, oranges are also great sources of vitamin C. Consuming high amounts of vitamin C can acelerate recovery and help heal your black eye (10).

11. Raw Potato

Raw potato to get rid of a black eye
Image: Shutterstock
You Will Need

Sliced raw potato

What You Have To Do
  1. Place a slice of raw potato on the affected eye.
  2. Leave it on for 20 minutes and remove.
How Often You Should Do This

You must do this 3 to 4 times daily.

Why This Works

Raw potatoes contain high amounts of certain enzymes that can be used for dissolving blood clots. Additionally, potatoes have anti-inflammatory properties that help relieve the swelling and inflammation around the affected eye (11).

12. Ice Pack

Ice pack to get rid of a black eye
Image: Shutterstock
You Will Need

An ice pack

What You Have To Do
  1. Apply an ice pack to your affected eye.
  2. Keep it on for 5 minutes. Remove.
  3. Repeat thrice.
How Often You Should Do This

You must do this 2 to 3 times daily.

Why This Works

Ice packs can reduce pain, inflammation, and swelling around the affected eye (12). Dr. Ranjodh S Boparai, Ophthalmic Surgeon at U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, says, “You want to put an ice pack on the eye as soon as the injury happens. Only leave the ice pack on for 20 minutes. For the first two days of the injury, put ice on the eye every 2-4 hours. After the first two days, you can alternate ice with warm compresses to expedite the healing process.”

13. Warm Compress

Warm compress to get rid of a black eye
Image: Shutterstock
You Will Need

A warm compress

What You Have To Do
  1. Apply a warm compress to the black eye.
  2. Keep it on for 5 to 10 minutes and remove.
  3. Repeat twice.
How Often You Should Do This

Do this 2 to 3 times daily for faster recovery.

Why This Works

A warm compress is a great option to relieve pain as well as improve blood circulation. It also helps in getting rid of the blood clots under your eye (13).

Marie Wilson, a blogger and martial artist, shares her tips for dealing with black eyes, a common concern in martial arts and sports like Thai Boxing and BJJ. She emphasizes the importance of immediate icing to reduce swelling and highlights the use of Arnica cream, warm compresses, and gentle massage to aid the healing process. She writes, “Just remember not to put the ice directly on the eye. Its sensitive skin and you don’t want ice burn. Wrap it in a cloth or something first…Again like any bruise you need to break it down so after the first 24hrs or so you can use a warm damp flannel and apply it to the bruising – do this for around 10 minutes (i).”

These are the ways you can treat a black eye. But there are a few things you can do to ensure your wound heals faster.

What Not To Do

Dr. Boparai says, “Unfortunately, it is not possible to get rid of a black eye overnight. In general, it can take up to 2-4 weeks for the swelling and bruising to go away completely. If you have experienced a black eye, it is important to get an eye exam to make sure there are no other ocular injuries.”

He advises, “When you have a black eye, it is important not to do anything that could make the injury worse. Refrain from strenuous activity, lifting heavy objects, putting pressure on the eye, rubbing the eye, and blowing your nose. You may also want to avoid getting any water in the eye.”

He continues, “Avoid any creams used to reduce bruising. Many of these creams are not safe for the sensitive skin and structures of the eye. Over-the-counter painkillers like ibuprofen or acetaminophen may help reduce inflammation and pain. Rest is important for both the eyes and the body.”

But isn’t prevention always better than the cure?

Prevention Tips

  • Make sure that the rugs and carpets in your home are well placed, without wrinkles, to avoid tripping on them.
  • If you indulge in activities like martial arts, boxing, or any other contact sports, wear protective gear.
  • Always wear a helmet when you are cycling or riding a bike.
  • Always wear a seatbelt while traveling in a car.
  • Wear goggles for protection if you happen to be involved in activities like gardening or woodwork.

Treatments For A Black Eye

If a black eye does not improve or is due to a severe injury or medical issue, you might need medical help. This includes treatments such as:

  • Stitches: If you have a deep bleeding gash, you might need stitches to stop the bleeding and help it heal properly.
  • Hyaluronidase Injection: It helps reduce swelling (edema) and bruising (hematomas) by making it easier for the body to absorb them through the tiny vessels (14). This alternative to surgery helps relieve pain, swelling, and blackness caused by hematomas.
  • Arterial Embolization: This involves the insertion of an embolic agent, such as a gelatin sponge, into an artery to block blood flow to help treat bleeding and the appearance of a black eye (15).

Infographic: When To Go To A Doctor If You Have A Black Eye

If you have a black eye, there are some situations where you should consult a doctor before attempting to treat it on your own. You should not apply any cream, ointment, lotion, or other over-the-counter medicine or take any painkillers without consulting a doctor first. Check out the below infographic to learn when you should consult your doctor if you have a black eye.

when to go to a doctor if you have a black eye (infographic)

Illustration: StyleCraze Design Team

A black eye generally develops from a facial injury, medical issues, or cosmetic surgery. A few home remedies can help treat a black eye naturally. Coconut oil, essential oil, green tea bags, cucumber, raw potato, orange juice, and lemon juice effectively treat the black eye. Using toothpaste, petroleum jelly, an ice pack, and a warm compress also aid in managing the black eye. You can possibly prevent a black eye by wearing goggles, a helmet, or other protective gear whenever there is a risk of injury.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long does a black eye take to heal?

A black eye usually heals within two weeks without any medical attention. If treated, it heals in a few days.

Can a black eye affect your vision?

A black eye usually does not affect your vision. However, if your vision is blurred or your eyeballs hurt, it could be due to an underlying medical complication. In such situations, it is best to see your doctor to identify the cause of your disturbed vision.

Can I exercise with a black eye?

It is not recommended to exercise or do any heavy lifting within the first 48 hours of getting a black eye to prevent the risk of further bleeding under the skin.

Is ibuprofen good for a black eye?

Yes, as it is a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID), ibuprofen can reduce the swelling associated with a black eye and alleviate pain. However, it is advisable to use acetaminophen instead of ibuprofen as the latter may increase bleeding.

Is aloe vera good for a black eye?

Aloe vera is usually not recommended as the first line of treatment for a black eye. However, it may be used as a natural remedy to reduce bruising once the black eye begins to heal.

Key Takeaways

  • Trauma is one of the main reasons for the black eye, causing the eyes to painfully swell up.
  • Cold and warm compresses reduce swelling and pain. You may also take ibuprofen or arnica ointment to treat your black eye.
  • Keep the eye clean, and avoid rubbing or applying pressure.
  • Consult a doctor if the pain is severe or if you are having double visions.
get rid of a black eye

Image: Stable Diffusion/StyleCraze Design Team

Learn how to get rid of a black eye quickly and effectively. Click on this video to follow these simple steps to help reduce swelling and discoloration easily.

Personal Experience: Source

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M. Narendran Muthukrishnan

M. Narendran MuthukrishnanMBBS, ICO, FRCS, FMRF, AM (Mal)

Dr. Narendran Muthukrishnan is a consultant vitreoretinal surgeon with 18 years of experience. He trained from Sankara Nethralaya, Chennai, and is actively involved with charity services and eye screening camps. He specializes in medical and surgical vitreoretinal conditions. He has a board certification from the Ministry of Health Accredited Ophthalmology (Malaysia) and is a member of the Royal College of...read full bio

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