13 Home Remedies for Black Eyes

Thank goodness home remedies for black eyes have evolved over the years. If you accidentally “walked into a door” or met your match with a powerful fist, you might have had leeches placed on your face to suck out the blood. Today, we take a milder approach and incorporate home remedies for black eyes, which use less drastic measures to achieve results.

Home Remedies for Black Eyes

Causes and Symptoms

Bleeding underneath the skin surrounding the eye is what causes a black eye to surface. While most black eye injuries aren’t serious, if bleeding within the eye takes place (called a hyphema), you run the risk of decreased vision and damaged corneas [1]. More intense cases involve extensive injuries (like a skull fracture or head injury), which can cause ‘raccoon eyes’ – bruising around both eyes.

Blunt trauma is one of the leading causes of black eyes, as the eyelid skin is too thin to sustain direct contact and deep pressure [2]. The result is discoloration of the eyes that first appears blue or black. In some cases, patients with sinusitis associated with allergies may experience darkening under the eyes when blood vessels engorge and become inflamed.

Black Eye Home Remedies

It’s embarrassing to walk around with a ‘shiner’ and the constant explaining of what happened to your eye can take a toll. To speed up the healing process and relieve discomfort, consider trying the following home remedies for black eyes:

a) Cold Soda Can:

Boxing trainers usually apply an extremely cold piece of metal iron to future black eyes to minimize swelling and control hemorrhages. You can use a refrigerated soda can to achieve the same kind of treatment. Hold the can against the eye 5 to 10 minutes for every 15 minutes. Make sure you place the can on your cheek and not directly on your eye.

b) Ice:

Gentle pressure to the bruised region with a cold pack or washcloth filled with ice cubes can reduce swelling after suffering an injury to the eye. Do not press the ice into the eye socket and continue to ice down the area for 24 to 48 hours.

c) Makeup:

For some, a variety of tinted cosmetics can lessen the appearance of a black eye. Keep in mind that an injury to the eye starts out black, and as it heals, turns green and yellow before disappearing.

d) Bag of Frozen Vegetables:

Coldness promotes a decrease in blood flow and helps relieve swelling. Wrap a bag of frozen vegetables in a washcloth and hold to your blackened eye for 20 minutes. Once the skin starts to numb, it’s suggested to remove the cold compress for 10 minutes.

e) Vitamin C:

Increasing your consumption of foods containing vitamin C not only encourages speedy healing, but also prevents bruising by thickening the walls of blood vessels. A few foods to pile on your plate: broccoli, mangoes, peppers and sweet potatoes.

f) Vitamin A:

Packing quite the antioxidant punch, vitamin A can help with a black eye by fighting free radical damage to the cells. Increase your consumption of vitamin A-rich foods, such as carrots, pumpkin, spinach and liver.

g) Pineapple or Papaya:

Remedy a black eye by consuming pineapple or papaya, which possesses an enzyme known to actually change the molecular structure of blood so that the body can more easily absorb it. Some people eat three papayas a day to enhance the healing process of a black eye. Keep in mind that the best results come with a fruit cocktail containing a mixture of both fruits.

h) Don’t Blow Your Nose:

If a severe blow to the face is the reason behind your black eye, avoid blowing your nose, which can increase swelling and your chances of suffering an infection.

i) Elevate Your Head:

During bedtime, try keeping your head in an elevated position to avoid delivering pressure to your bruised eye. When sleeping, avoid rolling over on your side to prevent popping blood vessels located under the eye, which can leak blood and worsen the appearance of your bruise.

j) Massage:

Using gentle circular motions, massage the tissue around the eye to regular the blood flow in the region.

k) Stay Away from Aspirin:

You may think aspirin will solve the swelling of your black eye, but aspirin actually acts as an anticoagulant, which affects the proper clotting of blood. Components in aspirin hinder your efforts of stopping the bleeding that causes discoloration under your eye. If you want pain relief, reach for acetaminophen.


[1] http://mayoclinic.com/health/first-aid-black-eye/HQ00016
[2] http://www.webmd.com/eye-health/understanding-black-eye-basics

Reader Comment

“Since Vitamin K is proven to heal damaged capillaries of the eye and skin with better blood circulation, you should take a supplement or eat more foods with the vitamin, like broccoli, cabbage, kale, kiwi and spinach.”