How to Get Rid of a Black Eye Faster: Home Remedies that Really Work

How to Get Rid of a Black Eye Faster: Home Remedies that Really Work

Getting rid of a black eye quickly is a top priority for anyone who has dark bruising around their eye and upper cheek. Any kind of trauma to the face can cause a black eye which typically results in swelling, pain, discoloration of the skin, and can even result in a serious injury. A black eye usually starts off as purple or black bruising around the eye that gradually becomes yellow until it heals and disappears completely.

Depending on the type of injury, one or both eyes can be affected. For example, an injury to your nose will often result in two black eyes. The dark bruising is caused by blood vessels rupturing under the skin and, because the skin around your eyes is quite loose and soft, it is very prone to inflammation.

To quickly get rid of a black eye, it’s important to act quickly to prevent a bruise forming. The good news is that there are many effective natural treatments for getting rid of black eyes. For example, cold and warm compresses help to reduce swelling, witch hazel is a natural astringent that repairs broken blood vessels, and natural creams like arnica and calendula help to speed up the healing process.

What Causes a Black Eye?

One of the most common causes of a black eye is a blow to your forehead, nose, or eye. Depending on the severity of the trauma, a black eye can last from one to two weeks. However, the quicker you treat a black eye, the quicker the swelling and pain will heal.

Another reason for getting a black eye is having surgery done to your face like jaw or nose surgery or a facelift. Dr. John Cunha on MedicineNet says that a head injury to the base of your skull (called a basilar skull fracture) can cause swelling and blackening in both eyes.1

Symptoms of a Black Eye

Dark bruising, pain, and swelling are the most typical symptoms of having a black eye (also named periorbital hematoma, or shiner). Dr. Cunha says that black eyes are very common types of bruises because the skin around the eye is fatty and fluid accumulates easily there. Even a blow to the forehead can cause a black eye because blood and inflammatory fluid are drawn to the soft tissues around the eyes.

The bruising around the eye starts off red and then gradually becomes darker as the swelling increases. After a few days, the black eye should start to heal and the bruising may change color and the swelling should go down.3

If you have vision problems (like double vision), severe swelling around the eyes that doesn’t disappear in a few days, or signs of an infection, you should call a doctor immediately.

Best Home Remedies to Get Rid of a Black Eye

If you have a blow to your nose, eye, or forehead, you should promptly begin first-aid treatment to reduce the swelling and reduce the risk of bruising to a minimum. While it may not be possible to get rid of a black eye overnight, here are some of the best home remedies for a black eye.

Cold compress

One of the first ways to reduce swelling around a bruised eye is to apply a cold compress as soon as possible after the injury. Cold restricts blood flow to the affected area and helps prevent a black or purple bruise forming.

Dr. Melinda Ratini from WebMD recommends using an ice pack for a black eye for the first 24-48 hours.4 This will prevent swelling and also help manage the pain better.

How to use:

To use a cold compress to get rid of a black eye, you should do the following:

  • Put some crushed ice into a sealable plastic bag and wrap it in a thin towel.
  • Gently apply the cold pack to the affected area around your eye and keep it on for 15 minutes.
  • Repeat several times a day for one or two days to help prevent bruising and swelling around your eye.

After treating your black eye with a cold compress for the first 2 days, you should then use a warm compress.

You can also use sliced chilled cucumber on your eye as a cold compress. Putting cucumbers on your eye has many benefits and you can read about them in my article about 10 reasons to use cucumber on your eyes.

Warm compress

A warm compress placed on the damaged tissue around your injured eye will speed up the healing process. The warmth from the compress increases blood flow to the affected area and helps to encourage the healing process.

In fact, doctors from the Mayo Clinic recommend a warm compress as part of the first-aid steps for treating a black eye.5

How to use:

To use heat to speed up the healing process of a black eye, it’s important to make sure the compress isn’t too hot. It should be about the temperature of bath water. This is what you should do:

  • Dip a washcloth in warm water and wring out the excess.
  • Apply the warm compress to your black eye several times a day to help it heal quicker.
  • Continue using the warm compress to treat the bruising around your eye until the discoloring disappears.

Please remember to only use the warm compress about 48 hours after the injury. If you apply heat to the damaged tissue around your eye too quickly it can make the black eye worse because heat increases bleeding in a new injury. Read more about it in my article on when to use cold or heat therapy for pain, stiff muscles and joints.

Witch hazel

Witch hazel contains astringent properties which can help a black eye to heal quicker. Witch hazel contains tannins that constrict blood vessels and stops bleeding from broken veins.

Doctors from WebMD say that many people use witch hazel directly on their skin to soothe various skin problems. For example, witch hazel is used to treat bruising, reduce swelling and pain, and also get rid of itching. Witch hazel is also added to many skin treatments to help stop bleeding.6

How to use:

To help relieve the pain and bruising around your eye after an injury with witch hazel, you should do the following:

  • Soak a cotton pad in pure witch hazel and squeeze out the excess.
  • Gently hold the witch hazel compress on your black eye for a few minutes.
  • Repeat the process 2 to 3 times a day to help get rid of your black eye quicker.

Please remember, witch hazel may sting if it gets into your eye. So, apply carefully and if it irritates your eye, rinse your eye with plenty of clean water.


Another great healing agent for bruising around a black eye is arnica. Arnica has been used for centuries to soothe many skin complaints that cause pain, bruising, and inflammation. In fact, the healing properties of arnica can also help reduce the symptoms of arthritis and muscle spasms.

Studies into the healing effects of arnica have found that it is effective for facial bruising. The journal Archives of Facial Plastic Surgery reported that arnica helps to reduce bruising after facelifts. The researchers found that, when arnica was regularly applied to damaged skin, there was less skin discoloration than those who didn’t use the cream.7

How to use:

To reduce the appearance of a black eye naturally with arnica, you should do the following:

  • Apply arnica cream to the blackened area around your eye 2-3 times a day.
  • Use the natural remedy every day to speed up the healing process until you no longer have any signs of bruising.

Remember, arnica shouldn’t be used on open wounds or ingested.

Vitamin K cream

Vitamin K cream is another natural salve you can buy to help get rid of a black eye quicker. As soon as you see a black eye developing, you should start applying vitamin K cream to prevent any skin discoloration. The way that vitamin K helps with a black eye is that it prevents blood from clotting and promotes vein healing.

The Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology reported that vitamin K helps prevent severe bruising when applied in the first few days after injury.8

How to use:

To use vitamin K cream to heal a black eye, apply the treatment to the darkened skin area 2 to 3 times a day. Continue applying the cream until there is no more bruising.


Another home remedy for a black eye that works very well is comfrey cream. You can either buy comfrey cream or make your own healing comfrey salve. Comfrey helps to remove black eyes because it contains anti-inflammatory ingredients that boost the healing time of bruises.

A study from Germany found that comfrey preparations were very effective in treating bruises. By applying comfrey cream to damaged skin, researchers found that it helped to reduce pain, inflammation and bruising.9

How to use:

To help relieve pain and prevent the bruise from getting worse, apply comfrey regularly to the bruised area around your eye. Apply 2-3 times a day until you no longer have skin discoloration around your eye.


Another effective natural treatment for a black eye is calendula. Also known as pot marigold, calendula promotes bruise healing thanks to its anti-inflammatory properties. In fact, calendula is so effective as a skin ointment, that it is a natural remedy for getting rid of scars as well as eye discharge and mucus.

The University of Maryland says that calendula ointments are used to treat bruises and help wounds and burns to heal faster.10  

How to use:

Apply calendula to the skin around the eye that has been traumatized to get rid of the bruising quickly. As with the other healing ointments for bruising, calendula should be applied 2-3 times a day until the bruising has disappeared.

Aloe vera

One of the best all-around natural remedies for your skin is aloe vera. You can also use aloe vera to naturally heal a black eye and get rid of it faster. Aloe vera contains many vitamins and minerals which promote healthy skin. It also aids in reducing the effects of blows to your skin that result in bruising.

According to the journal Advances in Dermatology and Allergology, aloe vera has many medicinal uses for skin disease. The researchers found that the anti-inflammatory properties of aloe vera help treat minor skin irritations including bruises, burns, and abrasions.11

How to use:

The best way to use aloe vera to treat a black eye is to apply pure aloe vera gel directly to the discolored skin. Apply 2-3 times a day to help soothe irritation, pain and quickly get rid of a black eye.

Chamomile oil

You can use chamomile oil as a natural way to make a black eye go away faster. Chamomile is widely known for its soothing properties and has been used for centuries as a healing agent. One of the ways that chamomile oil is great for treating bruising round an eye injury is that it promotes skin healing.

For example, among the many benefits of chamomile on your skin, a comprehensive report on the essential oil found that it is used to treat bruises. It has also helped to reduce facial swelling and soothe the pain associated with inflammation.12

How to use:

To use chamomile to get rid of a black eye quicker, you should mix chamomile essential oil with a carrier oil to make a healing ointment. Here is how to do it:

  • Mix 1 tablespoon coconut oil or sweet almond oil with 2-3 drops of chamomile oil.
  • Apply a small amount of the oil to the bruised eye and gently massage the ointment into your skin. Make sure that the mixture does not get into your eye.
  • Repeat the process 2-3 times a day to help heal the bruise and get rid of the purple-black skin.
  • Continue applying until your black eye is gone for good.

Tea bags

One useful way to use your old tea bags is to help reduce swelling around a black eye. Like witch hazel, tea contains tannins and can help constrict blood vessels to reduce bruising around damaged skin tissue.

How to use:

You can use a tea bag as a natural warm compress to reduce the appearance of a black eye.

  • Put one tea bag in a cup of boiling water and wait until the liquid is warm.
  • Squeeze out the excess tea and gently hold the tea compress to your black eye.
  • Keep in place on the bruise for 10-15 minutes.
  • Repeat 3-4 times a day until the bruising disappears from around your eye.

After removing the tea bag from your eye, you could apply some arnica or vitamin K cream to help the black eye heal even faster.

Black Eye – When to See a Doctor

Although doctors say that a black eye is generally a minor injury that generally heals fairly quickly, there are some cases when you need to see a doctor. If the trauma that causes the black eye was severe, you could have suffered more internal damage to your eye or brain.

Doctors from the National Health Service advise to seek medical attention for a black eye in the following circumstances:13

  • A head injury results in 2 black eyes (sometimes described as “raccoon eyes”). This could be caused by a basilar skull fracture (fracture of the base of the skull).
  • The trauma to your head causes you to lose consciousness.
  • You experience problems with your vision – loss of vision, double vision, or inability to move an eye.
  • You have signs of a serious eye injury.
  • You have signs of an infection like fever, redness, or pus draining from the affected eye.

Read these related articles:

Article Sources

  1. MedicineNet. Black Eye.
  2. MedicineNet. Black eye facts.
  3. MedicineNet. Black eye symptoms.
  4. WebMD. Treating a bruise at home.
  5. MayoClinic. Black eye: first aid.
  6. WebMD. Witch hazel.
  7. J Altern Complement Med. 2008 Jan-Feb;14(1):17-25.
  8. J Am Acad Dermatol. 2002 Aug;47(2):241-4.
  9. Fortschritte der Medizin. Originalien 2002, 120(1):1-9
  10. UMM. Calendula.
  11. Postepy Dermatol Alergol. 2013 Jun; 30(3): 170–177.
  12. Mol Med Report. 2010 Nov 1; 3(6): 895–901.
  13. NHS. Black eye.

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