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‘RICE’ Can Help Your Black Eye Heal Faster, says Doctor

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Jiya Saini is a Journalist and Writer at Revyuh.com. She has been working with us since January 2018. After studying at Jamia Millia University, she is fascinated by smart lifestyle and smart living. She covers technology, games, sports and smart living, as well as good experience in press relations. She is also a freelance trainer for macOS and iOS, and In the past, she has worked with various online news magazines in India and Singapore. Email: jiya (at) revyuh (dot) com

A blow to the head usually manifests itself almost immediately, especially when it occurs in the area of ​​the face near the eyes, breaking tiny blood vessels around the eye and causing bruising or black eyes.

The vessels discharge blood and fluid into the area under the skin, leaving behind a visible bruise and swelling.

Black eyes can be due to a physical injury. But they’re also very common after facial surgeries and some dental or cosmetic procedures.

If you get a bruise, the first thing you should do is evaluate whether there’s more serious injury under the surface.

Dermatologist Alok Vij, MD recommends seeing a doctor if you have symptoms such as:

  • Blurry vision.
  • Bleeding in the eye.
  • Bleeding from the nose or ears.
  • Bruising around both eyes. 
  • Loss of consciousness.

How to treat bruising or Black eye?

Dr. Vij says that a black eye should be treated as you would do to a sprained ankle or another soft-tissue injury.

A simple and handy acronym “RICE”: rest, ice, compression and elevation.


“Anything you do that gets your heart rate up increases the risk of swelling and bruising,” he says.

Take it easy for the first day or two after the injury.


In the first two days, ice your eye to decrease swelling and stop blood and fluid from pooling.

“Apply a cold compress, 20 minutes on, then 20 minutes off,” he says.

(The 20 minutes off is important — constant cold exposure can damage the skin.)


Go the cold route for the first two days. After that, applying warm compresses can help open blood vessels. That helps fluid drain, decreasing puffiness.


Keep your head up (at least for the first day or two).

“Sitting in a recliner or using some extra pillows when you sleep helps gravity work to reduce swelling,” Dr. Vij says.

How to fade a black eye

There’s no magic trick to make a black eye vanish. But there are some treatments that might help it fade.

1. Arnica

There’s some evidence that this herb — available over the counter — may help bruises heal. Doctors aren’t totally sure how it works, Dr. Vij says. But some studies have found that when people took oral arnica before cosmetic surgeries like nose jobs, it reduced the extent of their bruising.

Some people also find that it helps to put topical arnica gel on bruised skin to speed up healing. Just be careful not to get it in your eyes. “A lot of the gel formulas have other ingredients that can be irritating,” he adds.

If you take blood thinners, Dr. Vij says it’s an open question whether arnica might interact with those medications. Overall, he suggests avoiding arnica in this case to avoid any complications.

2. Vitamin C

Like arnica, vitamin C is available over the counter in both oral and topical forms. Some research suggests it can help blood clot, which helps reduce the amount of bruising and swelling. There are also signs that vitamin C might help clots break down as a bruise heals.

For the best chance of success with vitamin C, Dr. Vij recommends taking it orally within the first day or two of the injury. No vitamin C on hand? Eat some oranges. And if you have topical vitamin C oil, you can also apply that to the skin around the eye. (Avoid getting it in the eye since it can be irritating.) 

3. Laser treatment

Dermatologists can use in-office laser treatments to keep a new bruise from spreading and help it heal more quickly. To ensure that the procedure is effective, Dr. Vij recommends having it done right after your injury.

Since laser treatments are cosmetic procedures, they’re not covered by insurance. Given the cost, Dr. Vij doesn’t recommend this option unless you really need your shiner gone in a hurry.

“But if you have a black eye and your wedding is coming up, it’s an option,” he says.

If lasers aren’t in your budget, you’ll have to exercise a little patience. In the meantime, there’s always concealer.

Image Credit: iStock

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