First of all, let me start out by saying that I have never had a black eye (thank God as the thought of being punched in the face or walking into a door makes me cringe! OUCH!). I am by no means an expert when it comes to bruises. However, I have learned a few tips and tricks over the years that can speed up the healing process and have that unsightly bruise fading in no time (a special thank you to my sister who just so happens to be a nurse and is always willing to share her medical knowledge with me!).
So why do black eyes look so horrible? Well it’s rather simple actually. The main reason is because the skin under the eyes is very thin and delicate. When a person injures this area, the blood tends to pool very quickly and is readily seen (the bruise is usually dark blue…almost black…hence the name “black eye.”). Over the next five to nine days the body will slowly reabsorb the blood that has pooled. As this happens the very dark bruise will become lighter and lighter…until it is completely gone. Note: older bruises are light brown to yellow in color. This is a sign that they are healing!
Many (and I mean many) years ago, it was believed that leeches were the best way to treat a black eye (the thought process being that a leech would suck the blood out of the affected area, causing the bruise to disappear in only a day or two). Thankfully, leeches are no longer used as there are now much better (not to mention less disgusting) ways to treat black eyes and other bruises.
The most obvious (and probably easiest) way to treat a black eye is to apply ice (or a cold pack). It is a good idea to keep a cold pack or two in your home first aid kit as they really do come in handy! Most, if not all black eyes are accompanied with swelling. A cold pack will help control the swelling as well as decrease internal bleeding. It is important to note that you should never apply ice directly to your skin (it is best to crush the ice and put in into a plastic baggie). You also don’t want to apply pressure to your eye. A good way to avoid this is to tape the plastic baggie filled with ice to your forehead. This way it will hang lightly over the affected area without pressing down. If your eye is swollen shut, apply an ice pack for ten minutes every two hours.
Hey Aspirin, Hit the Road!
Though you may be in pain, it is very important that you avoid taking aspirin or products that contain aspirin. Aspirin is a blood thinner, therefore, your body might have a difficult time when it comes to clotting blood (because of this you may also develop a larger bruise…and you DON’T want that to happen!). So remember, avoid aspirin and take acetaminophen instead! If you are in extreme pain, a trip to the emergency room may be in order.
If you have ever watched a boxing match then you probably witnessed the trainer (or cutman) applying a small, flat piece of metal (known as an enswell) to the boxer’s cheek and eye area between rounds. This piece of metal (which usually looks like a small iron) is extremely cold as it is kept on ice during the fight. It is used by the trainer to control the immediate hemorrhage and minimize swelling (making it possible for the boxer to continue to fight). If you are injured and do not have immediate access to ice (or a cold pack) you can apply a cold soda can to the area (for five to eight minutes of every fifteen). Make sure the can is CLEAN and hold it against your upper cheek area…NEVER put pressure on the eyeball itself! Obviously, (unless you just so happen to be in a boxing gym) you won’t have access to an enswell…but a cold, clean soda can will do the trick and have the same desired effect!
Applying vitamin K to a bruise is a wonderful way to speed up the healing process. Available in most drug and grocery stores, vitamin K cream promotes blood clotting and reduces swelling. All you have to do is slightly moisten the bruised area and apply. You can apply vitamin K two times per day or once before you go to bed at night. If you have additional question about vitamin K, don’t hesitate to talk to your local pharmacist. They are there to help and will be happy to answer any questions you may have!
Believe it or not, parsley has anti-inflammatory and anesthetic properties. If you are into all natural healing remedies…this tip may be perfect for you! Simply mix together one cup of parsley and two to three tablespoons of water (make sure the parsley that you use is nice and FRESH!). Pour the mixture into a blender and blend until smooth. Finally, pour the mixture into an ice cube tray and freeze. Once frozen, place a few of the cubes in a washcloth and apply. Do this for ten to fifteen minutes per hour.
Good Things Come to Those Who Wait!
So as you can see, there are several things you can do to control swelling and speed up the healing process. Unfortunately, there is no magic potion that will get rid of a black eye overnight (not even leeches…so don’t even think about it!). Even the best, most expensive make-up in the world will not be able to conceal a black eye 100%. Trust me when I say that patience and TLC go a long way! Taking care of yourself is truly the best medicine. Thank you very much for taking the time to read this HUB. If you have a few moments to spare, please visit some of my other HUB Pages! Thanks!
HendrikDB on December 03, 2011:
JCielo from England on December 03, 2011:
My dad used to clap on a bag of frozen peas from the freezer when I was young. Very good hub. Marked as useful and up.
Cygstarz (author) from Maryland on December 03, 2011:
I bow down to you pftsusan! I can't bare to watch ultimate fighting...much less participate. :-) You are obviously in great shape!
pftsusan from Eatontown on December 03, 2011:
This is excellent stuff here and important to know. I voted it up. Also, they do the enswell for ultimate fighters too. They sustain more injuries than boxers. I'm both of those.