A black eye can be an unpleasant, embarrassing issue that leaves the skin around your eye bruised, often with red, purple or black discolouration. Finding quick and effective ways to reduce the bruising and inflammation associated with a black eye is usually the top concern. You may have heard that using toothpaste on a black eye can help accelerate healing. But does toothpaste work? And what are the effective ways to use toothpaste for black eye that can provide you instant relief?
This article provides a factual look at 5 safe methods for using toothpaste that may help provide relief from the discomfort of a black eye. However, please note that there is limited scientific evidence regarding these home remedies. It’s critical to first understand what causes black eyes and when to seek emergency medical care for more serious eye injuries.
Do read the People Also Ask (FAQs) about this topic.
- Toothpaste may help mildly reduce bruising and swelling for a minor black eye if gently applied to the skin around the injured eye.
- 5 potential toothpaste remedies are outlined but limited evidence exists for these home treatments.
- While toothpaste could supplement healing, it should NEVER replace emergency medical care for a serious eye injury.
- Use toothpaste conservatively, stop if irritation develops, and see a doctor if any troubling symptoms arise.
- Allow a moderate black eye about 1-2 weeks to improve with first aid, and consult a physician if complications emerge or it doesn’t heal.
What Causes a Black Eye?
A black eye is medically known as a periorbital hematoma – essentially a bruise around the eye region from damaged capillaries and blood vessels leaking blood near the surface of the skin. Common causes of a black eye include:
- Direct blows or trauma to the eye area from an object, sports impacts, fights, falls, abuse, etc. This can damage eye blood vessels.
- Injuries to the nose or skull end up placing pressure against the delicate skin and vessels surrounding the eye socket.
- Certain medical conditions like bleeding disorders allow blood vessels to rupture easily.
- Nosebleeds that cause blood to seep towards the region under the eye.
5 Effective Ways to Use Toothpaste for Black Eye Relief
Now that we’ve covered some basics about black eyes, here are 5 methods for how toothpaste may be used to aid relief and healing:
- Apply a Thick Toothpaste Poultice
- Make a Cold Toothpaste Compress
- Mix a Soothing Minty Paste
- Make a Medicinal Herbal Paste
- Apply a Light Toothpaste Lotion
Method 1: Apply a Thick Toothpaste Poultice
One of the most direct ways to use toothpaste for a black eye is to apply a poultice— essentially a thick paste that covers and protects the injured area. To make a basic toothpaste poultice:
What You Need:
- White non-gel toothpaste
- Clean bandage or gauze
- Wash your hands thoroughly before starting.
- Apply a roughly 1⁄4 inch or 1⁄2 cm layer of white toothpaste directly over the bruised/discoloured area around the eye.
- Cover with a clean bandage or gauze and leave on for 20-30 minutes.
- Rinse clean with lukewarm water. Be very gentle around the injured eye.
- Repeat this poultice process 2-3 times daily until the black eye has healed. The toothpaste does not need to stay on overnight.
The menthol and other ingredients in basic white toothpaste may help restrict blood vessels, reducing swelling and purplish discolouration. Keeping the injured area covered with a toothpaste poultice can also prevent additional trauma. Just take care not to get any toothpaste directly in the eye.
Method 2: Make a Cold Toothpaste Compress
Applying something cold is one of the most common and effective ways to provide relief for fresh bruises and black eyes. The cold temperature constricts blood vessels, reducing blood flow to the area for less inflammation and discolouration.
Here is one simple way to make a handy toothpaste ice pack for your black eye:
What You Need:
- Toothpaste (white non-gel preferred)
- Small paper cup or foil
- Add 2-3 spoonfuls of toothpaste into a small cup or foil-lined container.
- Carefully add a few small ice cubes on top of the toothpaste, enough to make it very cold but not fully frozen.
- Once the toothpaste mixture is very cold, apply directly to the skin around the injured eye.
- Hold the compress gently in place for about 15-20 minutes, adding more ice as needed. The menthol in toothpaste may enhance the cooling sensation.
- After each use, clean your skin and repeat as needed for 24-48 hours.
The vasoconstriction from cold can minimize inflammation in those early critical hours after an injury occurs. Just don’t apply anything frozen directly to bare skin, and see a doctor if pain/swelling worsens or vision changes develop.
Method 3: Mix a Soothing Minty Paste
The menthol compounds in toothpaste might temporarily relieve pain, itching, and discomfort around a bruised, inflamed black eye. Making a minty DIY treatment paste is easy:
What You Need:
- Toothpaste (gel okay for this method)
- Crushed mint leaves/dried mint/mint essential oil
- Bowl & spoon
- Add about 2 spoonfuls of any type of toothpaste to a small bowl.
- Crush a small handful of fresh mint leaves OR add 1⁄2 teaspoon dried mint flakes OR 2-4 drops of mint oil.
- Mix with a spoon until a smooth, uniform paste forms.
- Clean and gently dab paste all around the injured eye area, avoiding direct contact with the eye itself.
- Let the paste sit for 5-10 minutes until tingling subsides, then rinse clean.
- Repeat 2-3 times daily as needed for pain/swelling relief.
The natural compounds in mint may temporarily numb and soothe irritated skin in combination with the minty ingredients already in toothpaste. This could reduce discomfort from a tender black eye. Just keep paste away from the direct eye area with any open wounds.
Method 4: Make a Medicinal Herbal Paste
Certain gentle herbs have natural anti-inflammatory, antioxidant compounds that may help speed up healing of damaged skin tissue. Creating an herbal toothpaste paste takes advantage of these natural plant benefits:
What You Need:
- Toothpaste (any type)
- 1 teaspoon honey OR aloe vera gel
- 1 teaspoon brewed black tea OR green tea
- 5-10 crushed basil leaves OR rosemary leaves
- Add toothpaste, honey/aloe vera, and brewed tea to a small bowl.
- Crush the fresh herbs of your choice and mix all ingredients together thoroughly.
- The clean facial skin around the injured eye is very gentle.
- Use a clean cotton pad or fingers to dab herbal paste lightly onto bruised areas around the eye. Avoid direct eye contact.
- Leave paste on for 5-10 minutes then rinse clean.
- Repeat 2-3 times daily to help damaged skin and vessels heal.
Plant compounds like antioxidants in the tea and anti-inflammatories from the herbs may assist your body’s natural healing process. The aloe vera also creates a protective barrier for fragile skin near the black eye.
Method 5: Apply a Light Toothpaste Lotion
For a less concentrated treatment option, you can mix toothpaste into a simple lotion or liquid wash to lightly dab over a closed black eye. Make your own by:
What You Need:
- 1 teaspoon toothpaste
- 1 tablespoon carrier oil like coconut, olive or jojoba oil
- Small bowl & spoon
- Clean cloth or cotton swab
- Add carrier oil of choice to a small bowl with 1 teaspoon of any toothpaste.
- Mix well until smooth and uniform.
- Apply a very small amount of the toothpaste lotion lightly around (not directly on) the injured black eye using a clean cloth or cotton swab.
- Let sit for 5 minutes then gently rinse away completely with cool water.
- Repeat 1-2 times daily to help soothe the delicate skin surrounding the bruised eye area.
The toothpaste ingredients diluted in a natural oil create a gentle supportive lotion to minimize inflammation and sensitivity from a black eye. Doing this also avoids leaving thick toothpaste residue on the skin.
When Will a Black Eye Heal?
With proper first aid care and no complications, minor bruising and discolouration from a black eye typically fade within 1-2 weeks. Using conservative home treatments like cool compresses can help minimize swelling in the first day or two. Mild toothpaste remedies may support faster healing.
However, if vision changes, severe pain, nausea, or other troubling symptoms develop after an eye injury, urgent medical care is vital. Using random home remedies should never replace seeing a doctor.
When to Seek Emergency Care
While home treatment like toothpaste may provide relief for a minor black eye, urgent medical care is critical if you experience:
- Changes in vision, like blurriness, loss of vision, or seeing flashing lights.
- The eyeball itself appears misshapen or ruptured.
- You have difficulty moving the eye.
- Severe, worsening pain in the eye.
- Headache, nausea or vomiting from a head injury.
Seek emergency care for any eye injury with symptoms like these, as urgent medical treatment is necessary to prevent permanent eye damage or vision loss. Using toothpaste should never take the place of proper emergency medical care for a serious eye injury.
When to Stop Toothpaste Treatments
While toothpaste may have some benefits for aiding black eye recovery, take care with its use and stop immediately if any complications develop:
- Discontinue use if signs of infection emerge like worsening pain, yellow/green discharge or pus. Seek medical treatment for an eye infection.
- Stop using if the thin skin around the eye seems extensively damaged or isn’t healing within 2 weeks. Consult a doctor to assess if further treatment is required.
- Stop using toothpaste remedies if you develop any sudden vision impairment, eye misalignment, or severe trauma symptoms. Seek emergency medical attention in these situations.
- Cease use if skin irritation from ingredients develops and switch to plain aloe vera gel and cold compresses instead.
- Do not use toothpaste treatments for black eyes on children as eye injuries in kids should be evaluated by a pediatrician.
Used gently and conservatively, basic over-the-counter toothpaste may provide some relief for minor bruising, swelling and inflammation from a basic black eye. Combining toothpaste with cooling, protective compresses or skin-soothing herbs and carrier oils could aid the body’s natural healing ability.
However, toothpaste contains chemicals that should never be used directly on an open wound or the eye itself. Seeking emergency medical attention for trauma symptoms is critical, as treating a serious eye injury should not be delayed. Not allowing proper medical assessment and treatment can result in loss of vision.
With moderate black eye injuries with no other complications, gentle toothpaste home remedies could supplement healing. But be very careful, stop use at any signs of complications, and consult a doctor if you have any concerns when self-treating any type of eye trauma. Using toothpaste should never take the place of professional medical care, especially with eye health at stake.
People Also Asks (FAQs)
Q) What’s the best toothpaste for black eyes?
A) The most suitable toothpaste for black eyes is regular white non-gel toothpaste. The menthol may help restrict blood vessels to reduce swelling. Avoid using gel toothpaste so the texture can form a poultice.
Q) What cream is good for a black eye?
A) The best creams for black eyes contain anti-inflammatory ingredients like aloe vera, arnica, vitamin K, green tea extract, or vitamin C to aid healing of damaged blood vessels under the skin. Gently applying a nourishing cream 2-3 times a day can support recovery.
Q) Can a black eye heal in 3 days?
A) A minor black eye without extensive swelling or bleeding under the skin may heal within 3 days with appropriate first aid to reduce inflammation. Applying a cool compress for 10-15 minutes a few times a day can help restrict ruptured capillaries so the dark colour fades faster.
Q) How do you get rid of a black eye in 5 minutes?
A) Unfortunately it’s impossible to completely heal a black eye in just 5 minutes. But applying something cold, frozen vegetables wrapped in a towel, for example, can provide some instant pain and swelling relief. It takes days to weeks for the pooled blood from burst capillaries to be reabsorbed.
Q) Do black eyes go away completely?
A) Yes, over time minor black eyes should go away without any permanent damage. The dark bruising occurs because blood leaks out of small capillaries and pools under the skin. As the blood reabsorbs back into the tissues, typically within 2 weeks, normal skin colour is restored.