The secret to treating a black eye is quick action. If something hits you in the eye socket the best way to avoid a black eye is quick action.
Apply an ice pack as soon as you can. This can be a commercial ice pack or a bag of frozen peas wrapped in a tea towel, or some crushed ice in a plastic bag. By applying an ice pack you stop blood flowing to the area and leaking out of the blood vessels into the skin. This is what causes the bruise.
The color of a bruise is the color of the blood that has leaked into the skin tissue. As it breaks down it changes color and is removed by the body. The swelling of the black eye is the inflammatory response of the tissues and is also prevented by the ice pack.
Once the bruise is established icing it will no longer work, it will prevent it from getting worse but not remove what is already there.
Arnica tablets and cream will prevent the bruise from developing. The sooner the tablets are taken or the cream applied then the better the results. Unlike icing though Arnica will help a bruise break down more quickly. I always keep Arnica cream and tablets in my medicine cabinet and find them very effective, especially during the football season.
Heparinoid creams are also available from the pharmacy (Lasonil and Hirudoid). These are related to heparin and break down the blood in the bruise helping it to vanish more quickly.
With a black eye it is important to remember to avoid getting these creams in the eyes, so the Arnica tablets are the best option for this injury.
If the black eye is accompanied by any leakage of fluid, particularly clear fluid, from the nose , or by any loss of consciousness it is important to seek professional advice. Seek professional advice if the bruising is very severe or if the eye socket seems deformed. This can be hard to tell and X-rays may be necessary if swelling is severe.
Black eyes whilst they are healing can be hidden by make up, and will look much better with a little highlighter used under the foundation, but time is the only cure. Be ready for jokes about cupboard doors and your partner whilst it is healing, but if the black eye is the result of an assault, by any one, report it. Assault is always a crime, whoever does it.