If you were a kid in the 1950s and you got socked during a playground fight, chances are the remedy for your ensuing black eye would involve a nice T-bone steak. Before ice packs were widely available, chilled meat was the go-to household remedy for treating a black eye because it offered a way to cool the area and decrease swelling without applying raw ice. Nowadays, we’ve got more tools and a bit more knowledge at our disposal when it comes to the treatment of shiners. 


Black eyes happen when there is trauma to the area. The color comes from bleeding that occurs under the skin near the eye. In most cases, black eyes aren’t serious. But, they can signal a more significant injury. If you have double vision, blood showing in the white part of your eyeball, vomiting, or dizziness, you should see a doctor right away. Black eyes can be signs of more severe injuries, like skull fractures. But, for commonplace black eyes, here’s what to do to get them healed up as quickly as possible.

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Illustrated by Ted Slampyak

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