Facial Swelling: Symptoms, Causes, Treatment

Facial Swelling: Symptoms, Causes, Treatment

Face swelling, also referred to as facial edema, occurs due to enlargement or inflammation of facial tissues. This condition is common and results from multiple causes such as allergic reactions, injuries, and infections. A variety of mild or severe underlying conditions can lead to face welling.

Facial swelling is noticeable on an infected individual’s lips, eyelids, and cheeks. Facial swelling is not always a cause for concern; however, if you experience facial swelling with difficult breathing, it might be a symptom of severe medical conditions such as anaphylaxis which requires immediate medical attention.

Common symptoms of facial swelling include redness, facial pain, and wheezing. If you feel intense discomfort due to constant swelling of the face, follow through with this article. We will explore the causes and treatment course for facial swelling.

Causes of Facial Swelling

Several factors can cause facial swelling; however, the two common causes are allergic reactions and infections leading to inflammation of facial tissues. Details discussed below may help determine if your condition is life-threatening and requires medical care.

Allergic Reaction

Medication allergy

Allergy to medication is a common cause of facial swelling. This reaction causes respiratory distress, wheezing, diarrhea, and vomiting. Allergy to medicines isn’t a life-threatening condition; however, it is essential to seek emergency medical care if your condition causes extreme discomfort.

Environmental allergies

Allergic reactions to environmental factors such as dust and pollen can lead to inflammation of facial tissues, resulting in a swollen face. This type of allergy also causes itchiness, watery eyes, or sneezing. Typically, environmental allergies aren’t a cause for concern; nevertheless, call for immediate medical attention if you experience difficulty breathing.

Food allergy

Food allergies aren’t an unfamiliar situation in recent times. Food allergies cause facial swelling, respiratory distress, and wheezing. If a specific food substance causes an allergic reaction, you should avoid such food to prevent medical complications.

Infectious Causes

Infectious causes of facial swelling include:

  • Skin and Eye Infection

Infections of the eyes and skin, such as acne and cellulitis, can cause redness and inflammation of facial tissues.

  • Mouth infection

Dental infections such as tooth decay, periodontal disease can also cause inflammation of facial tissues.

Other common causes of facial swelling include dehydration, pregnancy, obesity, trauma, and underlying medical conditions.

Symptoms of Facial Swelling

Symptoms of facial swelling vary and depend on the underlying disorder or disease. Symptoms that may occur with facial swelling includes:

  • Eye pain or redness
  • Fever
  • Facial pain
  • Headache
  • Fatigue
  • Watery, itchy eyes
  • Skin sores or pus-filled bumps

If you experience difficulty breathing and pale coloration, seek an emergency medical consult to avoid complications.

Diagnosis of Facial Swelling

Your primary health care practitioner or doctor will perform a physical examination of the affected area. Your doctor will ask several questions about your symptoms to provide a conclusive diagnosis effectively.

Your doctor may inquire about your complete medical records, family history, and a full list of medication you have taken to treat the condition.

How to Treat Facial Swelling

Most symptoms require proper diagnosis and examination to determine the condition’s cause. Mild conditions such as dehydration or minor trauma are responsible for facial swelling; some home treatment remedies may suffice; however, severe cases may require medications to manage the symptoms.

Home remedies that may help in treating facial swelling include:


Facial swelling may be an indication of dehydration. Drinking water regularly may help relieve discomfort.


You can treat swelling caused by inflammation or trauma with an ice pack to reduce pain and swelling.


Excessive alcohol and lack of sleep can cause facial swelling. You can treat this condition by doing away with the causative agent and taking some time to rest to reduce swelling.

When to See a Doctor

If home treatment fails to treat facial swellings or the condition worsens, visit your doctor. Your doctor may recommend any of the treatment options below:


Some bacterial infections are resistant to antibiotics; however, antibiotics effectively treat bacterial infections.


Your doctor may recommend draining infections using a needle if the condition occurs in the mouth.

Blood tests

Medical conditions such as hormonal imbalance can cause facial swelling. Your doctor may order a blood test to diagnose the underlying disease and check hormone levels.

Dental care

Your doctor may refer you to a dentist if a dental condition is responsible for facial swelling.

Intravenous medication (IV)

Your doctor may treat facial swelling by administering intravenous medications to reduce discomfort and alter symptoms.

While it is impossible to prevent face swelling, avoiding allergens, practicing good oral hygiene, and eating a healthy diet is essential to boost your immunity against infection that causes face swelling.

Seek emergency medical attention for facial swelling that doesn’t improve after a few days.