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12 Causes Of Facial Swelling

About Facial Swelling

Facial swelling is a very common symptom of a range of diseases including, injuries, allergic reactions, and infection. It can also be due to anaphylaxis, which is a medical emergency.

Facial swelling involves swelling in the neck and throat. A medical professional treats facial swelling

Causes Of Facial Swelling

Causes Of Facial Swelling

There are numerous causes of facial swelling and some of them are listed below:

Cushing Syndrome

Cushing syndrome occurs when there is an increase in the production of cortisol hormone.

People with Cushing syndrome have puffy and round face. Their skin bruises easily and they have excess thick hair on the body.

This condition affects 40-70 percent of people out of every million.(1)


Facial swelling can also be caused due to Actinomycosis. Actinomycosis is a severe bacterial infection that leads to an abscess in the soft tissue of the body. It is a rare condition.

It is mostly seen affecting the mouth, nose, throat, and stomach.

The symptoms of actinomycosis include:

Allergic Conjunctivitis

Allergic conjunctivitis is an allergic reaction a person experiences in the eye. The triggers of this condition are dust, pollen, pet dander, and mold spores.

The symptoms of allergic conjunctivitis include:

  • Redness in the eye
  • Burning in the eyes
  • Itching in the eyes
  • Watery eyes
  • Swelling and puffiness of skin around the eyes
  • Facial swelling

Avoiding exposure to an allergen can prevent the condition. Cold compresses can be applied to the areas of inflammation.

Do not rub eye when suffering from this condition as it can worsen the symptoms.


A severe allergic reaction to an allergen is known as anaphylaxis. The symptoms appear soon after exposure to an allergen. It is a medical emergency.

The symptoms of anaphylaxis include:

  • Itching
  • Breathing difficulty
  • Facial swelling
  • Diarrhea
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Rapid heart rate
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Hives
  • Facial swelling
  • A sudden drop in blood pressure

If a person experiences anaphylaxis for the first time, there are high chances of him suffering from it in the future as well. To avoid it, it is important to avoid exposure to an allergen.


Angioedema occurs due to an allergic reaction to food, medication, or any other allergen. It occurs deep within the skin.

The symptoms include:

In mild cases, treatment is not required, and to prevent the condition it is important to avoid exposure to an allergen.

To lessen the discomfort, it is important to use cold compresses and wear loose clothing.

Broken Nose

Sometimes an injury to the face can cause the nose to break. This can lead to facial swelling and other symptoms, such as:

  • A crooked nose
  • Pain
  • Bleeding of nose
  • Bruising

Any facial injury should be brought to the notice of the doctor. Most cases do not require any treatment and can be treated with pain relievers, splinting, and cold compresses. In some cases, surgery might be required.


Cellulitis is a condition that causes redness and swelling making the affected area hot to touch. It can be painful. Cellulitis of the face can cause facial swelling.

Signs of infection include:

  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Red streaks from rashes

Mostly rest and pain-relieving medications are advised to reduce the discomfort.


Hypothyroidism is a condition in which the thyroid gland is underactive and does not produce enough hormones. These hormones help regulate energy uses.

Along with the swollen and puffy face, the symptoms of hypothyroidism include:

According to the American Thyroid Association, about 60 percent of people suffering from thyroid disease are not aware of the condition(2)

Thyroid medications and lifestyle changes can help manage the symptom.


Preeclampsia is a condition that occurs during pregnancy and requires urgent medical attention.

The patient has high blood pressure and elevated levels of protein in the urine. The condition can complicate and lead to dangerously high levels of blood pressure, kidney and liver damage, and seizures.

Symptoms include:

According to the stage of pregnancy and severity of the condition, the patient is recommended to deliver early.


Inflammation of the nasal passage and sinuses can lead to sinusitis. It is caused due to allergies or bacterial or viral infections.

It leads to swelling and tenderness around the nose and eyes along with:

  • Cough
  • Fatigue
  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Runny or stuffy nose
  • Sore throat
  • Staying hydrated, warm compresses and steam therapy can help counter congestion.
  • Tooth infection

Infection or abscess in the tooth and gum can lead to swelling around the jawline that can cause pain and tenderness in the affected areas. Saltwater rinse and OTC pain relievers can help get rid of symptoms.

Superior Vena Cava Syndrome

Superior vena cava is a serious condition that can cause swelling and discoloration of the face and neck.

The superior vena cava is a large vein that carries blood from the head, neck, and chest to the heart. Superior vena cava syndrome occurs when the vein gets obstructed.

The obstruction of this vein can be due to:

Superior vena cava syndrome may lead to the following symptoms:

Sheetal DeCaria, M.D.
Sheetal DeCaria, M.D.
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Sheetal DeCaria, M.D. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:November 18, 2020

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