Reviewed By: Pramod Kerkar, MD, FFARCSI

Swelling of the temple is a common condition and there may be different causes depending on the age and condition of a person. Complains of swelling of the temple vary from person to person, so do the causes and treatment options for swollen temple. Being in alignment with the eyes, the temple area is located on the sides of our head. As the head and our face remains exposed all day long and cannot be covered in any way, the temple area always remains exposed. Any abnormality around the temple area is easily noticeable. For instance, if the temple area swells up or gets bruised, it will be noticed easily. Both adults and children experience this problem though the causes of swelling in temple area may vary from person to person.

The swelling of the temple can occur on one side of the temple or on both sides depending on its severity and cause. Some symptoms associated with a swollen temple area are itching, pain around the temples, skin discoloration in the swollen temple area, scalp tenderness and blurred vision which can aggravate the problem and add to your discomfort.

What Causes Swelling of the Temple?

What Causes Swelling of the Temple?

There are several causes for the swelling of the temple. Understanding and analyzing every cause in detail is essential to help manage and treat the problem of swelling of the temple. Most causes are linked to certain physical conditions and it has been seen that if the upper part of the face is affected in any way, it becomes an important cause of swelling of the temple area too. The main cause of swelling of temple area includes:

Swelling of the Temple Caused Due to Insect Bite

Insect bite is a common cause of swelling and in this case, it causes swelling of the temple area, right around the bite. This may be seen only on one side of the face and the area might become red, itch immensely and also burn in some cases. The redness and swelling appears within a few minutes of the bite and causes swelling in temple area, which can also spread to the entire face if the bite is severe.

Swelling of the Temple Caused Due to Cerebral Edema

Cerebral edema, which is swelling in the brain, is one of the serious causes of swollen temple area. Conditions like infection or tumor in the brain or diseases such as meningitis give rise to edema, which can cause swelling in the temple area.

Swollen Temple Caused Due to Allergy

Allergy, commonly caused due to food or inappropriate use of cosmetics, is also one of the important causes of swollen temple area and the entire face. Using low-grade cosmetics or harmful chemicals also harm the skin thereby causing allergic reactions on the skin and face.

Injury – Major Cause of Swelling of the Temple

One of the most common causes of swollen temple area is injury to the head or temple region wherein blood accumulates in this area due to the burst of an artery. Similarly, injury to the forehead or the area above the eyes is also one of the potential causes of swelling of the temple.

Temporal Arteritis as a Cause for Swelling of the Temple

A severe condition known as temporal arteritis, in which the arteries near the temple region get inflamed and cause of swelling around the temple area accompanied by pain in the region. This condition is characterized by the inflammation in the lining of the arteries passing through the temple area, hence a cause of swollen temple area. If left untreated for long, temporal arteritis can also affect blood flow the brain and eyes and even lead to stroke and blindness. Though the exact cause of this disease is not clearly understood, a faulty immune system is considered to be one of the major causes for it. This problem is more common in women as compared to men and also in people above 70 years of age. Nevertheless, temporal arteritis is one of the major causes of swelling of the temple.

Swelling of the Temple Caused Due to Common Infections

Conjunctivitis is a common infection in the eye which is also one of the causes of swollen temples. Ear infection or sinusitis are other common causes of pain and swelling of the temple.

Skin Infections and Swollen Temple Area

When you get a skin infection on the upper part of the face such as a pimple, acne, rash, or a boil it can result in swelling of temple.

How is Swelling of the Temple Treated?

How is Swelling of the Temple Treated?

Treatment for swelling of the temple mainly depends on the causes. Once the cause of swollen temple area is detected and the underlying problem is known, evaluating treatment options becomes possible.

Here are some of the best treatment options for swelling of the temple area.

Topical Ointments and Creams

When the cause of the swelling of the temple is insect bite, it generally subsides within a few hours or a day or two and does not need much treatment. However, as a commonest treatment option for swollen temple area due to insect bite, topical ointments and creams which contain steroids help to reduce the itching and burning sensation associated with the temple area swelling. You can also use cold packs or apply the gel of aloe vera as natural remedies to reduce the temple area swelling and burning to a large extent.


If any kind of infection, be it a pimple or boil or rash on the skin, is the cause of swelling of the temple, then antibiotics are undoubtedly your best resort. Antibiotics can help control the infection, eradicate it and also reduce the swelling of the temple at the same time.

Anti-Inflammatory Medicine

These medicines can be an effective treatment for swelling of the temple, as they help to reduce inflammation, particularly from an injury. While these medicines are easily available in the market, it is advisable to consult your physician before taking one.

Corticosteroid Treatment for Swollen Temple

When the cause for swelling of the temple is temporal arteritis, corticosteroids are what most physicians prescribe to their patient. Being a kind of immune suppressant drug it can be of great use here and its dosage depends on the severity of the disease. This treatment option for swelling of the temple caused due to temporal arteritis is very effective, however, alcohol and smoking cigarettes must be stopped completely for quick results.


When the underlying problem is a one of the serious causes of swelling in temple area, hospitalization may be considered. A common example is cerebral edema, in which case, the best treatment option for swollen temple area is to get immediate medical care in a hospital facility. Here, the main underlying cause of temple area swelling is determined and immediate medical treatment is initiated. Swelling or infection in the brain is controlled using various diuretics while bacterial meningitis is treated with the help of strong antibiotics only.

To summarize, the causes of swelling of the temple can be different with some being simple and quick to cure while others being a major cause which needs proper treatment. Whatever the reason, it is always advisable to opt for the best treatment option as failure to do so can cause it to become a serious problem in the future.

Pramod Kerkar

Written, Edited or Reviewed By:


Pain Assist Inc.

Last Modified On: April 3, 2018

This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer

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