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Facial swelling

Definition

Facial swelling is the buildup of fluid in the tissues of the face. Swelling may also affect the neck and upper arms.

Alternative Names

Puffy face; Swelling of the face; Moon face; Facial edema

Considerations

If the facial swelling is mild, it may be hard to detect. Let the health care provider know the following:

Causes

Causes of facial swelling may include:

Home Care

Apply cold compresses to reduce swelling from an injury. Raise the head of the bed (or use extra pillows) to help reduce facial swelling.

When to Contact a Medical Professional

Call your provider if you have:

What to Expect at Your Office Visit

Emergency treatment is needed if facial swelling is caused by burns, or if you have breathing problems.

The provider will ask about your medical and personal history. This helps determine treatment or if any medical tests are needed. Questions may include:

References

Amsterdam JT. Oral medicine. In: Marx JA, Hockberger RS, Walls RM, eds. Rosen's Emergency Medicine. 8th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2014:chap 70.

Habif TP. Urticaria and angioedema. In: Habif TP, ed. Clinical Dermatology. 5th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2009:chap 6.

Pfaff JA, Moore GP. Otolaryngology. In: Marx JA, Hockberger RS, Walls RM, eds. Rosen's Emergency Medicine. 8th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2014:chap 72.

Sharma R, Brunette DD. Ophthalmology. In: Marx JA, Hockberger RS, Walls RM, eds. Rosen's Emergency Medicine. 8th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2014:chap 71.


Review Date: 1/26/2017
Reviewed By: Linda J. Vorvick, MD, Clinical Associate Professor, Department of Family Medicine, UW Medicine, School of Medicine, University of Washington, Seattle, WA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.
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