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You are here : 3-RX.com > Medical Encyclopedia > Diseases and Conditions > Facial Swelling

Facial Swelling

Alternate Names : Face Swelling, Swelling in the Face

Overview, Causes, & Risk Factors | Symptoms & Signs | Diagnosis & Tests | Prevention & Expectations | Treatment & Monitoring

Facial swelling refers to enlargement of any area of the face. The face includes the eyes, nose, mouth, forehead, cheeks and chin.

What is going on in the body?

Swelling in the face can occur for many reasons. It can be mild or severe, and involve any area of the face. Most causes of facial swelling are not life threatening, but a few are serious.

What are the causes and risks of the condition?

There are many possible causes of facial swelling. Common causes include:

  • trauma or injury to the face, such as being hit
  • irritation of the skin of the face, such as from an insect bite or sunburn
  • infections, such as cellulitis, which is a skin infection, or mumps, which is a viral infection that can cause swelling of the cheeks
  • conditions caused by clogged ducts near the eyes causing inflammation of the eyelid, such as chalazion
  • allergic-type conditions, such as seasonal allergies, which can cause mild swelling of the skin. Allergic reactions to medications, herbs, or other substances can cause swelling in the face, tongue, and lips. Food allergies can also cause facial swelling. This swelling can be severe and even life threatening in some cases.
  • certain conditions associated with high blood pressure, such as preeclampsia during pregnancy
  • autoimmune disorders, which occur when a person's immune system attacks his or her own body for unknown reasons. Sjogren syndrome, for instance, can cause swelling of the cheeks.
  • inherited conditions, such as a disorder known as hereditary angioedema. This condition can cause occasional bouts of severe facial swelling.
  • a tumor or cancer in or under the skin of the face, such as skin cancer. A salivary gland tumor may also cause facial swelling.
  • Other causes are also possible.


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    Facial Swelling: Symptoms & Signs

    Author: Adam Brochert, MD
    Reviewer: Eileen McLaughlin, RN, BSN
    Date Reviewed: 07/02/01

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