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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. To help the health care provider in diagnosing the cause, let the health care provider know the following:

Causes

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 health care 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 health care 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, et al, eds. Rosen’s Emergency Medicine: Concepts and Clinical Practice. 7th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Mosby; 2009:chap 68.

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

Sharma R, Brunette DD. Ophthalmology. In: Marx JA, Hockberger RS, Walls RM, et al, eds. Rosen’s Emergency Medicine: Concepts and Clinical Practice. 7th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Mosby; 2009:chap 69.

Pfaff JA, Moore GP. Otolaryngology. In: Marx JA, Hockberger RS, Walls RM, et al., eds. Rosen’s Emergency Medicine: Concepts and Clinical Practice. 7th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Mosby; 2009:chap 70.


Review Date: 1/22/2013
Reviewed By: Linda J. Vorvick, MD, Medical Director and Director of Didactic Curriculum, MEDEX Northwest Division of Physician Assistant Studies, Department of Family Medicine, UW Medicine, School of Medicine, University of Washington. Also reviewed by A.D.A.M. Health Solutions, Ebix, Inc., Editorial Team: David Zieve, MD, MHA, David R. Eltz, Stephanie Slon, and Nissi Wang.
The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. © 1997- A.D.A.M., Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.
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