Facial swelling is the buildup of fluid in the tissues of the face. Swelling may also affect the neck and upper arms.
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:
Apply cold compresses to reduce swelling from an injury. Raise the head of the bed (or use extra pillows) to help reduce facial swelling.
Call your health care provider if you have:
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:
Puffy face; Swelling of the face; Moon face; Facial edema
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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.
Updated 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.
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