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Ways to Reduce Swelling in Face

Facial swelling can be the result of malnutrition, high blood pressure, or serious diseases including cancer. The current article discusses the ways and means to deal with such facial edema.
Palmira S
Last Updated: Feb 10, 2018
Facial swelling is a condition characterized by puffiness in entire or certain parts of the face. It generally occurs due to fluid buildup, and can be accompanied with tenderness, pitting and pain. Blockages or obstructions in the lymphatic drainage system in facial tissues lead to the accumulation of fluids and puffiness. Such fluid buildup can be the result of injury, post-surgery complications, severe malnutrition, anemia, allergies, drug interactions, tooth abscess, sinusitis, infections, insect bites, hormonal imbalance, salivary gland disorders or due to diseases like rosacea, giant cell arteritis, etc. Different forms of cancers including T-cell lymphoma, oral cancers and skin cancers also lead to facial edema. Pregnant women may also experience facial swelling, especially during the final trimester.
Facial swelling can last for a day to several weeks, depending on the underlying cause. In certain cases, a swelling appears in the morning and reduces as the day progresses. In severe cases, it can lead to difficulty in eating, swallowing, talking and even breathing. The associated symptoms, and the treatment for such facial swelling depends on the exact cause. However, certain remedies to alleviate or reduce swelling and/or the pain associated have been given below.
Sleeping Position
People prone to water retention in facial tissues are advised to sleep with their head elevated. This can be achieved by using extra pillows or by using an adjustable bed. However, one should identify the right elevation level since excessive elevation of head can lead to neck pain and backaches.
Low Salt Intake
High salt intake leads to higher sodium content causing the homeostatic mechanisms of body to retain more water in the tissues. Therefore, a sodium-restricted diet is advised in order to limit fluid retention. The diet must include low amounts of canned and processed foods.
Cold Compress
Applying cold compress to swollen areas of face helps to soothe the pain. The easiest way is to wrap some ice cubes in a soft cotton cloth, and press lightly against the face. Ready-to-use cold compress is also available commercially. All one has to do is refrigerate it for some time, and place it on the face to get a soothing effect. This also helps to alleviate burning sensation, if any.
In case of swelling due to allergies and insect bites, antihistamines and corticosteroids are administered to deal with the symptoms associated, including facial swelling. Antibiotics are prescribed in cases of bacterial and certain viral infections. Topical creams and lotions may be used in order to reduce inflammation and pain. Diuretics may also be prescribed to reduce water retention.
Apart from these methods, it is essential to follow a balanced diet in order to avoid the unnecessary accumulation of fluids in body tissues. It is also essential to drink an adequate amount of water daily, since low water intake contributes to water retention. However, most of the remedies mentioned above are only symptomatic. Identifying the correct cause, and undergoing the necessary treatment, through the consultation of a medical professional, is the ideal way to deal with persistent or chronic facial swelling.
Disclaimer: This HealthHearty article is for informative purposes only, and should not be used as a substitute for professional medical advice.