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Why My Face Is Swollen: Most Common Causes

Why My Face Is Swollen: Most Common Causes

“Why My Face Is Swollen?” Many people who notice a change in their face ask themselves this question. The swollen face is a symptom that can indicate numerous pathologies, from some infection to an allergic reaction. The intake of medications or some foods, as well as simple allergies (dust, pollen or pets) are usually the most common causes. However, other times we can also find more complex underlying causes, such as hypothyroidism. In this article, we will explain why my face is swollen.



Reasons Why My Face Is Swollen

The face swells when there is accumulated fluid (edema). Some allergic reaction, infections, trauma or some underlying disease are usually the cause of this swelling. Among the most frequent causes, we can find:

  • Allergic reactions (food, medications, mites, pollen …)
  • Bad habits (alcohol, stress, poor diet)
  • Infections
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Superior vena cava syndrome
  • Other causes

Let’s see now how they manifest each of these diseases or conditions.


how to reduce swelling on face
how to reduce swelling on face

Swollen face due to allergy

Allergic reactions can be caused by food, animal dander, insect bites, pollen or medications. The most common causes of allergic reactions are:

  • Food (eggs, milk, seafood, fish, nuts …).
  • Animal dander (cats and dogs).
  • Insect bites (bees, wasps).
  • Medications (aspirin, penicillin and others).



Among the most common allergic pathologies that produce facial swelling, we find rhinitis and angioedema




Hay fever or allergic rhinitis occurs when the allergy caused by dust, pollen or animal dander causes inflammation and nasal discomfort. This inflammation can affect the paranasal sinuses, giving rise to a more extensive inflammation that occupies part of the face.



Avoid allergens and nasal washes with water and salt are highly recommended. Decongestants and antihistamines can help.




It is a more severe allergic reaction, usually occurs due to taking some medicine or food, or other causes such as insect bites or sun exposure. Its symptoms are similar to urticaria, only that angioedema occurs under the skin. The eyes and mouth appear especially swollen, sometimes even, the throat. Sometimes there are welts and redness.



Face swollen from alcohol, stress or excess fat

Consumption of alcohol

The consumption of alcohol causes the body to dehydrate, so the body tries to compensate by accumulating fluid in some areas, such as the face. The blood vessels also dilate, giving rise to this retention. The swollen face is usually a symptom in people who abuse alcohol.




Poor quality sleep and lack of rest also cause an accumulation of fluids, especially in the area of the eyes (bags and dark circles).



On the other hand, stress affects the inflammatory response of the body, excessively stimulating the vital organs and blood vessels, which would lead to continued inflammation. In the following article, we show useful tips to reduce stress.




Obesity is an excess of fat in the body, so this fat also accumulates on the face. Obese people also have greater fluid retention, which also increases facial edema.


face is swollen
face is swollen

Infections that can cause facial swelling

The most common infections that are associated with facial swelling are usually sinusitis, cellulitis and dental abscesses.




Sinusitis is the infection and inflammation of the paranasal sinuses. This is due to fungi, viruses or bacteria. The mucus accumulates in the cavities of the nose and under the eyes, causing pain and congestion. Sinusitis also results in fever and facial sensitivity.



Infectious cellulitis

Infectious cellulitis is an infection caused by bacteria such as streptococcus and staphylococcus. It affects the dermis (middle layer of the skin) and sometimes even reaches the muscle. Wounds, ulcers, stings or circulation problems can be a risk. In addition to facial swelling, fever, malaise, fatigue and pain also occur. The skin feels hot.



After 10 days of antibiotic treatment, the symptoms usually disappear, although it can be complicated if you suffer from other serious diseases or a weakened immune system.



Dental abscesses

Dental abscesses are infections caused by bacteria, which accumulate in the center of a tooth in the form of pus. It is usually due to cavities or trauma. The greater the inflammation (or more extensive), the more serious the infection.



Face inflamed by underlying diseases


Other times, the swollen face is a symptom of other more serious diseases, the most common are:



Hypothyroidism refers to a malfunction of the thyroid gland. In this case, the thyroid gland is not very active and does not produce enough hormones to control the metabolism, which leads to a series of symptoms:

  • Fatigue
  • Weight gain
  • Cold intolerance
  • Cold hands and feet
  • Dry Skin
  • Constipation
  • Depression
  • Fertility problems
  • Facial swelling



Normally, the first symptoms of hypothyroidism usually go unnoticed or not related to it, such as fatigue, depression or weight gain. The swollen face, next to the jaundice, are the last symptoms that appear, being very characteristic the eyelids and eyes also swollen and fallen.



Superior vena cava syndrome

The vena cava is the main vein of the body and runs through the head, neck, thorax and arms to the heart. In this syndrome, the vena cava appears partially obstructed.



The most common cause is usually bronchogenic cancer. The tumors compress the vein, preventing blood flow to circulate normally. Leukemia and thrombosis of the superior vena cava can also be the cause. The symptoms are:

  • Difficulty breathing
  • Dizziness
  • Cough
  • Edema (or swelling) facial
  • Edema in the arm


Other causes of swollen face


Injuries are a very frequent cause of the swollen face. The blows, wounds and burns cause inflammation. Surgery of the nose or jaw can also lead to widespread inflammation of the entire face.



Keeping your head elevated, cold packs and painkillers can help reduce discomfort.



Reaction to blood transfusion

Hemolysis occurs when our immune system rejects red blood cells that are received from a blood transfusion. The patient’s blood group is not compatible with the blood group received. The swollen and reddened face, along with dizziness, fever and pain in the back or side are the most common symptoms.

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