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Alternative Names Return to topPuffy face; Swelling of the face; Moon face; Facial edema
Definition Return to top
Facial swelling is the build-up of fluid in the tissues of the face. Swelling may also affect the neck and upper arms.
Considerations Return to top
If the facial swelling is mild, it may be hard to detect. To assist the health care provider in diagnosing the cause, it is important to note the following:
Causes Return to top
Home Care Return to top
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 Return to top
You should call your health care provider if you have:
What to Expect at Your Office Visit Return to top
If facial swelling is caused by burns, or respiratory distress is present, emergency measures must be taken first. Then the medical history will be obtained and a physical examination performed.
Medical history questions documenting facial swelling in detail may include the following:
References Return to top
Bolognia J. Infections, hyper- and hypopigmentation, regional dermatology, and distinctive lesions in black skin. In: Goldman L, Ausiello D, eds. Cecil Medicine. 23rd ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2007:chap 467.Update Date: 2/23/2009 Updated by: David C. Dugdale, III, MD, Professor of Medicine, Division of General Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of Washington School of Medicine. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.