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What Causes Face Swelling

Disclaimer: Not medical or professional advice. Always seek the advice of your physician.

6 Reasons for a Swollen Face

If we have a slightly swollen face in the morning, we often blame the salty dinner we’ve eaten. But if the swelling doesn’t go away, this is a serious reason to seek medical assistance. The widespread problem of facial swelling happens due to the buildup of fluid in the tissues of the face. It can be caused by serious illnesses and transient factors. Facial swelling may also be referred to as facial edema.

Serious Causes of Swelling


Symptoms — sudden onset of facial swelling, as well as rapid local edema (for example, swelling around the eyes or lips). Such symptoms should be a matter of concern as they can be serious allergic reactions to the body (Quincke's edema). In this case, you should immediately seek medical help.

Problems with the Thyroid Gland

Symptoms — chronic puffiness of the arms, legs, and face. The swelling is palpable. Additional symptoms: pale skin, fatigue, poor physical condition. All these signs indicate a malfunction of the thyroid gland (hypothyroidism). It is also necessary to see a physician and receive treatment for the basic disease.

Kidneys or Adrenal Glands

Symptoms — a chronic form of severe face swelling as well as soft and swollen arms and legs. Damage to the glomeruli results in the escape of protein and sodium retention. Thus, water accumulates in the tissues, and it leads to the formation of edema. Changes in the function of the adrenal gland (for example, due to the treatment of any diseases with glucocorticosteroid hormones) also cause sodium retention and edema formation in the body.

Consider the Transient Causes of Edema

Fortunately, there are totally different reasons for facial swelling. In the majority of cases, swelling goes away on its own.

Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS)

Most women are familiar with the swelling of the face, mammary glands, arms, legs, and abdomen one to two weeks before their period. It usually leads to 2-5lb of weight gain and changes in appearance. This physiological process is caused by changing levels of hormones, especially progesterone. PMS usually dissipates within a few days of menstruation. If you are worried about premenstrual syndrome, you should seek medical advice for correction.

Lack of Sleep

Periodic face swelling, mainly around the eyes, can result from sleep and rest disorders, unhealthy diet, and lifestyle.

High Consumption of Salt and Alcohol. No Interest in Sports.

If you are relatively healthy, then the swelling can be triggered by the simplest reasons.

  • Too much salt in your diet (it increases the concentration of sodium in the blood).
  • A low-protein diet.
  • Drinking alcohol, especially in the evening.
  • Decreased physical activity, that is, a sedentary lifestyle (which also affects the legs).
  • Professional negative factors (for example, swelling is a common problem among flight attendants).
  • Age-related anatomical changes (hernias of the upper and lower eyelids, malar edema, failure of the venous system, and lymphatic vessels of the face).

How to Treat Swelling

Whatever the cause of chronic edema, you should first consult a specialist in order to find the reason for swelling and the method of treatment. Still, there are some simple tips.

Healthy Sleep Schedule

You should get 6-8 hours of sleep each night. It is recommended to go to bed no later than 11 pm. Despite the banality of this advice, the regime is of fundamental importance as hormonal activity changes within a day. Irregular sleep habits lead to a hormonal imbalance, which is reflected in the form of facial swelling.

Daily Water Intake

The main amount of water should be consumed before 6-7 pm. Try not to eat salty, smoked, or fried food before going to sleep. It would be good to give up alcohol and smoking (it greatly affects the drainage functions of the face vessels) and increase physical activity.


You should include creams and serums with peptides and other ingredients (caffeine, chestnut, licorice, algae extracts) in your daily care, especially before bed.  They might help to reduce facial swelling.

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