Read below about face tingling, including causes, treatment options and remedies. Or get a personalized analysis of your face tingling from our A.I. health assistant. At Buoy, we build tools that help you know what’s wrong right now and how to get the right care.

This symptom can also be referred to as:
Facial paresthesia

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Face Tingling Symptoms

Facial tingling can be caused by a variety of neurological or medical conditions. The most common cause of facial tingling is anxiety or a panic attack. However, irritation or damage to the nerves in the face cause facial tingling along with numbness or weakness. If the facial tingling is due to mild anxiety, it may be able to be managed at home with lifestyle modifications. However, most causes of facial tingling require evaluation and treatment by a doctor. If you experience sudden onset numbness, tingling, blurred vision, difficulty finding your words or drooping on one side of the face seek treatment immediately, as this may be symptoms of a stroke.

Symptoms that can be associated with facial tingling include:

  • Facial numbness
  • Facial droop
  • Other neurologic symptoms
  • Anxiety
  • Facial pain
  • Rash
  • Skin changes

Face Tingling Causes Overview

The most common cause of facial tingling is anxiety; it is common for patients experiencing anxiety or panic attacks to report facial numbness or tinging. Facial tingling can also be a symptom of a variety of neurologic problems or medical illnesses. Irritation or damage to the nerves in the face can cause tingling. Some causes of damage to the facial nerves include multiple sclerosis, infections, or tumors. Additionally, tingling in the face, especially if accompanied by facial droop or other neurologic symptoms, may be symptoms of a stroke or transient ischemic attack (TIA). Finally, tingling in the face may be from local anesthesia due to a dental or facial procedure.

Reversible causes:

  • Anxiety: Numbness, tingling, or pain the face can be a manifestation of anxiety. Sometimes, people experiencing anxiety or panic attack tighten the muscles of the neck and shoulders. This can restrict blood flow to the face and cause the tingling sensation.
  • Anesthesia: Local anesthesia from dental or facial procedures can cause numbness or tingling in the face. Typically, the sensation will wear off within several hours, however it is not uncommon for people to report numbness or tingling in the face for up to 12 hours following local anesthesia.

Neurological causes:

  • Stroke: A stroke or transient ischemic attack (TIA) is when blood flow to part of the brain is blocked, causing numbness, weakness, or other neurological problems in the body. A stroke refers to permanent damage due to lack of blood flow.A TIA refers to symptoms due to blocked blood flow that then resolve and can be a warning sign of stroke.
  • Multiple Sclerosis: MS is an autoimmune condition where the immune system attacks the sheath around nerves in the body. Without this protective sheath, the nerves become damaged. Numbness or tingling in the face can be a symptom of nerve damage from MS.
  • Nerve Problem: The nerve that controls sensation to the face can become irritated or inflamed, causing numbness, tingling or pain in the face. The cause of this condition is often unknown. Typically, symptoms are intense and short lived, and occur only on one side of the face.

Medical illness causes:

  • Infection: The chicken pox virus can cause a condition known as shingles. Shingles presents with a painful rash, usually in a particular distribution along a nerve's path and only on one side of the body. If the rash is on the face, in the mouth, or in the ear, it can be accompanied by pain, numbness or tingling in the face. Sometimes, the pain and tingling precede the rash by days.
  • Systemic Illness: There is a group of systemic disorders known as scleroderma that affect blood vessels. Damaged blood vessels may restrict blood flow to the face, causing numbness and tingling. Other symptoms include skin changes like itching, swelling, or tightening of the skin particularly the fingers and toes.
  • Tumor: There are some tumors, particularly tumors of the ear canal, that can compress or irritate the nerves of the face and cause numbness, tingling, or facial droop.

A.I. Health Assistant Causes for Face Tingling

The list below shows results from the use of our A.I. Health Assistant by Buoy users who experienced face tingling. This list does not constitute medical advice.

  1. 1.Bell's Palsy

    Bell's palsy (facial palsy) causes sudden weakness in facial muscles and makes half of the face appear to droop. The exact cause is unknown, but it's believed to be the result of swelling and inflammation of the nerve that controls the muscles on one side of your face or may be a reaction that occurs after a viral infection.

    Weeks to 6 months

    Rarity:
    Uncommon
    Top Symptoms:
    arm weakness, facial numbness, arm weakness, hearing loss, pain on one side of the face
    Symptoms that always occur with bell's palsy:
    face weakness, weakness in one side of the face
    Urgency:
    Primary care doctor
  2. 2.Nose or Sinus Tumor

    A tumor in the nose or one of the sinuses occurs due to abnormal growth of the cells lining the inside of the nose and sinuses. These tumors are rare and can cause symptoms like congestion or blockage, nose bleeds and sometimes facial pain or swelling.

    Prognosis depends on the size of tumor and whether or not is has spread to other structures like lymph nodes.

    Rarity:
    Ultra rare
    Top Symptoms:
    new headache, congestion, vision changes, ear fullness/pressure, ear pain
    Symptoms that never occur with nose or sinus tumor:
    improving congestion
    Urgency:
    Primary care doctor
  3. 3.Stroke or Tia (Transient Ischemic Attack)

    A stroke is a medical emergency. Strokes happen when blood flow to the brain is stopped.

    Indefinite

    Rarity:
    Common
    Top Symptoms:
    dizziness, leg numbness, arm numbness, new headache, stiff neck
    Symptoms that never occur with stroke or tia (transient ischemic attack):
    bilateral weakness
    Urgency:
    Emergency medical service

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  4. 4.Panic or Anxiety Attack(s)

    Panic or anxiety attacks are sudden feelings of intense fear or stress without true danger. Symptoms usually peak and then decrease within minutes. One may feel as if they are losing control or have physical symptoms like sweating or a racing heart. A panic attack can be a very scary experience and should be taken seriously.

    Depending on recurrence

    Rarity:
    Common
    Symptoms that always occur with panic or anxiety attack(s):
    anxiety or anxiety/panic attacks
    Urgency:
    Primary care doctor
  5. 5.Multiple Sclerosis (Ms)

    Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a neurodegenerative disease in which the immune system attacks the myelin sheath. The myelin sheath is involved in carrying nerve signals so this damage causes interruptions in nerve signaling.

    This is a lifelong condition; however, treatment may be beneficial.

    Rarity:
    Rare
    Top Symptoms:
    severe fatigue, constipation, numbness, decreased sex drive, signs of optic neuritis
    Urgency:
    Primary care doctor
  6. 6.Shingles (Herpes Zoster)

    Shingles (herpes zoster) is a disease caused by the varicella-zoster virus - the same virus that causes chickenpox. Early signs of shingles include burning or shooting pain and tingling or itching, usually on one side of the body or face. Rashes or blisters appear anywhere from one to 14 days later. If shingles appears on the face, it may affect vision or hearing.

    An episode usually lasts 2-4 weeks.

    Rarity:
    Common
    Top Symptoms:
    symptoms of infection, dizziness, fatigue, rash, diarrhea
    Symptoms that always occur with shingles (herpes zoster):
    grouped rash, rash
    Urgency:
    Primary care doctor

Face Tingling Treatments and Relief

Some causes of facial tingling symptoms can be managed at home. If the tingling is due to muscle tension and anxiety, try some lifestyle modifications to help relax and mitigate anxiety symptoms. However, many causes of facial tingling require evaluation and treatment by a doctor. A doctor may order imaging, either a CT scan or an MRI, to look for possible causes of facial tingling including stroke, tumor, or multiple sclerosis (MS). A doctor may order blood tests to help determine the cause.

Seek emergency treatment if:

  • You suddenly experience numbness, tingling, or facial droop, particularly if the symptoms are only on one side of the face. This could be symptoms of a stroke.

Home face tingling treatments include:

  • Lifestyle Modifications: If the tingling in your face is due to mild anxiety, it might be possible to manage at home. Try taking deep breaths, relaxing in a hot bath, practicing mindfulness, or getting a massage.

Medical professional face tingling treatments include:

  • Imaging: If you have new onset tingling in the face, a doctor may order imaging of the face and head to help determine the cause. A doctor will order a CT or MRI if they suspect stroke is the cause of the tingling in your face.
  • Blood Tests: If a doctor suspects a systemic medical illness is the cause of the tingling in your face, they may recommend blood tests to help determine the cause and help guide treatment.
  • Mental Health Referral: If a doctor suspects the tingling in your face is due to severe or recurrent anxiety or panic attacks, they may refer you to a mental health professional. There are variety of treatments for anxiety including therapy, medications, and mindfulness-based practices.
  • Medication: If a doctor suspects the tingling in your face is due an infection, they may prescribe antivirals to treat the cause. If a doctor suspects a systemic medical illness is the cause of your facial tingling, they may recommend other types of medication.

Questions Your Doctor May Ask About Face Tingling

  • Q.Have you been experiencing any muscle weakness that is symmetrical (equal on both sides of your body)?
  • Q.Have you lost some or all of your sense of taste?
  • Q.Have you ever been diagnosed with a psychiatric issue, such as depression, bipolar, schizophrenia, or anxiety disorder?
  • Q.Have you ever been diagnosed with a specific type of headache?

If you've answered yes to one or more of these questions, try our face tingling symptom checker to find out more.

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Face Tingling Symptom Checker Statistics

  • People who have experienced face tingling have also experienced:

    • 12% Hand Tingling
    • 9% Tingling Foot
    • 8% Tingling Forearm
  • People who have experienced face tingling had symptoms persist for:

    • 56% Less Than a Day
    • 19% Less Than a Week
    • 13% Over a Month
  • People who have experienced face tingling were most often matched with:

    • 50% Stroke or Tia (Transient Ischemic Attack)
    • 28% Nose or Sinus Tumor
    • 21% Bell's Palsy
  • Source: Aggregated and anonymized results from visits to the Buoy AI health assistant (check it out by clicking on “Take Quiz”).

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