Symptoms A-Z

Severe Face Swelling Symptoms, Causes & Common Questions

Understand severe face swelling symptoms, including 6 causes & common questions.

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6 Possible Severe Face Swelling Causes

The list below shows results from the use of our quiz by Buoy users who experienced severe face swelling. This list does not constitute medical advice and may not accurately represent what you have.

Allergic reaction (not life-threatening)

When the body encounters a harmful substance, it responds with inflammation and swelling that can be protective. In many individuals, the body responds this way to substances that are not normally harmful, like foods or pollen. This is the basis of allergy, or Type 1 Hypersensitivity.

Rarity: Common

Top Symptoms: swollen face, swollen lips, lip numbness, hives, red swollen bumps or patches with a pale center, lip redness

Symptoms that never occur with allergic reaction (not life-threatening): shortness of breath, throat itching

Urgency: Primary care doctor

Acute salivary duct stone (sialolithiasis)

A salivary duct stone is the most common disorder of the salivary glands (where you make spit). They can range in size from tiny particles to stones that are several centimeters in length.

Rarity: Uncommon

Top Symptoms: swelling on one side of the face, swollen jaw, painful face swelling, spontaneous jaw pain, painful jaw swelling

Urgency: Phone call or in-person visit

Bruise of the face

A bruise is an area of skin discoloration. A bruise occurs when small blood vessels break and leak their contents into the soft tissue beneath the skin.

Rarity: Common

Top Symptoms: swelling on one side of the face, head or face injury, painful face swelling, warm and red face swelling, face bruise

Symptoms that always occur with bruise of the face: head or face injury

Urgency: Self-treatment

Severe Face Swelling Symptom Checker

Take a quiz to find out what might be causing your severe face swelling

Cellulitis

Cellulitis is a bacterial infection of the deep layers of the skin. It can appear anywhere on the body but is most common on the feet, lower legs, and face.

The condition can develop if Staphylococcus bacteria enter broken skin through a cut, scrape, or existing skin infection such as impetigo or eczema.

Most susceptible are those with a weakened immune system, as from corticosteroids or chemotherapy, or with impaired circulation from diabetes or any vascular disease.

Symptoms arise somewhat gradually and include sore, reddened skin.

If not treated, the infection can become severe, form pus, and destroy the tissue around it. In rare cases, the infection can cause blood poisoning or meningitis.

Symptom of severe pain, fever, cold sweats, and fast heartbeat should be seen immediately by a medical provider.

Diagnosis is made through physical examination.

Treatment consists of antibiotics, keeping the wound clean, and sometimes surgery to remove any dead tissue. Cellulitis often recurs, so it is important to treat any underlying conditions and improve the immune system with rest and good nutrition.

Rarity: Uncommon

Top Symptoms: fever, chills, facial redness, swollen face, face pain

Symptoms that always occur with cellulitis: facial redness, area of skin redness

Urgency: Primary care doctor

Hypothyroidism

Hypothyroidism, or "underactive thyroid," means that the thyroid gland in the neck does not produce enough of its hormones. This causes a slowing of the body's metabolism.

The condition can occur due to autoimmune disease; any surgery or radiation treatment to the thyroid gland; some medications; pregnancy; or consuming too much or too little iodine. It is often found among older women with a family history of the disease.

Common symptoms include fatigue, constantly feeling cold, weight gain, slow heart rate, and depression. If left untreated, these and other symptoms can worsen until they lead to very low blood pressure and body temperature, and even coma.

Diagnosis is made through a simple blood test.

Hypothyroidism is easily managed with daily oral medication. The patient usually starts feeling better after a couple of weeks and may even lose some extra weight. It's important for the patient to be monitored by a doctor and have routine blood testing so that the medication can be kept at the correct levels.

Rarity: Rare

Top Symptoms: fatigue, depressed mood, difficulty concentrating, weight gain, muscle aches

Urgency: Primary care doctor

Skin abscess

A skin abscess is a large pocket of pus that has formed just beneath the skin. It is caused by bacteria getting under the skin, usually through a small cut or scratch, and beginning to multiply. The body fights the invasion with white blood cells, which kill some of the infected tissue but form pus within the cavity that remains.

Symptoms include a large, red, swollen, painful lump of pus anywhere on the body beneath the skin. There may be fever, chills, and body aches from the infection.

If not treated, there is the risk of an abscess enlarging, spreading, and causing serious illness.

Diagnosis is made through physical examination.

A small abscess may heal on its own, through the body's immune system. But some will need to be drained or lanced in a medical provider's office so that the pus can be cleaned out. Antibiotics are usually prescribed.

Keeping the skin clean, and using only clean clothes and towels, will help to make sure that the abscess does not recur.

Rarity: Common

Top Symptoms: rash with bumps or blisters, red rash, red skin bump larger than 1/2 cm in diameter, pus-filled rash, rash

Symptoms that always occur with skin abscess: rash with bumps or blisters

Urgency: Primary care doctor

Questions Your Doctor May Ask About Severe Face Swelling

To diagnose this condition, your doctor would likely ask the following questions:

  • If you touch the swollen area, is there pain?
  • Any fever today or during the last week?
  • Did you get hit in the head?
  • Do you have a rash?

The above questions are also covered by our A.I. Health Assistant.

If you've answered yes to one or more of these questions

Take a quiz to find out what might be causing your severe face swelling

Severe Face Swelling Symptom Checker Statistics

People who have experienced severe face swelling have also experienced:

  • 4% Headache
  • 4% Pain On One Side Of The Face
  • 4% Toothache

People who have experienced severe face swelling were most often matched with:

  • 57% Allergic Reaction (Not Life-Threatening)
  • 28% Acute Salivary Duct Stone (Sialolithiasis)
  • 14% Bruise Of The Face

People who have experienced severe face swelling had symptoms persist for:

  • 42% Less than a week
  • 40% Less than a day
  • 10% Over a month

Source: Aggregated and anonymized results from visits to the Buoy AI health assistant (check it out by clicking on “Take Quiz”).

Severe Face Swelling Symptom Checker

Take a quiz to find out what might be causing your severe face swelling

Disclaimer: The article does not replace an evaluation by a physician. Information on this page is provided as an information resource only, and is not to be used or relied on for any diagnostic or treatment purposes.