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Learn about your swelling on one side of the face, including causes, treatment options and remedies. Or get a personalized analysis of your swelling on one side of the face 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.

Swelling on One Side of the Face Checker

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Your Swelling on One Side of the Face May Also be Known as:
Left cheek feels puffy
Left cheek feels swollen
Left cheek is puffy
Left cheek is swollen
Left cheek puffiness
Left cheek swelling
Left side of face feels puffy
Left side of face feels swollen
Left side of face is puffy
Left side of face is swollen

Swelling on One Side of the Face Symptoms

Perhaps you're walking down the street or in a meeting with colleagues, and you notice something is off. Your face has felt a bit strange lately, so you excuse yourself to the bathroom. Much to your chagrin, you notice swelling on one side of your face.

Facial inflammation and swelling can come from many different parts of the face, and may vary in size, severity and discomfort.

The swelling can be associated with the following:

Swelling on One Side of the Face Causes Overview

Swelling, or inflammation, is your body's natural way of responding to an insult and letting you know that something is wrong. Since there are many organs and structures on the face, the source of the swelling can vary widely. You and your doctor can look at factors like the quality and location of the swelling as well as any potential triggers or injuries in trying to determine the underlying cause.


  • Insect bites: Bug bites are common, and for some people they can become big, red, itchy, and swollen.
  • Plants: Venturing into wooded areas can be fun, but it also puts you at risk for contact with irritating plants like poison ivy or poison oak.
  • Allergies: Common allergies to plants, pets, or other irritants can result in facial swelling at times.


  • Skin infection: Bacteria can invade the skin surface and cause uncomfortable redness and swelling.
  • Pimples: Pimples occur when bacteria invade tiny pores in the skin, leading to infection and swelling.
  • Swollen lymph nodes: Lymph nodes stores immune cells and can become painful and swollen when fighting an infection.
  • Swollen glands: These glands produce important products like tears and saliva, and they may become swollen if infected or otherwise irritated.
  • Dental problem: An infection in the mouth, such as a tooth abscess, can lead to pain in the mouth and swelling that is visible to the outside.

Other causes:

  • Cancer: In rare cases, certain types of cancer show up as facial masses. They can grow and spread quickly.
  • Trauma: Talking a blow to the face can be uncomfortable and may lead to swelling and discomfort, because of underlying injuries to the soft tissues or other areas.

Top 2 Swelling on One Side of the Face Causes

  1. 1.Infection of the Salivary Duct (Sialadenitis)

    The ducts that create saliva can be infected by bacteria and is typically found after surgery in the mouth and in the elderly that take medications that slow saliva production.

    You should go to the nearest emergency room, where the amount of treatment can be determined. In the most minor situation, you would need antibiotics for 10 days while the doctors identify the type of bug it is. In more severe cases, you might need to stay at the hospital for antibiotics given through the blood.

    Top Symptoms:
    fever, chills, pain on one side of the face, swelling on one side of the face, swollen jaw
    Hospital emergency room

    Swelling on One Side of the Face Checker

    Take a quiz to find out why you’re having swelling on one side of the face.

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  2. 2.Aspergillosis

    Aspergillosis is a disease caused by a fungus (or mold) called Aspergillus. The fungus is very common in both indoors and outdoors. Most people breathe in the spores of the fungus every day without being affected. But some people get the disease. It usually occurs in people with lung diseases or weakened immune systems.

    You should seek immediate medical care at an urgent care clinic or ER where anti-fungal medication can be started.

    Top Symptoms:
    fatigue, shortness of breath, cough, wheezing, unintentional weight loss
    In-person visit

Swelling on One Side of the Face Treatments and Relief

Most causes of swelling on the face are not serious and will resolve within a matter of days. There are a number of tricks you can try at home to address your symptoms. If the problem is especially severe or persists for some time, it is best to seek help from your doctor.

At-home treatments:

  • Don't scratch: While you may feel a strong urge to touch or scratch your area of swelling, this never helps and can introduce bacteria to the area that may cause an infection and worsen your symptoms.
  • Ice: Cold temperatures are an easy and natural way to relieve inflammation and itching on the face. Use an ice pack or ice wrapped in a washcloth and apply for several minutes at a time.
  • Antihistamine: Over-the-counter medications like Benadryl, Zyrtec, or Claritin counteract natural substances that cause itching and swelling and may relieve symptoms quickly.
  • Topical creams: There is a large number of anti-itch and antihistamine creams available at your local pharmacy that deliver medication directly to the area of concern.
  • Painkillers: NSAIDs like ibuprofen deal best with swelling and may also address discomfort.

Professional treatments:

  • Incision and drainage: If an infection is suspected as the underlying cause, a doctor may cut into the area of swelling to allow pus to be released.
  • Steroids: Medications like prednisone reduce swelling and redness from a wide variety of causes and are usually used for a short period of time.
  • Antibiotics: You will be given these if your doctor suspects a bacterial infection as the underlying cause for your swelling.
  • Imaging: A CT scan or MRI helps doctors learn more about the size and distribution of facial masses and are especially helpful if the cause of the mass is not immediately apparent.
  • Biopsy: In this procedure, a small piece of the mass is removed from the face by a needle or other tool and sent to the laboratory to be examined under a microscope.

Seek help without delay if you have:

  • Rapidly growing swelling
  • Trouble seeing, speaking, or breathing
  • High fevers
  • A history of cancer or of radiation to the face

Questions Your Doctor May Ask About Swelling on One Side of the Face

  • Q.Is your facial swelling constant or come-and-go?
  • Q.How long has your face been swollen?
  • Q.Any fever today or during the last week?
  • Q.If you touch the swollen area, is there pain?

If you've answered yes to one or more of these questions, check our swelling on one side of the face symptom checker.

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Swelling on One Side of the Face Symptom Checker Statistics

  • People who have experienced swelling on one side of the face have also experienced:

    • 11% Pain on One Side of the Face
    • 4% Headache
    • 3% Sore Throat
  • People who have experienced swelling on one side of the face had symptoms persist for:

    • 43% Less Than a Day
    • 38% Less Than a Week
    • 11% Over a Month
  • People who have experienced swelling on one side of the face were most often matched with:

    • 3% Infection of the Salivary Duct (Sialadenitis)
  • Source: Aggregated and anonymized results from visits to the Buoy AI health assistant (check it out by clicking on “Take Quiz”).

Swelling on One Side of the Face Checker

Take a quiz to find out why you’re having swelling on one side of the face.

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