Skin Care

How To Make Swelling Go Down On Face Fast



by Lydia


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Waking up to a puffy face is not cute. While several factors can cause facial swelling, it is important to know how to make swelling go down on face fast. For example, you can use an ice or cold pack to reduce facial swelling. In addition, some OTC(over-the-counter) medications can help reduce swelling fast.

The good news is that facial swelling is not uncommon. For this reason, this article will cover various factors responsible for the swelling, including allergic reactions, injuries and other medical conditions. In turn, you will learn how to reduce facial swelling fast using medical and non-medical methods.

What Causes Facial Swelling?

Facial swelling results from inflammation as your body reacts to irritants, viruses, bacteria and other foreign objects. When exposed to these irritants, say external injuries, white blood cells present in the body release chemicals as a response.

As the cells in the body release chemicals into the bloodstream, blood flow increases in the affected area leading to inflammation, hence swelling. Therefore, if you wake up with a puffy face after a long night, alcohol might be to blame for this. In addition, stress, pregnancy and allergies could be responsible for facial swelling.

Let us look at each causative factor in detail below and how to reduce swelling and inflammation.

1. After Sleep

It is not unusual to have a swollen face when you wake up in the morning. Several factors could be responsible, such as taking excess alcohol the previous night, eating salty foods, dehydration or exposure to dust and allergens, among others.

swollen face in the morning

Stress is also known to cause a puffy and swollen face, hence the need to have a balanced life. There are a few tips you could use to reduce morning facial swelling. These include:

  • Cleansing your face with cold water
  • Placing cold cucumber slices on swollen areas
  • Drink water to keep your body hydrated. Water helps flush out excess salt and toxins from your body
  • Avoiding eating processed and salty foods
  • Avoid taking too much alcohol
  • Don't sleep with your make up on as it could cause inflammation and swelling
  • Avoid sleeping on your belly

2. Allergies

Pollen, pet dander, certain foods and medications are all triggers to allergic reactions. This occurs because your immune system perceives exposure to such triggers as a threat. In turn, as your body fights off the irritants, fluids can build up under your skin and cause swelling. This condition is known as Angioedema.

allergy medication

Swelling due to an allergic reaction can be reduced by using antihistamines or an ice or cold pack. However, it is recommended to see a doctor if it's your first time experiencing the swelling or feeling uncomfortable. Severe allergic reactions like anaphylaxis, which causes difficulty breathing, require the use of an EpiPen or a visit to a medical emergency room.

Knowing and staying away from your triggers, be it certain foods or pollen, helps reduce the risk of suffering intense allergic reactions. However, always carry an epinephrine auto-injector or oral antihistamines if you are prone to allergies.

3. Injury and Bruising

Facial swelling resulting from injury can be reduced depending on the severity of the injuries. For example, putting ice packs if you have sustained a minor injury will help reduce swelling. However, consult your doctor immediately if you have headaches or are bleeding.

facial injury and bruising

Bruises are common after injuries. They result from tiny blood vessels in your body breaking and spilling blood into nearby tissues under the skin. For this reason, facial swelling from sustaining bruises can be reduced by hydrating, using an ice pack or pain management herbs like arnica.

Other remedies to reduce facial swelling from injuries and bruises include:

  • Getting enough rest
  • Applying cold therapy
  • Add a pillow to elevate your head when sleeping
  • Using compression to apply pressure on the injury
  • Take nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs(NSAIDs)

4. Broken Nose

A broken nose can cause facial swelling around the eyes and nose. Unfortunately, this swelling can occur minutes after the injury. In addition, it takes about two weeks for a broken nose to be treated by a healthcare professional.

broken nose

Within this time, you can reduce swelling by using ice packs several times a day. OTC medications like ibuprofen and acetaminophen can relieve the pain and swelling. In addition, it's recommended to keep your head upright when resting.

5. Sinusitis

Infection of the sinuses can cause inflammation and swelling. This condition is known as sinusitis. In addition, this infection causes a stuffy and runny nose.

Nasal irrigation and steam inhalation can be used to reduce swelling from a sinus infection. Nasal steroids also help to reduce inflammation and swelling. In addition, the CDC recommends you seek immediate medical attention if you have facial pain, severe headaches and fever lasting 3-4 days from the infection.

6. Surgery

Swelling after facial surgery like a facelift or dermal fillers is not uncommon. This type of swelling takes about five to seven days to go down. You can use the tips mentioned for bruising above to reduce facial swelling during this time.

It's also vital to follow the doctor's recommendations to prevent infections and other side effects. Follow-up care is also essential after surgery. In addition, your doctor may prescribe medications for the swelling and pain.

Applying ice on the swollen part will also help reduce it fast. However, keep in mind that generalized facial swelling will depend on the type of jaw surgery done.

7. Dental Swelling

Dental abscesses and dental procedures like tooth removal cause facial swelling. However, one study found that ice packs greatly helped alleviate the swelling after the surgery. Additionally, corticosteroids can help with swelling.

Medical treatment for dental abscesses will require draining the pus and cleaning the abscess. In this case, your dentist will prescribe antibiotics to reduce swelling and pain. In addition, seek medical attention if the swelling is severe or present on the neck or eyes.

8. Preeclampsia

While it is normal to have swollen body parts during pregnancy, facial swelling after 20 weeks could be a sign of preeclampsia. This condition presents itself with other symptoms, such as high blood pressure. In addition, preeclampsia is a life-threatening condition to the baby and the mother, so ensure to seek professional medical advice immediately.

9. Cellulitis

Facial swelling can also be caused by cellulitis, which is inflammation of the skin. Cellulitis could be due to a bacterial infection from drinking contaminated water, a human or animal bite or germs affecting people with suppressed immunity.

Other conditions like dental abscesses are likely to cause cellulitis. In addition, if you have unexplained facial swelling, trouble swallowing, or the swelling is spreading rapidly, chances could be you have cellulitis. Treatment options for this condition include using antibiotics, prednisone and treating related conditions.

How Long Does Facial Swelling Last?

Facial swellings often take about 3-7 days to heal. However, this will depend on the cause. For example, swelling due to bruises could take up to two weeks to heal.

Can Facial Swelling Be Dangerous?

Generally, facial swelling is not dangerous and will often go down with a few home remedies. However, it's important to look for symptoms such as severe trouble breathing caused by allergies. In addition, minor swelling on the face can be reduced by using cold packs or washing your face with cold water.

How To Prevent Facial Swelling

  1. Practice facial exercises - Trying out different facial exercises increases blood flow in the face, preventing inflammations and swelling.
  2. Get more rest - Resting and Sleep are good for your physical and general wellbeing. In addition, this time is important for healing any inflammations in your body.
  3. Hydration - Upping your fluid and water intake helps flush out toxins in your body.
  4. Avoid excess salts, alcohol, and processed foods - These foods retain water in your body, causing swelling. Instead, eating whole grains, fruits and vegetables are key, especially when reducing swelling.
  5. Avoid triggers and allergens - Knowing and staying away from allergy triggers is important to avoid swelling. In addition, keep antihistamines near you if you tend to get allergic reactions.
  6. Avoid certain skincare products - If you are already experiencing facial swelling, it's advisable to stay clear of skin care products with ingredients like benzoyl peroxide, salicylic acid and retinol. This is because these products are likely to worsen the swelling.
  7. Don't sleep with makeup on - Removing your makeup before bed prevents dust and toxins from building up on your skin. In turn, this reduces swelling.


Facial swelling can be painful and irritating, depending on the cause. Excess salt, alcohol, exposure to pollen and dust, surgery and pregnancy are all causative factors of swelling. In addition, home remedies like using a cold compress and placing cold cucumber slices help reduce this swelling.

We hope that this medically reviewed article will help deal with a swollen face. Remember that sometimes swelling could be a sign of a bigger issue hence the need for a doctor's intervention if it's painful or spreading to other areas.


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