How often have you gotten out of bed with a puffed and swelled up face? This can be triggered by a plethora of factors like injury, medications, allergy, excess salt, alcohol and inadequate sleep.
According to our chief dermatologist Dr. Harish Koutam, an accredited member of Indian Association of Dermatologists, Venereologists and Leprologists (IADVL) and Cosmetic Surgeons of India, facial swelling can be easily managed by understanding and treating the root cause. Scroll down to find out how.
What Causes Facial Swelling?
Dr. Harish explains that inflammation is your body's response to bacteria, virus and other foreign substances. The white blood cells in your body release chemicals into your bloodstream, which increases blood flow to the affected area. 
So if you’ve noticed a swollen face after a party the previous night, you can blame the alcohol for this kind of swelling. Consuming excess alcohol, salty foods, stress, hormones, pregnancy, hypothyroidism and certain allergies can lead to facial swelling symptoms like:
- Immobility in some cases
How To Reduce Face Swelling?
Treatments vary depending on the causative factors of the swelling. Let’s look at all kinds of swellings and their treatment options:
1. Face Swelling Due To Injuries
This may indicate an internal facial injury and requires a doctor's intervention. Your doctor may prescribe anti-inflammatory drugs and painkillers. As first aid, you can always apply ice on your facial swelling.
Do not self treat with OTC anti-inflammatory medicines. Consult your doctor first.
2. Face Swelling In The Morning
If you notice a swollen face right after you wake up from sleep in the morning, try one of these tricks:
- Cleanse your face with cold water. Coldwater is effective at reducing swelling.
- Place cold cucumber slices on the swollen parts of your face. Cucumbers contain antioxidants that soothe the swollen skin.
- Keep yourself hydrated throughout the day. Water helps flush out toxins and excess salts from your system. Use ice packs if you need to.
3. Face Swelling Due To An Allergy
If your swelling is due to an allergy from food, medication or infections, it might need medical attention. Such kind of facial swelling can involve the tongue, the pharynx  or the windpipe. You may consider an antihistamine (anti-inflammatory drugs)  or steroids. If your facial swelling does not improve with them or if you notice your throat swelling, seek the help of a doctor.
4. Face Swelling Due To A Surgery
Dr. Harish says that this kind of swelling in the face may occur due to jaw surgery and takes a longer time to heal. Consider using an ice or cold pack till the swelling subsides. Ask your doctor about treating this kind of swelling.
When To See A Doctor?
- If facial swelling is sudden, extreme and painful.
- When you have a fever. Facial swelling along with fever might indicate an underlying infection.
- If you have difficulty breathing.
How To Prevent Face Swelling?
- Try facial exercises for blood circulation in the face and a toned face.
- Getting more rest helps in healing and reducing inflammation in the face naturally.
- Increase your fluid intake for overall health.
- Consume only antihistamines, antibiotics and painkillers that are prescribed by your doctor.
- Avoid skin care products containing salicylic acid, benzoyl peroxide and retinoids as these can worsen the facial swelling.
- Avoid too much alcohol, processed and salty foods. These foods tend to retain water in the body, making your face look swollen. Stock up on fruits, vegetables and whole grains.
- Make sure to remove all your makeup before hitting the bed. Makeup can cause inflammation of the skin.
- Avoid foods that you may be allergic to.
How Long Does Facial Swelling Last?
Facial swelling may take 3-7 days to heal. In case your face is bruised, it takes 10-14 days for the bruises to fade.
Is Facial Swelling Dangerous?
Facial swelling can be dangerous if your airway also swells up. This includes the tongue, pharynx or the windpipe. It could be due to some allergic reaction. In such cases, seek medical help at the earliest.
With all the above preventive measures and treatment options, you never have to wake up with another puffy face. In case your swelling is reluctant to go away, consult your dermatologist.
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