Facial Problems, Noninjury
Facial problems can be caused by a minor problem or a serious condition. Symptoms may include pain, swelling, or facial weakness or numbness. You may feel these symptoms in your teeth, jaw, tongue, ear, sinuses, eyes, salivary glands, blood vessels, or nerves.
Common causes of facial problems include infection, conditions that affect the skin of the face, and other diseases.
- Bacterial infections such as Reference impetigo Opens New Window and Reference cellulitis Opens New Window can cause facial pain and oozing blisters or sores.
- Viral infections such as Reference shingles Opens New Window may affect nerves in the face or head, causing severe facial pain or eye problems (keratitis).
- An infected or blocked Reference salivary gland Opens New Window or a salivary stone (sialolithiasis) may cause facial swelling or pain, especially in the parotid gland (parotitis), which is located near the ear.
- Reference Lyme disease Opens New Window is an infection that is spread by the bite of ticks infected with a bacteria. It may cause facial pain, headache, stiff neck, or paralysis of the facial nerves.
- Reference Rosacea Opens New Window is a chronic skin condition that causes redness on the face, usually on the cheeks, nose, chin, or forehead.
- Reference Acne Opens New Window commonly occurs on the face, especially in teens and young adults.
- Reference Seborrheic dermatitis Opens New Window causes red, itchy, flaky skin patches along the eyebrows, nose, and mouth.
Other conditions and diseases
- Reference Sinusitis Opens New Window causes a feeling of pressure on the face. Sinusitis can follow a cold or may be caused by hay fever, asthma, or air pollution. It is more common in adults, but it can occur in children as an ongoing (chronic) stuffy nose. See a picture of the Reference facial sinus cavities Opens New Window Reference Opens New Window.
- Dental problems, including infections, can cause facial pain and swelling in and around the jaw area. Jaw pain may be caused by a Reference temporomandibular (TM) joint problem Opens New Window. This condition can cause pain in the Reference TM joint Opens New Window Reference Opens New Window (located in front of the ear), in the ear, or above the ear. For more information, see the topic Reference Mouth Problems, Noninjury.
- Headaches, such as Reference migraines Opens New Window or Reference cluster headaches Opens New Window, can cause severe pain around the eyes, in the temple, or over the forehead. Reference Giant cell arteritis Opens New Window generally affects older adults and may cause headache and pain and may lead to blindness if not treated. For more information, see the topic Reference Headaches.
- Reference Trigeminal neuralgia Opens New Window is a condition that causes abnormal stimulation of one of the facial nerves. It causes episodes of shooting facial pain.
- Reference Closed-angle glaucoma Opens New Window causes vision changes and severe, aching pain in or behind the eye.
- Conditions that cause
problems with the muscles or nerves in the face include:
- Reference Bell's palsy Opens New Window, which is caused by paralysis of the facial nerve. Weak and sagging muscles on one side of the face is the most common symptom. It also may cause an inability to close one eye and mild pain in the facial muscles.
- Reference Multiple sclerosis Opens New Window, which may affect facial muscle control and strength, affect vision, and cause changes in feeling or sensation.
- Reference Myasthenia gravis Opens New Window, which causes facial muscle weakness leading to drooping eyelids and difficulty talking, chewing, swallowing, or breathing.
- Facial paralysis from a Reference stroke Opens New Window.
- Reference Lupus Opens New Window causes inflammation, fatigue, and a butterfly-shaped rash across the cheeks.
Treatment depends on what is causing your facial problem. In many cases, home treatment may be all that is needed to relieve your symptoms.
Reference Check your symptoms to decide if and when you should see a doctor.
|By:||Reference Healthwise Staff||Last Revised: Reference April 14, 2011|
|Medical Review:||Reference William H. Blahd, Jr., MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine
Reference David Messenger, MD