If you suffer an injury to the face, swelling is often a side effect. Whether the injury is to the mouth, jaw, nose, cheek, forehead, eye, or other area, there are ways to reduce the resulting swollen tissue.
Depending on the severity of the facial injury, you may need to seek medical attention. If the injury is in the area of the mouth or jaw, you may need to see an oral surgeon in case there are broken bones or if stitches are required. Either before or after treatment, here’s what to do to help reduce swelling.
Remedies for Swelling of the Face
The following tips you can do at home to reduce swelling in the face:
- Ice. Apply ice to the affected area, either a bag of ice cubes, a gel compress, or another source of cold. A bag of frozen peas or corn works well because it can mold to the shape of your face. Cold reduces inflammation which can reduce swelling. Apply ice for 20 minutes at a time at least every hour until swelling subsides.
- Cucumber. Cucumber is known for having anti-swelling properties especially when it is cold. It is also rich in vitamin C which is good for the skin and promotes healing. Apply cold cucumber directly from the refrigerator to the swollen area.
- Pressure. Applying pressure can also reduce swelling. By applying gentle pressure to the injured area it can reduce circulation and prevent swelling. As you hold an ice pack against your face you are also applying pressure at the same time.
- Anti-inflammatory medication. Certain pain medications are considered to be anti-inflammatory, such as ibuprofen (Advil or Motrin) and naproxen (Aleve). Aspirin is also an anti-inflammatory, but don’t use it if you are bleeding because it acts as a blood thinner and may prevent necessary blood clotting.
- Hydration. Keep yourself well hydrated by drinking plenty of water and avoiding caffeine and beverages with too much sugar. Consider a drink with extra electrolytes for lasting hydration. Being well hydrated helps reduce swelling by flushing out extra water that is built up due to injury and inflammation.
- Rest. Get adequate rest. Sit and relax while applying ice or other remedies. Be sure to allow yourself plenty of time to sleep at night while you recover. Keep your head elevated and avoid laying flat to reduce swelling.
Seek Medical Attention For Severe Facial Injuries
If you have sustained facial trauma that is severe enough to cause swelling, it is best to get it checked out by a professional. An injury to the mouth or jaw may be best addressed by an oral surgeon who can provide the necessary treatment for a severe injury such as a deep cut or broken jaw. These types of injuries may require stitches or surgery to repair. Even if it doesn’t seem severe, there may be resulting side effects that could appear later.
Injuries to other parts of the face may need to be addressed by a physician or potentially an optometrist for eye injuries. Head injuries should be assessed by a neurologist.
Who Should I Call For Facial Trauma Treatment?
Upper West Side Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery provides treatment for injuries to the face, especially the mouth or jaw. We use special care and techniques to reduce scarring and minimize recovery time. The sooner you seek treatment the better after an injury to ensure that you get the best possible outcome.