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Puffy Face

What does a puffy face mean?

Every one has a puffy face, at least once in their lives. However, if you develop this frequently, then perhaps it might be a good idea to seek out medical attention, as there might be an underlying condition. The buildup of fluid in the facial tissues can sometimes be hard to identify but the presence of additional symptoms, including pain, might help with the diagnosis. You will have to keep track of how long the episode has lasted and if there were things that made it worse or, why not, better.

There are many things that can lead to the appearance of facial edema, as puffy face is also known. Sometimes, it can be just the pressure applied on part of your face during sleeping. Or, it can be the direct result of a face injury. The important thing is that you should not let such things go by and seek treatment. You need to solve any underlying pathology and then you will look fantastic, not sleepy, tired or sick.


The symptoms of puffy face can range from mild to severe, including any of the following:

  • Facial edema
  • Pain
  • Redness – this can be generalized or localized, affecting the eyes, nose, upper or lower face
  • Hives
  • Rashes
  • Bumps and other similar lesions
  • In severe cases, the puffy face is accompanied by the swelling of the throat and tongue, swallowing and breathing being prevented. This is a serious emergency, as anaphylactic shock can be life-threatening.

Causes of Puffy face

Puffy face

These are the main causes that can lead to the appearance of puffy face:

  • Dehydration – not drinking enough water will cause the tissues in your face to become swollen
  • Fatty foods can lead to a puffy face
  • High coffee intake is also guilty, as it can leave the body (the face included) dehydrated
  • Vitamin C deficiency
  • Alcohol consumption
  • Kidney disease, including renal failure. When the kidneys do not function properly, water tends to build up in the tissues, including the face but also in hands and feet
  • Hypothyroidism – as the levels of thyroid hormones are too low, one will notice a wide range of symptoms, including puffy face, dry skin, weight gain and heart rhythm changes
  • Cushing’s syndrome – your face will become puffy and in the shape of a full moon. This happens because of metabolic changes and high levels of cortisone in the body
  • Sinus infections
  • Allergic responses to medication, foods or insect bites
  • Mumps
  • Dental infections
  • Parotiditis (inflammation of the parotid glands)
  • Angioedema


These are the most common remedies and measures you can take in order to help with the puffy face:

  • Change your diet. Drink plenty of water to keep the body hydrated, the face included. Eliminate salt from your diet, as this can attract water to the tissues, causing puffiness to appear. This is especially important if you are also suffering from renal disease
  • Stop drinking alcohol, as this can cause severe dehydration and, clearly, a puffy face won’t be the only problem you will have to handle
  • Eat healthy, with plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables in the menu
  • Be active. If you exercise, then you will keep the tissue in your body healthy and you will help the lymph to properly circulate, reducing the localized and general edema that might appear
  • Try natural home remedies. You can apply cold compresses on the puffy face, use green tea bags or cucumber slices for puffiness around the eyes and wash your face with cold water. Use special creams with natural ingredients and mild soaps on your face
  • Ice cubes applications are recommended as well, as they lead to the constriction of blood vessels and the reduction of face puffiness
  • Use water-filled or gel masks that can be refrigerated
  • Improving your sleeping position will cause the puffy face to disappear
  • Antibiotics are recommended for anti-bacterial infections
  • Anti-viral medication is indicated for viral infections
  • Corticosteroids are recommended in case of allergic reactions, no matter if these were caused by allergies to foods or medication, insect bites or other things like that (hay fever included)
  • Topical creams are recommended for cases of conjunctivitis

What foods cause puffy face?

These are the most common foods and beverages that can lead to facial swelling:

  • Salty foods, including snacks, instant soups, sauces and canned vegetables
  • Fatty and greasy foods
  • Foods that contain carbohydrates (white rice, pasta, potatoes)
  • Any food that contains monosodium glutamate (MSG)
  • Allergenic foods: cow’s milk, eggs, peanuts, fish, shellfish, cashews, walnuts, wheat based products, soy
  • Artificial sweeteners (containing sugar alcohol)
  • Junk food
  • Dairy products
  • Fizzy drinks
  • Coffee and caffeine-based drinks
  • Alcohol


These are the best methods you can prevent yourself from waking up with a puffy face in the morning:

  • Drink a tall glass of water before you go to sleep. This will keep the body hydrated during the night and it will reduce the water retention in facial tissues
  • Take your makeup off before going to sleep. Yes, it may be late and you might want to go to sleep right away but then you will wake up in the morning to a puffy face. Use natural-based products in order to eliminate the makeup and you will look all fresh and rested the next morning
  • Stop drinking coffee at every hour of the day. Large caffeine intake, as well as the one of alcoholic beverages will have its say on your face
  • Sleep at least eight hours a night. As we all live busy and stressful lives, we might be tempted to cut sleep for other things. It’s not worth it and your puffy face will be a clear sign of that. Choose sleep over anything else
  • Watch the salt intake in your diet. There are many foods that contain salt and we are not even aware of that. Check the label first
Puffy Face
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