Whether you have facial swelling (swelling of the face) due to toothache pain where you get cheeks as big as a chipmunk’s, or your sinus infection has left you looking like a bulldog, there are many effective ways to reduce facial swelling, and it goes a lot further than the traditional icepack.
Let’s start with the icepack, since that is most people’s preferred method of relieving facial swelling. If you’re going to use an icepack, there is a right and a wrong way to do it, and unfortunately, most people do it the wrong way. The wrong way is to lie down while icing your swelling. When you lie down, blood pools in your face and has nowhere to go, and places further pressure on your swelling cheeks and eyes. What you should do is at least elevate your neck with pillows or sit up while icing your face so the blood has somewhere to flow. The icepack works by constricting the blood vessels which are causing facial swelling and being elevated further alleviates that pressure.
Rather than an icepack, use a bag of frozen veggies, which is more durable and evenly disperses coolness to the affected areas. Apply the icepack for no more than 15 minutes at a time, and place a thin cloth between your skin and the icepack to avoid irritating your skin. Massage the swelled skin after icing to encourage blood flow and get the swelling to disappear.
Taking a steam shower can alleviate your swelling as well by relaxing your facial muscles, encouraging blood flow and opening up your membranes. Pour a few drops to a teaspoon of peppermint or eucalyptus oil to the bottom of the shower and turn on the hot water full blast. Sit on the potty and inhale the vapors in the air which will calm the muscles, get your blood circulation going, and open up your nasal cavities so you can breathe. It’s a great way to reduce facial swelling and relax at the same time.
Drinking water and avoiding salt also reduces facial swelling caused by dehydration. Your face will bloat if you are dehydrated. To absorb water more quickly and retain more water to avoid facial swelling, add a few drops of lemon juice to your bottled water to encourage your body to drink more water and keep most of it in the body.
If you wake up with facial swelling, or “morning face” as I like to call it, try elevating your head and neck when you go to bed. This keeps blood from pooling in your face while you sleep, so you wake up looking more refreshed and less bloated in the face. Also, hanging your head over the edge of your bed upside-down for 60 seconds when you first wake up rushes the blood out of your face that has pooled during sleep and when you stand gets the blood flowing again to reduce the facial swelling due to sleep.
Just a few simple tips to rid yourself of minor facial swelling.