Skip to content

Facial Problems, Noninjury

Font Size

Topic Overview

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 impetigo and cellulitis can cause facial pain and oozing blisters or sores.
  • Viral infections such as shingles may affect nerves in the face or head, causing severe facial pain or eye problems (keratitis).
  • An infected or blocked salivary gland or a salivary stone (sialolithiasis) may cause facial swelling or pain, especially in the parotid gland (parotitis), which is located near the ear.
  • Lyme disease is an infection that is spread by the bite of ticks infected with bacteria. It may cause facial pain, headache, stiff neck, or paralysis of the facial nerves.
  • Rosacea is a chronic skin condition that causes redness on the face, usually on the cheeks, nose, chin, or forehead.
  • Acne commonly occurs on the face, especially in teens and young adults.
  • Seborrheic dermatitis causes red, itchy, flaky skin patches along the eyebrows, nose, and mouth.
  • Sinusitis causes a feeling of pressure over the facial sinuses camera.gif. 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.
  • Dental problems, including infections, can cause facial pain and swelling in and around the jaw area. Jaw pain may be caused by a temporomandibular (TM) joint problem. This condition can cause pain in the TM joint camera.gif (located in front of the ear), in the ear, or above the ear. For more information, see the topic Mouth Problems, Noninjury.
  • Headaches, such as migraines or cluster headaches, can cause severe pain around the eyes, in the temple, or over the forehead. Giant cell arteritis generally affects older adults and may cause headache and pain and may lead to blindness if not treated. For more information, see the topic Headaches.
  • Trigeminal neuralgia is a condition that causes abnormal stimulation of one of the facial nerves. It causes episodes of shooting facial pain.
  • Closed-angle glaucoma 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:
    • Bell's palsy, 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.
    • Multiple sclerosis, which may affect facial muscle control and strength, affect vision, and cause changes in feeling or sensation.
    • Myasthenia gravis, which causes facial muscle weakness leading to drooping eyelids and difficulty talking, chewing, swallowing, or breathing.
    • Facial paralysis from a stroke.
  • Lupus causes inflammation, fatigue, and a butterfly-shaped rash across the cheeks.

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: January 24, 2014
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
Next Article:

Hot Topics

WebMD Video: Now Playing

Click here to wach video: Dirty Truth About Hand Washing

Which sex is the worst about washing up? Why is it so important? We’ve got the dirty truth on how and when to wash your hands.

Click here to watch video: Dirty Truth About Hand Washing

Popular Slideshows & Tools on WebMD

sore foot
3 warning signs.
acupuncture needle on shoulder
10 tips to look and feel good.
mature woman holding fan in face
Symptoms and treatments.
disciplining a boy
Types, symptoms, causes.
What it looks like.
checking blood sugar
Symptoms and treatment.
man behind computer screen
10 possible causes.
Woman with itchy watery eyes
Common triggers.
man screaming
Making sense of symptoms.
human liver
What puts you at risk?
restroom sign
Food and drinks that make you go.
two male hands
Understanding RA.

Women's Health Newsletter

Find out what women really need.