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
cellulitis can cause facial pain and oozing blisters
- Viral infections such as
shingles may affect nerves in the face or head,
causing severe facial pain or eye problems (keratitis).
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
- Rosacea is a chronic skin condition
that causes redness on the face, usually on the cheeks, nose, chin, or
- 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 . 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 (located in front of the ear), in the ear, or above the ear. For
more information, see the topic
Mouth Problems, Noninjury.
- Headaches, such
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
- 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
- Myasthenia gravis, which causes facial
muscle weakness leading to drooping eyelids and difficulty talking, chewing,
swallowing, or breathing.
- Facial paralysis from a
- Lupus 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
Check your symptoms to decide if and
when you should see a doctor.