Beauty & Health

How to Get Rid of Puffy or Bloated Face

How to Get Rid of Puffy face

Ashley Judd is a talented actress and active humanitarian who, among other things, supports global youth AIDS charities, defends wildlife, and advocates on behalf of the impoverished and women.  In a career that’s lasted over twenty years, she’s been in over forty critically acclaimed films and television series.

She won a Chicago Critics Association Award and an Independent Spirit Award. She’s also earned various other award nominations including best actress nods from the National Society of Film Critics, the New York Film Critics Circle, and the Primetime Emmys, as well as two Golden Globes nominations.

In April 2012, when Ms. Judd was forty-four-years old, she was busy making the talk show rounds.  Her series, Missing, in which she played the mother of a kidnapped child, was doing well in the ratings and critics, as usual, praised her performance.

Yet, the tabloids and social media sites focused only on her “puffy face.” They speculated that she had put on weight, had fillers, or underwent a plastic surgery procedure that went wrong.  To prove their theories, they posted “before and after” photos and asked, “what happened?”

Shortly thereafter, Ms. Judd personally wrote a response.  She said that it was wrong to talk about her and judge her solely on her appearance and that doing so diminishes a woman’s promise and triumph. She advocated building solid female-to-female bonds so that such behavior can change.

She also explained that she was taking steroids for a serious sinus infection and that such had caused the changes in her appearance.

When Your Face is Puffy or Bloated

Wow. Ms. Judd really is a beautiful woman, both inside and outside.  And, she’s absolutely correct. No one should ever judge a woman by her appearance.  Every single woman is so much more than that. The tabloids and social media overlooked everything amazing about her when they looked only at her puffed face.  And, they missed out on all she had to offer. They were terribly shallow. How sad.

You might simply wake up one day and notice that you face looks puffy or bloated.  You might feel annoyed, scared, self-conscious, frustrated, worried, angry, irritated…  You could feel many things. But, whatever you do, resist judging your looks. Remember Ms. Judd and her powerful response.  Remember her accomplishments and everything she had to offer. Remember her confidence and conviction. Remember, too, that something caused her facial to bloat.

Simple Explanations for Facial Puffiness or Bloating

There are many, many reasons why a woman’s face might puff or bloat.  Here are some simple, everyday explanations:

  • Hormones:  hormonal fluctuations during monthly menstruation, menopausal changes, and pregnancy are a routine culprit.   Increased estrogen reduces the kidney’s fluid output, which can cause overall bloating and facial puffiness.
  • A Bad Night’s Sleep:  if you didn’t get enough sleep or aren’t feeling well or were restless during the night, your face could look bloated in the morning.
  • A Too Hot Shower:  a hot shower is nice, but if you turn the water up too high, it could make your face look puffy.
  • You’re Hungover: “drinking” actually dehydrates you.  Such is why hangovers are miserable. It also makes you retain fluids and make your face puff.
  • You Don’t Drink Enough Water/You Drink too Much Caffeine: not drinking enough proper daily fluids is actually a very common cause of facial bloating. Caffeine has a diuretic effect, meaning it makes you urinate a lot, and can dehydrate you more (see You’re Hungover above).
  • You Ate Popcorn:  salty snacks, such as popcorn, chips, or pretzels, have high amounts of sodium.  Some people’s body’s build up fluids and try to reduce the sodium.

Sometimes there are more complicated reasons for why your face might bloat or puff or even swell.

Also Check: How to Get Rid of Large Pores on Face

Facial Swelling

Edema is the official medical word for swelling. Edema happens when small blood vessels leak fluid into bodily tissues.  The fluid accumulates and the bodily tissue swell. It can happen anywhere on the body. When it happens on the face, it’s called facial edema.  While swelling can occur anywhere on the face and spread down to the neck, cheek, eyelid, and lip swelling stand out.

Facial edema is mostly a symptom. Medical conditions cause symptoms. You can soothe a symptom, but the only way you can effectively treat it is to identify the medical condition.  So, in order to remedy it is to first determine what medical condition caused it.

While many medical conditions cause facial edema, the following are the most common:   

  • Dental Problems:  a chipped tooth, abscessed tooth, or gum pocket infection can cause mouth, jaw, cheek, and neck swelling.  More serious symptoms include fever and headache.
  • Allergic Reaction (non life-threatening): if a person ingests or inhales an ingredient to which they’re allergic, they’ll develop facial edema.  Pets, dust, plants, and pollen are typical allergens. See below for *Life Threatening Allergic Reactions.
  • Pink Eye (Conjunctivitis):  viruses and bacteria usually cause inflammation of the membrane lining of the eyelid.  Symptoms also include redness, itching, and crust formation around the eyes.
  • Underactive Thyroid: hypothyroidism, in addition to facial edema, also causes fatigue, thinning hair, weight gain, slowed heart rate, dry skin, constipation, and muscle weakness.
  • Chronic Sinus Infections: this is a sinus inflammation that lasts more than three months and that sometimes continues for up to a year or longer.

Facial Bloating, Puffiness, or Swelling as a Side Effect

If you’ve ever heard or seen a commercial regarding a medication, you’ve no doubt heard the list of potential side effects it causes. Certain medications can cause a person to retain fluids, which can cause their face to bloat.  Other medications cause facial edema. Other medications can also cause a condition called moon facies.

How to Treat a Bloated Face

What is Moon Facies?

Moon facies refers to a build up of extra fat on either side of a person’s head.  This causes the face to appear round, hence, the moon reference. It occurs in cases of extreme obesity and in certain medical certain medical ailments.

Medications that Cause Facial Puffiness, Bloating, Swelling, and Moon Facies

A host of medications can cause facial puffiness, bloating, swelling, and moon facies. The most common are as follows:

  • Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs):  these drugs decrease inflammation and are used to lessen pain and reduce fever (e.g. naproxen, ibuprofen, aspirin).  They also cause fluid retention, swelling, and facial bloating.
  • Birth Control Pills:  these contain estrogen and additional hormones, which cause fluid retention and facial bloating (see Hormones above for explanation).
  • Blood Pressure Medication:  whenever blood pressure lowers, hormones alert the kidneys to eliminate potassium and preserve sodium. The retained sodium leads to larger blood volume, water retention, bloating, and facial puffiness.
  • Steroids:  steroids can cause a range of side effects that can lead to facial bloating or facial edema.  They can also stimulate the body to generate the stress hormone cortisol. Such can cause a range of side effects, including weight gain and moon facies.  (Recall Ms. Judd’s use of steroids to treat her sinus infection, which can also cause facial puffiness. So, in reality, her facial changes had two potential causes).
  • Thiazolidinediones:  these drugs treat Type 2 Diabetes. They additionally cause water retention, bloating, and facial puffiness.

Serious Medical Conditions about Which You Should Be Aware

Here are a couple serious medical conditions that you should also know about:

  • Cushing’s Syndrome (hypercortisolism):  this is a rare ailment that occurs when the body produces extremely high levels of the hormone cortisol.  As mentioned previously, the body produces cortisol while under stress. Prolonged exposure, results in numerous symptoms including weight gain, high blood pressure, pink or purple stretch marks, kidney stones, and moon facies.  Tumors can also cause Cushing’s Syndrome. Physicians first determine the cause in order to determine how to treat the syndrome.
  • Facial Cellulitis:  cellulitis this is a serious skin bacterial infection.  It can happen anywhere on the body, but when affects the face, it’s called facial cellulitis.  Facial cellulitis can spread to the brain and cause meningitis or the eyes and cause vision loss.  It is, thus, extremely dangerous.

Symptoms include painful facial swelling and redness, mostly around the cheeks, nose, and eyes.  The swollen skin may be itchy and blisters may also erupt on the reddened skin.

Physicians closely follow patients diagnosed with any form of cellulitis and treat them with strong antibiotics.  

  • Life Threatening Allergic Reaction:  these include reactions to peanuts, shellfish, seafood, bee stings, or any item that causes trouble breathing.  Such reactions cause angioedema, which is swelling in the lower skin layer and in the tissue beneath the skin. The larynx, tongue, limbs, and stomach may also swell and the person may develop hives.  Usually, the person who knows they have these allergies carries a self-injectable shot of epinephrine wherever they go. Such counteracts the allergic reaction. Nonetheless, anyone suffering such a reaction must immediately go to an Emergency Room.  Call 911 if necessary.

Before Going Further

Thus far, this analysis endeavored to distinctly and carefully summarize the most common causes of facial “plumping,” “expanding,” and/or “puffing.”  Distinctions were emphasized in descriptions to properly correlate with medical terms. But, in reality, it’s simply a helpful guide. You might believe certain descriptions accurately fit your situation.  Because some situations are serious, please do not use this summary to diagnose yourself, even if a description seems exactly on point. Again, it’s simply a helpful guide.

If you are experiencing any kind of facial puffiness, bloating, swelling, or whatever word you like, please see a medical professional for a proper diagnosis.  As mentioned, other conditions and situations can cause your face to react in that manner.

How to get rid of puffy face

How Medical Professionals Treat Facial Puffiness, Bloating, Swelling, and Moon Facies

Serious Conditions, As noted in the section, physicians diagnose, carefully treat, and closely monitor these situations. Medication Caused Facial Puffiness, Bloating, Swelling, And Moon Facies

In most cases, discontinuing a medication usually stops the side effect.  Such is mostly what a physician does. In some cases, though, an individual must be on powerful drug long-term (Lupus, Crohn’s Disease, Ulcerative Colitis, rheumatoid arthritis, organ transplant, cancer).  Because of the severity of their ailment, the person cannot simply stop taking the drug. In other words, the medication’s necessity outweighs the side effect’s negative impact. So, many people have to live with the facial swelling, asthma, edema, or moon facies.   (Cushing’s Syndrome is a potential exception).

Facial Edema

As previously mentioned, facial edema is the symptom of a medical condition.  So, you need to see a medical professional in order determine what medical condition is causing your facial edema and undergo treatment.  For example, if hypothyroidism is causing your facial edema, you need to treat the hypothyroidism in order to successfully remedy the facial edema.  You can still soothe the swelling. See below.

Simple Explanations

There are several home remedies that can treat and soothe a puffy, swollen face.  Some are useful regardless of cause. Here are some of the most helpful:

  • Drink Water: your face holds onto water when it’s dehydrated, so offset it by drinking lots of water throughout the day.  Avoid caffeinated drinks that make you urinate, such as tea, soda, alcohol, and coffee. If water bores you, try coconut water, herbal teas, watermelon juice, diluted fruit juices (to cut-down on sugar content), and vegetable juice. Stay away from diuretic drinks such as coffee, tea, soda, and alcohol.
  • Avoid Salt:  as noted, salt increases your sodium levels.  Try roasted chickpeas, spiced popcorn, biscotti, kale chips, vegetables, trail mix, or yogurt.  Even a low-sodium bowl of soup makes a tasty snack.
  • Catch Up on ZZZs: making sure you get up to eight hours of sleep each night improves your health.  Elevate your head to further reduce fluid accumulation in your face.
  • Get a Cardio Workout: getting your blood pumping improves your circulation, reduces puffed cheeks, and sweats out toxins.  Jogging, swimming, aerobics, Zumba, and bicycling are good cardio workouts. A brisk walk is also one of the best exercises.
  • Cold Water/Ice:  sometimes a simple splash of cold water on your face is effective.  For a more intense treatment, wrap a few ice cubes in a washcloth or place a few in a small ice pack and gently place it on the puffy area of your face.  It’ll certainly feel nice and decrease any discomfort or pain.
  • Hot Towel:  heat is just as good as cold.  Run a washcloth under hot water and press it gently against the puffy area.  The warmth will attract blood flow to the area and quicken healing. It also feels nice and soothes discomfort and pain.

How to Use Makeup To Conceal Facial Puffiness, Bloating, and Swelling

You can use makeup to help conceal facial bloating and swelling.  First of all, though, don’t use makeup on any open sores, infected skin, or any otherwise seriously irritated skin or when you don’t know why your face is bloated, puffed, or swollen. You don’t want to further aggravate a medical condition or contaminate your makeup.

Switch to concealer that basically matches your skin tone. Normally, you’d use a lighter color to brighten your complexion. But, in this case, a lighter color would highlight puffiness.

Then, apply makeup to make your face look thinner.  Using a brush, apply a line of contour or bronzer across your jawline, from one of your ears to the other.  Also apply it under your cheekbones, into your cheek hollows.

Finally, Remember Ms. Judd

While you’re treating your facial puffiness or if you must take a medication that causes facial swelling or moon facies, always try to keep Ms. Judd in mind.  Remember that, you too, are a beautiful woman, both inside and outside. No one should ever judge you solely by your appearance. You are so much more than that. You’re also amazing and have so much to offer.