What Causes the Neck and Face to Swell?

causes-neck-face-swell Credit: Justin Vidamo/CC-BY 2.0

Facial and neck swelling may be caused by allergies, cellulitis, injury or sinusitis, according to MedlinePlus. Swelling may also be caused by a tooth abscess, blood transfusion reaction, drug reaction or salivary gland disorders.

Minor swelling in the face or neck may be reduced by raising the head on pillows, explains MedlinePlus. If the swelling is due to an injury, icing the area may also help. Most facial swelling does not require medical care, but if the swelling is severe, painful, sudden or doesn't go away, a doctor should be contacted. It is also advisable to notify a doctor if the swelling causes difficulty breathing, fever or redness, as this could indicate an infection.

To determine the cause of facial and neck swelling, a doctor may ask a series of questions, such as how long the swelling has been occurring and if anything makes it better, claims MedlinePlus. A doctor may also ask about allergies a person may have or any possible injuries. Other symptoms may be examined, and the doctor may ask about surgeries or medical tests a person has had. Treatment of the swelling is based on the cause, though most swelling eventually goes away on its own.