Puffy Face in the Morning: Causes, Prevention Tips, and Treatments

From allergies to eating salty foods to crying the night before, many things can cause a puffy face in the morning.

A "puffy" face, or facial swelling, happens when fluids build up in your facial tissues. Several possible causes may be the culprit. First, it's worth noting: Bloating, "puffing," or swelling is often natural, and there is no shame in your body's fluctuations. The goal of this article is not to shame or judge but to inform you why puffiness may happen in the morning.

A few strategies can help reduce facial swelling in the morning. Here's what you need to know about why your face may feel puffy and how to prevent this.

What Causes a Puffy Face?

A puffy face happens when fluids build up in your facial tissues and cause swelling. Some of the most common reasons why you may wake up with a puffy face include:

  • Seasonal allergies
  • Sinus infection
  • Tooth abscess
  • Eye infections, like pink eye and stye
  • Reaction to drugs like aspirin, penicillin, or glucocorticoids
  • Recent head, nose, or jaw surgery or injury
  • Dehydration
  • Hormonal imbalance
  • Premenstrual syndrome (PMS)

If discoloration occurs with your skin puffiness, consult a healthcare provider immediately. For example, cellulitis is a severe bacterial skin infection that causes redness and swelling. Healthcare providers treat cellulitis with antibiotics.

Risk Factors and Habits That Can Cause Puffiness

In addition to health conditions, some behaviors may increase your risk of waking up with a puffy face, Margarita Lolis, MD, a dermatologist based in New Jersey, told Health. Those behaviors include:

  • Getting poor sleep
  • Using certain skincare products
  • Crying the night before
  • Eating salty snacks
  • Drinking alcohol

How To Get Rid of a Puffy Face in the Morning

When you wake up and realize your face is puffy, rinse with cool or lukewarm water. Then, place a cold compress on the affected area to reduce swelling.

Drinking plenty of water can help, too. Also, exercising will take your recovery a step further. The mix of sweating and replenishing water helps balance salt and water in your body. 

Just ensure that the amount of fluid you lose equals the amount you take in. Too much or too little fluid can upset that balance and worsen a puffy face. A good way to measure how much fluid you need to replenish is to weigh yourself before and after exercise.

However, contact a healthcare provider if your puffy face may be due to an underlying health condition, like an eye infection or tooth abscess. In those cases, treating the condition may help resolve facial swelling.

How To Prevent a Puffy Face in the Morning

You can combat a puffy face by doing the following to reduce and prevent facial swelling:

  • Staying hydrated: Drinking water throughout the day is key. By replenishing lost fluids, you can maintain a balance of salt and water in your body.
  • Limiting your salt intake: You also may want to cut down on how much salt you eat. Sodium can make your body hold onto excess fluid, upsetting that balance.
  • Keeping your head elevated: Additionally, propping yourself up with at least two pillows while sleeping can stop water from building up in your facial tissues.
  • Combatting allergies: If allergies are causing your morning puffiness, taking an antihistamine can combat your allergy symptoms, as well as a puffy face.

A Quick Review

A puffy face, or facial swelling, happens when fluids build up in your facial tissues. Several possible causes contribute to a puffy face, from health conditions to certain behaviors. For mild cases of facial swelling, like eating salty foods, limiting salt intake and staying hydrated can help balance salt and water. 

However, consult a healthcare provider for conditions like eye infections and tooth abscesses. You'll want to treat the underlying issue while reducing your puffy face.

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10 Sources
Health.com uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
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