At one time or another, everyone has had a minor facial injury that
caused pain, swelling, or bruising. Home treatment is
usually all that is needed for mild bumps or bruises.
It may be
helpful to be familiar with the makeup of the facial bones to better understand
facial injuries. See a picture of the
Facial injuries most
commonly occur during:
In children, most facial injuries occur during sports or
play or are caused by accidental falls. Minor facial injuries in young children
tend to be less severe than similar facial injuries that occur in older
children or adults. Young children are less likely to break a facial bone
because they have fat pads that cushion their faces and their bones are more
flexible. But young children are more likely to be bitten in the face by
Head injuries may occur at the same time as a facial
injury, so be sure to check for
symptoms of a head injury. For more information, see
Head Injuries, Age 3 and Younger or
Head Injuries, Age 4 and Older.
Facial injuries may be caused by a
direct blow, penetrating injury, or fall. Pain may be sudden and severe.
Bruising and swelling may develop soon after the injury. Acute injuries
Treatment for a facial injury may include
first aid measures, medicine, and in some cases surgery. Treatment depends
When you have had a facial injury, it is important to
look for signs of other injuries, such as a
eye injury, or an injury to the mouth, such as a cut
lip or injured tooth.
Check your symptoms to decide
if and when you should see a doctor.
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Home treatment may help treat
problems and prevent complications after an injury to your face.
Stop the bleeding. Crying
increases blood flow to the face and can make a nosebleed or facial bleeding
worse. If your injured child is crying, speak in a quiet, relaxed manner to
soothe him or her.
Do not smoke. Smoking slows healing because it decreases
blood supply and delays tissue repair. For more information, see the topic
Talk to your child's doctor before switching back and
forth between doses of acetaminophen and ibuprofen. When you switch between two
medicines, there is a chance your child will get too much medicine.
Call your doctor if any of the following symptoms occur during
There are many steps you can take to help
prevent a facial injury.
You can take steps to help reduce your young child's risk of
To prepare for your appointment, see the topic Making the Most of Your Appointment.
You can help your
doctor diagnose and treat your condition by being prepared to
answer the following questions:
July 25, 2012
William H. Blahd, Jr., MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine & David Messenger, MD
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