Why Is My Face Puffy in the Morning?

A puffy face in the morning may be caused by poor sleep, alcohol consumption, and water retention due to salt intake.123 A "puffy" face—or facial swelling edema, also known medically as edema—happens when fluids build up in your facial tissues.

Strategies like reducing salt intake or staying hydrated 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.

A puffy face happens when fluids build up in your facial tissues and cause swelling. You might also experience swelling around the neck or upper arms. In general, you could have the following:45Eye or lip swelling
Flaky, oily spots on your cheeks, close to the edge of your scalp, or in the folds beside your nose
Painful bumps, either one at a time or several in a group
Painless soft to firm lumps
Puffy Face Causes

You might have a puffy face in the morning for various reasons. The puffiness can occur due to medical or lifestyle factors.
Medical Causes

Some of the most common reasons why you may wake up with a puffy face include:5
Eye infections, like pink eye and stye
Hormonal imbalance7
Premenstrual syndrome (PMS)8
Reaction to drugs like aspirin, penicillin, or glucocorticoids
Recent head, nose, or jaw surgery or injury
Seasonal allergies
Sinus infection
Tooth abscess

Lifestyle Causes

In addition to health conditions, some behaviors may increase your risk of waking up with a puffy face. Those behaviors include:
Crying the night before
Drinking alcohol1
Eating salty snacks9
Getting poor sleep2
Using certain skincare products10

How To Reduce Face Swelling

There are ways to get rid of the puffiness. You can try rinsing your face with cool or lukewarm water. You can then place a cold compress on the affected area to reduce swelling.5

Drinking plenty of water can help, and exercising will further your recovery. 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.11

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:Keeping your head elevated: Propping yourself up with at least two pillows while sleeping can stop water from building up in your facial tissues.5

Limiting your salt intake: You may want to cut down on how much salt you eat. Sodium can cause your body to hold excess fluid, upsetting that balance.9

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.6
Treating allergies: Taking an antihistamine or other allergy relief treatment options can help reduce your symptoms and puffy face.12
When to Contact a Healthcare Provider

Contact a healthcare provider if your puffy face is due to an underlying health condition, like an eye infection or tooth abscess. Treating the condition may help resolve facial swelling.

Consult a healthcare provider immediately if discoloration occurs with your skin puffiness. For example, cellulitis is a severe bacterial skin infection that causes redness and swelling. Healthcare providers treat cellulitis with antibiotics.13

You'll also want to seek medical attention if you experience facial swelling with difficulty breathing, fever, tenderness, or redness or swelling that is:5Long-lasting, especially if it worsens with time
Painful and severe