Numbness and Tingling of the Face: Causes and Treatment

Numbness and tingling of the face: General information

Numbness and tingling of the face is most commonly caused by anxiety or panic attacks. Numbness and tingling in the face can also be caused by nerve tenderness or damage, specifically known as Bell’s Palsy . For more information on the associated symptoms, other causes, and treatment options, read below:

Numbness and tingling of the face: Causes

Anxiety is the most common cause of facial numbness and can manifest with panic attacks. If the tingling in your face is also accompanied by facial drooping or other neurological symptoms, this indicates a stroke or transient ischemic attack.

reversible causes

Causes of facial numbness and tingling, possibly temporary or reversible, include:

  • Anxiety: Facial numbness, tingling, or pain can be a sign of anxiety. Sometimes people experiencing anxiety or panic attacks have contractions in their neck and shoulder muscles. This condition can restrict blood flow to the face and cause a tingling sensation.
  • Anesthesia: Local anesthesia from dental or facial procedures can cause facial numbness or tingling. In such cases, the numbness or tingling will pass within a few hours. However, it should be noted that facial numbness or tingling may occur for up to 12 hours following local anesthesia.

neurological causes

Neurological causes of facial tingling include:

  • Stroke: A stroke or transient ischemic attack is when blood flow to part of the brain is blocked, causing numbness, weakness, or other neurological problems in the body. Stroke means permanent damage due to lack of blood flow. A transient ischemic attack refers to symptoms of blocked blood flow that later resolve; however, this can warn that a stroke will occur.
  • Multiple sclerosis (MS disease): MS disease is an autoimmune condition in which the immune system attacks the sheath around nerves in the body . Without this protective sheath, the nerves are damaged. Facial numbness or tingling can be a sign of nerve damage from MS.
  • Nerve problem: The nerves that control facial sensation can become irritated or inflamed, causing facial numbness, tingling, or pain. The cause of this condition is often unknown. Typically, symptoms are intense and short-lived and occur on only one side of the face.
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medical reasons

Causes of facial numbness and tingling due to another medical condition may include:

  • Infection: The chickenpox virus can cause a condition known as shingles. Shingles involves a painful rash, usually in a specific distribution along a nerve pathway and on only one side of the body. If the rash is on the face, mouth, or ear, it may present with facial pain, numbness, or tingling. Sometimes the pain and tingling precede the redness for days.
  • Systemic disease: There is a group of systemic disorders that affect the blood vessels, known as scleroderma . Damaged blood vessels can restrict blood flow to the face, causing numbness and tingling. Other symptoms include skin changes such as itching, swelling or tightening of the skin, especially on the fingers and toes.
  • Tumor: There are some tumors, particularly ear canal tumors, that can compress or irritate facial nerves and cause numbness, tingling, or drooping of the face.


This list does not constitute medical advice and may not accurately represent what you have.

Numbness and tingling of the face: Possible diseases

Possible disease causes of numbness and tingling of the face include the following:

Facial paralysis

Facial paralysis can occur acutely or chronically. This paralysis usually begins suddenly and worsens within 48 hours. Improvement of symptoms usually occurs between two weeks and six months, but rarely permanent paralysis can occur. The symptoms of this condition are the result of paralysis of the facial muscles. This paralysis usually occurs on only one side of the face. Facial paralysis is caused by inflammation or damage to the facial nerve. This nerve controls the facial muscles. Treatment aims to reduce inflammation or eliminate the underlying cause of facial nerve palsy.

Nose or sinus tumor

A tumor may form in the nose or in one of the sinuses due to the abnormal growth of cells lining the inside of the nose and sinuses. These tumors are rare and can cause symptoms such as congestion, nosebleeds, and sometimes facial pain or swelling. A nose or sinus tumor should be checked out by a doctor.

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stroke or transient ischemic attack

A transient ischemic attack is sometimes called a “mini-stroke.” Any stroke means that blood flow is blocked by a clot somewhere in the brain. Stroke symptoms and transient ischemic attack symptoms are the same. However, while stroke results in paralysis, transient ischemic attack is temporary. Symptoms include weakness, numbness, paralysis, slurred speech, abnormal vision, and sudden and severe headache on one side of the face and/or body . Treatment includes anticoagulant medications to prevent further clotting. Surgery may also be recommended to clear some arteries.

panic or anxiety attacks

Panic or anxiety attacks are sudden feelings of intense fear or stress without real danger. Symptoms usually peak and then subside within minutes. The person may feel as if they are losing control or may show physical symptoms such as sweating or heart palpitations. Panic attacks can be a very frightening experience and should be taken seriously. Therefore , it is recommended that those with anxiety disorders or panic attacks see a doctor.

Multiple sclerosis (MS disease)

Multiple sclerosis or MS disease is a disease of the central nervous system. In this case, the body’s immune system attacks the nerve fibers and their myelin coating. This causes irreversible scarring called “sclerosis” that interferes with the transmission of signals between the brain and the body. Symptoms include numbness or weakness in the arms, legs, or body, partial or complete loss of vision in one or both eyes, tingling or shock-like sensations, especially in the neck, tremors, and loss of coordination. MS disease requires regular doctor control.


Shingles is a painful rash that occurs when the varicella zoster virus, the same virus that causes chickenpox, is reactivated. It results in a painful rash of small fluid-filled blisters (vesicles) on a single strip of skin on one side of the body and requires medical attention.


This list does not constitute medical advice and may not accurately represent what you have.

Numbness and tingling of the face: Treatments

Some causes of facial numbness and tingling symptoms can be managed at home. However, others require medical diagnosis and treatment.

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Conditions requiring medical treatment

It is recommended that you seek immediate medical attention if you suddenly experience the following:

  • Numbness or tingling in the face or body, especially if it is suddenly or only on one side
  • If your face is drooping, especially if there is a one-sided sagging
  • If you are confused
  • If you have lost consciousness of time and space

Treatments that can be applied at home

Numbness and tingling of the face that is not caused by a serious cause can be relieved by:

  • Taking deep breaths or doing breathing exercises
  • taking a hot shower
  • By participating in an activity you enjoy
  • By focusing on
  • By/having a massage

Numbness and tingling of the face: Check with the doctor

It is recommended that you see a doctor if the numbness or tingling in your face persists or worsens. In such a case, your doctor may recommend the following:

  • Imaging: If you have an incipient tingling or numbness in your face, the doctor may order imaging of the face and head to determine the cause. If the doctor suspects a stroke is the cause of the tingling in your face, they may order a CT scan or an MRI .
  • Blood tests: If the doctor suspects that the cause of the numbness or tingling in your face is a systemic medical condition, they may recommend blood tests for an accurate diagnosis.
  • Mental health advice: If the doctor suspects that the tingling in your face is caused by severe anxiety or panic attacks, they may refer you to a mental health professional. There are a variety of treatments for anxiety, including therapy, medications, and mindfulness-based practices.
  • Medication: If the doctor suspects that the numbness and tingling of the face is due to an infection, the cause of the infection can be treated with antivirals. If the doctor suspects that the cause of the tingling in your face is a systemic medical illness, other types of medication may be necessary.

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