Face Contusion is bruising of skin and underlying tissues of the face caused by a direct blow. Contusions cause bleeding from ruptured small capillaries that allow blood to infiltrate muscles, tendons or other soft tissue. The face is particularly vulnerable to contusion because skin is so close to hard, underlying bone. (Note: Contusions and other injuries of the eyes, nose and ears require special considerations and care.

Places where Face Contusion occurs

Face tissues, including blood vessels, muscles, tendons, nerves, covering to bone (periosteum) and connective tissue.

Causes, Signs and Symptoms of Face Contusion

Direct blow to the skin, usually from a blunt object.

  • Local swelling at the contusion site. The swelling may be round or egg-shaped and superficial or deep.
  • Pain and tenderness over the injury.
  • Feeling of firmness when pressure is exerted on the injured area.
  • Discoloration under the skin, beginning with redness and progressing to the characteristic “black and blue” bruise.

Complications in Face Contusion

Excessive bleeding. Infiltrative-type bleeding can (rarely) lead to calcification and impaired function, and facial disfiguration. Prolonged healing time if usual activities are resumed too soon. Infection if skin over the contusion is broken.

Treatment, Medication and Care for Face Contusion

For first aid, use instructions for R.I.C.E., the first letters of REST, ICE, COMPRESSION and ELEVATION.

For minor discomfort, you may use: Acetaminophen or ibuprofen. Topical liniments and ointments. Your doctor may prescribe stronger medicine for pain.

  • Use an ice pack 3 or 4 times a day. Wrap ice chips or cubes in a plastic bag, and wrap the bag in a moist towel. Place it over the injured area for 20 minutes at a time.
  • After 72 hours, apply heat instead of ice if it feels better. Use heat lamps, hot soaks, hot showers, heating pads, or heat liniments and ointments.
  • Massage gently and often to provide comfort and decrease swelling.