What is numb face?

Numb face is caused by decreased sensation in the face from either nerve dysfunction or damage. It can result from an injury to the face or exposure to cold temperatures. Alternatively, numb face may be caused by neuropathy, a disorder in which the nerves that relay signals between the body and the brain do not function properly. Multiple sclerosis is an example of a chronic condition that can result in numbness of the face.

Neuropathy or nerve damage can be due to a number of specific diseases and disorders. In many cases, neuropathy has no known cause. In rare cases, if the numb face is accompanied by numbness or weakness of the arms or legs on one side of the body, it can be a sign of stroke. Numbness of the face can also result from injury or, rarely, tumors of the brain or nerves.

The duration and course of numb face vary widely, depending on the cause. Symptoms caused by injury often have a sudden onset. In other cases, numb face resulting from underlying neuropathy develops slowly and persists or worsens over time.

Seek immediate medical care (call 911) if a sudden feeling of numbness in your face is accompanied by numbness or weakness on one side of your body; a change in level of consciousness or alertness, such as passing out or unresponsiveness; or the worst headache of your life, as these can be signs of stroke.

If your numb face is persistent or causes you concern, seek prompt medical care.


What other symptoms might occur with numb face?

Numb face may accompany other symptoms, which vary depending on the underlying disease, disorder or condition. Symptoms that frequently affect the face also involve other body systems.

Face symptoms that may occur along with numb face

Numb face may accompany other symptoms affecting the face including:


What causes numb face?

Numb face can be the result of nerve or skin damage to the face and surrounding tissues. Disorders affecting the nerves, such as tumors and stroke, may also cause numb face.

Common causes of numb face

Numb face may be caused by several common conditions including:

Medical Reviewer: William C. Lloyd III, MD, FACS Last Annual Review Date: Sep 20, 2013 Copyright: © Copyright 2014 Health Grades, Inc. All rights reserved. May not be reproduced or reprinted without permission from Health Grades, Inc. Use of this information is governed by the HealthGrades User Agreement.

This Article is Filed Under: Brain and Nerves