The tingling sensation, or “pins and needles,” is also known as paresthesia. The symptoms start as a tingling sensation (paresthesia) and later on the sensation of numbness.
Numbness and tingling in the face are very common symptoms of paraesthesia. They are not life-threatening issues and do not need emergency medical care. However, they will make you uncomfortable, and sometimes, they may also be a symptom of other serious diseases such as multiple sclerosis and stroke.
The tingling sensation can manifest in different ways. It can affect the entire face or just a small area. This condition can have multiple causes. It can be due to damaged, injured, or diseased sensory nerves. Or it can be caused by a reaction from long exposure to cold temperature.
Another reason that can lead to tingling in the face is neuropathy. This is a condition in which the nerves that send messages between the brain and the body do not function well.
Symptoms of Numbness and Tingling in the face
There are cases that the tingling in the face is only painful when it is touched. In other cases, the pain is present all the time, even without being touched. This sensation can affect your other parts of the body, such as fingers, legs, feet, head, face, abdomen, arms, and hands.
- The tingling sensation may also be accompanied by blisters, numbness, or skin discoloration.
- You may also feel the itchy, prickly, numb feeling in your muscle.
- This numbness and tingling sensation may only affect one area or affect many areas.
- This sensation may come and go or persist indefinitely.
- You may have the sensation of being pierced by numerous needles or pins in your facial area.
- You may also feel there are a lot of bugs crawling under your skin.
- The tingling sensation can occur by itself or accompany by other sensations such as nervousness, stress, fear, and anxiety.
- The intensity of numbness and tingling sensation can range from slight, moderate to severe. In severe cases, you may even have the feeling of paralysis of the face.
- The feeling of tingling may change from time to time.
13 Common Causes of Tingling or Numbness in Face
The primary cause depends on the location of the tingling sensation. However, it usually includes nerve damage or disease that affects the nerves. The common causes of numbness and tingling in the face are:
1. Stress and Anxiety
When the body is always stressed and anxiety occurs inside the mind, it can lead to reactions that can affect the face in many ways. A burning or tingling sensation in the face is one of the symptoms of anxiety and may worsen because facial tingling is often associated with multiple sclerosis.
This scares more people and makes anxiety severe. However, numerous sclerosis is rare. The best way to know the difference is by speaking to a doctor.
In addition to facial tingling, other anxiety symptoms include a reddened face, bleeding lips due to biting, and dilation of the pupils. The best way to overcome anxiety symptoms is to stop worrying about the signs and be honest with the people around you. The more you hide the truth, the more you become anxious. Most people may not notice your anxiety, and they can only help when they know.
How to get rid of the numbness and tingling anxiety symptom?
- Walking, swimming or yoga can help reduce stress and anxiety effectively.
- If you suffer from an anxiety disorder, some medication such as Xanax can help decrease the tingling and numbness feeling.
- You can take a deep breath for 10-20 minutes to calm yourself down, and this can help you recover from stress.
- You can also consult an experienced anxiety disorder therapist to relieve an anxiety disorder. This is an effective method to get rid of the numbness and tingling anxiety symptom.
2. Nerve Problems
Another cause of tingling in the face is an injury to the trigeminal nerve. Trigeminal neuralgia is a condition that affects the nerves in the face, which can be painful. In some cases, the tingling sensation or shock can be intense. The pain can also be triggered when brushing your teeth, and some people go to dentists believing that it is an abscessed tooth.
Other symptoms of trigeminal neuralgia include:
- Short periods of stabbing pain.
- Pain when applying makeup.
- Pain when washing the face or shaving.
- Wind may also trigger the pain and last for seconds up to a few minutes.
- For women, periods may occur even when you are not yet due.
This condition is caused by a blood vessel pressing on the nerve and leads to damages. Diseases like multiple sclerosis and tumor can also damage the nerve. Trigeminal neuralgia can also occur if the arteries are tangled and press the nerve.
Treatment for Tingling or Numbness from Nerve Problems
Accidents, surgery, or stroke can also lead to this condition if you have the symptoms such as difficulty walking, slurred words, or paralysis. You should see your doctor immediately. They may prescribe medicines to prevent the nerves from getting irritated, which are called anticonvulsants. If the medication does not help, surgery may be required.
3. Cerebrovascular Accident
The tingling in the face can also be a symptom of a cerebrovascular accident. CVA is the medical term for a stroke. This happens when the blood vessel is ruptured or blocked, which stops the blood circulation to a part of the brain.
The symptoms of stroke may differ from one person to another. Even if the symptoms are not severe, they can develop over time. The signs of a stroke or cerebrovascular accident are:
- Numbness or paralysis in the face, arm, or leg.
- Difficulty in walking.
- Blurred or darkened vision.
- A sudden headache, vomiting, nausea
- Loss of balance and coordination
These symptoms are important signs, and you should be alert. If you suspect that you or someone you know have stroke symptoms, visit a doctor right away to receive proper treatment. Leaving the condition untreated will result in permanent damage in certain parts of the brain.
Your doctor will have to perform a physical examination and check the sound of the blood vessels. They may also have to perform tests such as angiogram, blood test, electrocardiogram, and magnetic resonance imaging.
4. Exposure to Extreme Temperature
Another cause of tingling in the face is exposure to extreme cold or hot temperatures. If your face was exposed to cold air, this leads to temporary numbness or tingling feeling. People who are more sensitive to cold can experience this whenever they are exposed to extremely cold temperatures.
5. Multiple Sclerosis
Another cause of tingling in the face is Multiple sclerosis. It is a condition that affects the spinal cord and the brain that may lead to disability.
In MS, your immune system attacks the myelin (protective sheath that covers the nerve fibers), which leads to problems in the communication between your body and the brain. This may lead to deterioration of the nerves and become damaged permanently.
The early symptoms of MS include tingling, numbness, blurred vision, and weakness. Other signs of multiple sclerosis are confusion, stiffness, and urinary issues. The symptoms of multiple sclerosis may vary from one to another, depending on the area of the damaged nerves. Some people who have severe multiple sclerosis may not be able to walk alone.
- Numbness or weakness of limbs, or trunk, or legs.
- Prolonged double vision.
- Partial or complete loss of sight.
- Tingling sensation or pain in areas of the body.
- Dizziness and fatigue
- Unclear speech
- Electric-shock sensation when moving the neck
- Bladder and bowel problems
Your doctor may recommend blood tests, lumbar puncture, MRI, and Evoked potential tests according to your medical history and examination.
6. Exposure to chemicals
If you are always exposed to harmful chemicals in your job or the cleaning products you use at home are harsh, you will likely experience the symptoms.
- Dimethylhydrazine is a chemical used in rocket and jet fuel, photography, plant growth agent, and many other purposes. Facial numbness can occur when exposed to this chemical or ingested.
- Sodium Monofluoracetate is a chemical for controlling mammal pests in crops. Exposures or ingestion of this chemical can lead to many symptoms and may depend on the amount of chemical absorbed. This can also lead to facial paresthesia.
- DDD is a chemical used as a pesticide. When absorbed through the skin, it can lead to facial paresthesia.
- DDT is also another chemical used for controlling insect pests on crops. A person may experience facial paresthesia when the chemical is absorbed through the skin.
7. Brain tumor
Suppose the brain tumor presses on nerves related to the facial area; tingling in the face can occur. According to research, the cause of brain tumors is still unknown, but there are some risk factors.
- Children who have received radiation treatments can have a higher risk of having a brain tumor.
- People who also have rare genetic conditions such as Li-Fraumeni syndrome or neurofibromatosis may develop a brain tumor.
- People above the age of 65 are at risk.
Not all primary brain tumors are cancerous. Benign tumors do not usually spread to other tissues, but there are cases that they can be severe and life-threatening.
Shingles, also called herpes zoster, is a skin rash caused by the varicella-zoster virus. The symptoms appear in a small part on one side of the body or face. If you had chickenpox before, the virus in the body becomes dormant. Shingles occur when the virus wakes up again due to stress, aging, or disease. Some medicines can trigger the virus to start up and lead to shingle rashes.
Singles are not contagious, but the virus can spread to someone who has not had chickenpox before or hasn’t gotten the vaccine for it. Aside from rashes and tingling in the face, other symptoms include headaches, flu, light sensitivity, and pain in some areas. Your rashes may also turn into blisters, which will take at least two weeks to heal.
If you suspect yourself or someone you know has shingles, visit a doctor immediately to have early treatment.
Another cause that can lead to a tingling sensation in the face is a lack of essential vitamins, such as vitamin B. This leads to inefficient muscle contractions that send wrong signals to the body.
If you had an injury, you might feel a tingling sensation which is a sign of a damaged nerve.
The symptom may also appear if you are taking specific medicines. Before you take your pill, make sure to read the prescription carefully and check the side effects. If you are experiencing a tingling sensation, you can ask your doctor for alternatives.
The symptoms of a headache also include throbbing in the forehead, jaw, ears, or around the eye. You may also experience vision disturbance, nausea, and weakness.
The depletion of ova or termination of the women’s menstrual cycle can also cause a tingling sensation in the face.
Tips to Getting Rid of the Numbness and Tingling Sensation
There are some tips to help you relieve the symptoms effectively, as below.
- Try to get enough sleep, and you should try to sleep about 8 hours a day.
- Avoid foods rich in fat, sugar, and salt; eat more vegetables and fruits.
- Consume more vitamins such as vitamin B12, E, C; this can help you relieve symptoms effectively.
- Try to keep 1-2 hours of exercise a day; you can try yoga and meditation.
- Avoid stress and anxiety; try to communicate with your family and friends.
- If you suffer from serious conditions, consult your physician for treatment as soon as possible.
When to see your Doctor
When you have a tingling face along with the symptoms below, you should see your doctor immediately.
- Dizziness or confusion
- Paralysis in the face
- Serious, persistent headache
- Vision or speaking problems