Facial or Scalp Contusion

A facial or scalp contusion is a deep bruise on the face or head. Injuries around the face and head generally cause a lot of swelling, especially around the eyes. Contusions are the result of an injury that caused bleeding under the skin. The contusion may turn blue, purple, or yellow. Minor injuries will give you a painless contusion, but more severe contusions may stay painful and swollen for a few weeks.

CAUSES

A facial or scalp contusion is caused by a blunt injury or trauma to the face or head area.

SYMPTOMS

  • Facial or scalp pain.

  • Facial, lip, or scalp swelling.

  • Facial or scalp bruising or tenderness.

You may have a mild headache, slight dizziness, nausea, and weakness for a few days. This usually clears up with bed rest and mild pain medicines.

DIAGNOSIS

The diagnosis can be made by asking about your history and doing a physical exam. An X-ray, computed tomography (CT) scan, or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) may be needed to determine if there were any associated injuries, such as broken bones (fractures).

TREATMENT

Often, the best treatment for a facial or scalp contusion is applying cold compresses to the injured area and eating a soft diet. Over-the-counter medicines may also be recommended for pain control.

HOME CARE INSTRUCTIONS

  • Put ice on the injured area.

  • Put ice in a plastic bag.

  • Place a towel between your skin and the bag.

  • Leave the ice on for 15 to 20 minutes, 3 to 4 times a day.

  • Only take over-the-counter or prescription medicines for pain, discomfort, or fever as directed by your caregiver.

SEEK IMMEDIATE MEDICAL CARE IF:

  • You have severe pain or a headache that is not relieved by medicine.

  • You have unusual sleepiness, confusion, or personality changes.

  • You vomit.

  • You have a persistent nosebleed.

  • You have double vision or blurred vision.

  • You have fluid drainage from your nose or ear.

  • You have difficulty walking or using your arms or legs.

  • You have bite problems.

  • You have pain with chewing.

  • You are concerned about facial defects.

MAKE SURE YOU:

  • Understand these instructions.

  • Will watch your condition.

  • Will get help right away if you are not doing well or get worse.