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How to Get Rid of Facial Swelling (Edema) in 5 minutes in the morning

Doesn’t your face swell again in the next morning even you got rid of it?

Putting makeup on your swollen face won’t brighten you up either that you wouldn’t want to go outside. The methods on getting rid of the swelling in the morning in a single effort are explained here.

Facial swelling (edema) isn’t just only a facial problem, but it also acts as an SOS signal from your body. Letting your face swell only increases other problems, and that “swelling” will change into “sagging” before you knew it.

In order to prevent your face from swelling, the basic methods on solving the problem and what the swelling is all about are explained here.

1. First-aid treatment for morning facial swelling (edema)

When your face swells, it is important to improve the circulation of blood in your face, as well as making the blood accumulated in your face to circulate around your entire body. Using a cold or hot compress to improve the circulation of blood in your face and massaging the lymph nodes in your neck to encourage blood circulation are the effective ways to get rid of the swelling.

1-1. Cold and hot compress

The use of cold and hot compress is recommended especially for swollen parts surrounding your eyes. “Heating” and then “cooling” your face repetitively stimulate the cells, thus improving blood circulation. Do it while washing your face and applying skin care products.
How to do it
Prepare two towels.

1) Make a “cold” towel

Soak a towel in cold water. You may use tap water during winter, but the water is warm during summer, so you have to put ice cubes in a washing basin or in a durable plastic bag and then soak the towel in it.

2) Make a “hot” towel

Soak another towel in a washing basin filled with hot water (with a temperature of around 43 to 45 degrees Celsius), or heat a wet towel with its moisture slightly squeezed out in a microwave oven for around 40 seconds to 1 minute to create a steamy towel.

3) Apply the towels on your face one after another

Apply the cold towel on your face for 20 seconds and then followed by the hot towel for another 20 seconds (do it around 3 times). Soak the towels again in cold (or hot) water if any one of them doesn’t feel hot or cold.

1-2. Massaging lymph nodes in your neck

When your face gets swollen, massaging your neck rather than your face is a more effective way to get rid of the swelling. By loosening your neck’s muscles, you will be able to make blood accumulated in your face circulate around your whole body. You can also expect your face not to get swollen by doing this at night, particularly before bedtime.

1) Stretching your neck

First, let’s loosen your neck’s muscles.
Turn your neck around (about 5 turns).
Bend your neck towards the right direction and stretch it following the left arrow (the do the same towards the left direction).

2) Apply cream on neck

Massaging may damage your skin due to friction, so it is recommended to you apply cream on your neck. Any kind of facial cream will work as long as your neck is lubricated. If you’re not inclined to use one out of fear of wasting it, using an all-in-one gel is also recommended.

3) Stroking your neck’s lymph nodes

Using the pad of your finger, put a little bit of energy in caressing your neck, from the back of your ears to your collarbone. Do it at least around 10 times.

2. What is edema?

If your face isn’t swelling, you can effectively use the methods mentioned above when taking time to remove the swelling in the morning and others. In order for you to solve the root problem of the swelling, let’s begin by knowing what the swelling is all about.

The swelling, or known as “edema” in medical terms, is an abnormal accumulation of fluid in the interstitium, located beneath the skin and in the cavities of the body which cause severe pain. It is also known as oedema, dropsy, and hydropsy.

In other words, even if there are no abnormalities in the amount of fluids in your body no matter how huge it is, the flow of lymphatic fluid that is supposedly spread all over the body accumulates in a specific area, causing it to swell as a result.

The symptoms of edema appear on face in the morning and feet in the evening.

That is because it has something to do with gravity. The gravity makes the flow of the fluid go downward since you are standing or sitting during daytime. On the other hand, the fluids are easily accumulated in your feet in the evening, and since you lie down your body when sleeping, the liquid accumulated in your feet during daytime flows back to your face again.
In other words, having swollen legs won’t even solve the facial swelling no matter how you get rid of it at night. In the next morning, the liquid goes back to your face again, thus creating a never-ending problem unless you tackle out its root cause.

3.Causes of edema (swelling)

Since we now know the true nature of the swelling, the 5 actual causes behind the swelling are introduced below. Let’s find out if the activities you usually do match the following causes:

3-1. Over-intake of salt

If you take too much salt, the sodium density in your body increase, so signs of lessening it appear from your body such as becoming thirsty. That is how our body works in order to constantly regulate sodium density in our blood. Since we become thirsty as a sign of ridding excess salt, we drink water too much, so the extra fluids ooze out from the blood vessels and causing a certain part of our body to swell. This is how edema is created.

Instead of contemplating about relying on water when ridding excess salt, if your body cannot intake water it desires, it finds another way to do it: by not allowing the current fluids in your body to get flushed out. As a result, your blood circulation worsens, causing swelling in certain parts of your body.

3-2. Excessive consumption of alcohol

You frequently go to the toilet whenever you drink alcoholic drinks, right? As a result, your body loses fluids thus making you drink too much water out of thirst.

Similar to salt, if you don’t drink water, fluid begins accumulates in a local part of your body, leading to swelling.

Moreover, taking too much salt through snacks served to go together with alcohol is also another factor.

3-3. Lack of exercise and poor blood circulation due to chilly climate

Even if you intake fluids a lot, as long as they flow throughout your body and are discharged properly, it will not immediately lead to swelling. The swelling is seen as a sign of poor blood circulation.

If your body doesn’t move a lot due to lack of exercise or long hours of desk work at your office, a local part of your body becomes prone to swelling. People who are exposed to a chilly environment are also prone to edema because cold temperature further worsens blood circulation.

3-4. Premenstrual syndrome (PMS)

PMS has something to do with female hormones, and women are prone to edema even if they do nothing.

That is because PMS is a period when a woman’s body prepares itself for pregnancy, so it has to gather and reserve nutrients and energy whether a she is pregnant or not. Because of that, unnecessary fluids become difficult to be flushed out, so a woman becomes prone to constipation leading to swelling in some local parts of her body.

Everything goes back to normal once the monthly period is over. However, the swelling would worsen if no cautionary measures were taken during that period, so you have to keep causes 1 to 3 and their details in mind further.

3-5. Signs of illness

If left alone without treatment, a severe edema may lead to abnormalities (internal disease) in your heart, liver and kidneys. Make sure to have yourself checked up once by a physician. Particularly, you have to be really careful if swelling occurs in your eyelids. Not only in your face, but swelling in your feet may also lead to the same illness.

4. How to thoroughly get rid of the swelling

4-1. Lessen intake of salt

The recommended daily salt intake by the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare of Japan is less than 10g for male adults and less than 8g for female adults (less than 6g for those who have high blood pressure). In contrast, 11 to 12g of current average salt intake seems to be excessive. Calculating our daily salt intake is difficult, so let’s read the following tips in order to get ideas on how to lessen our salt intake.

- Season our food without using salt
Instead of soy sauce and salt that you always use when seasoning your food, let’s figure out how to make your food tasty by using alternatives such as yuzu, pepper, lemon, sudachi, shiso leaves, myoga ginger, vinegar and spices.

- Leave some broth in your noodle bowl
Particularly in ramen, the broth in noodle bowls contains a lot of salt. You should be sip the broth in moderate amounts and try to leave some behind.

- Never allow to be caught by products with “reduced-salt content”
There are available products with reduced-salt content such as miso and soy sauce in markets, but it doesn’t that you have to consume them in huge amounts as it only makes your effort to reduce salt intake useless. If products with reduced-salt contents aren’t your cup of tea, you don’t even have to push yourself to buying such products. You can reduce salt intake even you buy normal products while being cautious.

4-2. Intake potassium as much as possible

Potassium, when taken, together carries away sodium from our blood via urine, so this nutrient is the one that you should intake in huge amounts (*only for healthy persons). If we ate foods rich in salt and drank alcohol at a pub, let’s remind ourselves to intake potassium afterward. People in Japan are less likely to intake potassium in everyday, so it would be better for you to be careful.

Potassium-rich foods
Fruits: banana, hassaku orange, iyokan, peach, dried persimmon, apple, kiwi, watermelon, avocado
Seaweeds: hijiki, konbu
Vegetables: parsley, spinach, potato
Others: miso, natto, garlic, wheat germ

Effective ways on eating them
Boiling such foods takes out their nutrients, so eating them raw or making broth out of them are the effective ways of taking in potassium.

4-3. Avoid the use of pumps and girdles that tighten you

Let’s avoid using shoes and garments (particularly underwear) that tighten your body. There are a lot of problems among women about the shoes they are wearing in particular, so you have to be really careful. The cause of having a swollen face is the poor circulation of blood throughout your body. The swelling in your feet will then appear in your face next morning.

4-4. Stretching during breaks

Sitting for prolonged hours at your desk works increases the chance of swelling, so you have to move your feet a lot while doing your work. Introduced below are stretching exercises that you can use effectively when sitting while doing work and standing while making photocopies of documents. Doing it inside the train on your way home is also recommended.

■Stretching while sitting
Put both of your heels on the floor and raise your toes upward. Do it for around 30 times.

■Stretching while standing
Put both of your toes on the floor and raise your heels upward as high as you can. Do it for around 30 times while stretching your calves.


Perhaps you have learned that facial edema isn’t just only a facial problem, but it is also a problem in your body. Getting rid of the swelling on your face only will not solve the root cause of the problem. Before the “swelling” turns into “sagging”, let’s prevent it by changing your everyday dietary habits and taking exercise appropriately!
*If you feel a little bit strange, immediately consult a doctor because you might be ill.

This article is translation of Japanese article, and the information listed is as of November 25, 2015 (Japan Standard Time).
Please take note that this article is based on individual opinions or their impressions, and opinions may vary.