Common Facial Injuries and Complications

You're not just another pretty face. Your face is complex and has lots of little muscles that need lots of little blood vessels. Cuts and scrapes to the face bleed quite a bit, even when they're relatively minor. However, bleeding from certain areas may point to much more dangerous conditions.


Facial Cuts

Girl with cuts on her face

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Cuts on the face can bleed much more than their size suggest. Your face is rich with blood vessels that flow near the surface of the skin. There are several reasons for that blood flow, including temperature control and keeping your nose and earlobes warm so they don't freeze in icy weather.

Cutting open facial tissue with all those blood vessels leads to overactive bleeding. It can be hard to staunch the flow of blood--just ask anyone who's cut themselves shaving. To stop the bleeding, direct pressure is the only option. The face is naturally elevated above the heart and the only place to put a tourniquet would be around the neck (do not do that!).

Once bleeding stops, it's important to dress the cut correctly to avoid scars.


Knocked Out Tooth

mouth injury with missing teeth
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With the exception of hockey or rugby players, missing teeth are typically not considered a badge of honor. The good news is that you might be able to do something about it. If you keep a knocked out tooth, there is a possibility that it can be re-implanted if you move fast and get medical attention.

Rinse it off and put it back in place. Hold it in and take it to the ER. If you can't put it back in, drop the tooth in milk and be sure to take it with you to the hospital.



Close-Up Of Boy With Bleeding Nose
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Know what the most common cause of a bloody nose is? Picking it.

It's called digital trauma.

Not all bloody noses come from trauma at all. High blood pressure, drug use and other causes can lead to nosebleeds.

While bleeding from the nose doesn't seem too serious, it can sometimes lead to shock or even death if left untreated. There's a lot of blood flowing through your schnoz. Direct pressure is the only way to stop a nose bleed. Despite a persistent belief and even some medical street cred to back it up, we wouldn't suggest using bacon as a cure for bloody nose.

One of the biggest myths of first aid is to lean back with a nosebleed. Leaning back leads to swallowing the blood, and that can lead to vomiting.


Eye Injuries

black eye
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Whether it's a pencil stuck in the eyeball or a big black shiner, eye injuries can have permanent consequences and are some of the most difficult injuries to manage.

Black eyes are probably the most common, but not all black eyes come from force to the eye socket. Bruising around the eye can also come from blood oozing out of other areas in the head. Two black eyes (sometimes called racoon eyes) can be from a fracture at the base of the skull, especially when accompanied by bleeding from, or bruising behind, the ears (see the next slide).


Bleeding From the Ears

Rugby player bleeding from the ear

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Bleeding from the ears can be as simple as a cut or as serious as a brain injury.

Like two black eyes or bruising behind the ear, blood or clear fluid draining from the ear (and/or from the nose at the same time) can be an indicator of a skull fracture.

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