Puffy cheek? (Not steroids)

OK, here’s a weird one. I know it’s not an MS symptom, and I’m not (and haven’t been) on steroids, but I’m wondering if any of my other drugs have been known to cause a puffy face long term.

The list is as follows:


  • Baclofen
  • Quinine
  • Diazepam
  • Microgynon contraceptive

Variable as needed:

  • Codeine
  • Paracetamol
  • Ibuprofen

It’s been very subtle but I’ve been noticing my right cheek, under my eye looks puffy - and has been getting more so.

I started using a new moisturiser fairly recently, and wondered if I might actually be allergic to it, so stopped using it, but the puffiness has not reduced.

Caught sight of my reflection in the kettle the other day (I know, never flattering - like looking at yourself in the back of a spoon) - but got a shock, as it looked like someone had socked me in the face!

It doesn’t hurt whatsoever - either normally, or to the touch - just puffy and ever-so-slightly shiny.

This morning, I can actually see that it’s swollen - i.e. without looking in the mirror - my cheek is raised enough to be visible out of that eye! It doesn’t look red or sore - just puffy.

I’m seeing the MS nurse anyway next month abut an unrelated issue, so will mention it then, but am wondering if I ought to leave it that long.

I do not think it’s a tumour or cyst - there’s no sensation of a lump under the skin. Just this puffiness.

Am I being silly, and this is just something I should learn to expect around the menopause? I know I’m not young any more, but it’s getting harder and harder to look nice.


Hi Tina

It is probably nothing to be concerned about and I don’t want to start coming up with what I think.

It could be medication related.

I personally would be seeing my gp and querying if I need a blood test.

Good luck


If something along these lines lasts longer than few days you should get it checked out. You have ruled out the obvious go see you GP so he can rule out anything serious.

Jan x

Hi I don’t think it’s connected with the menopause as I’ve had loads of unusual symptoms with it, but I’ve not heard of this one.

Maybe it is an allergic reaction to something maybe you’ve eaten or been bitten by something, you could try taking an antihistamine to see if it makes a difference. If not I’d suggest a docs appointment too.


Tina, this has happened to me occasionally so I know what you’re describing. It just seems to go on its own after a few days, I’ve never done anything about it.


Thanks Val, that’s reassuring.

I’m not one for trotting off to the doctor’s unless I feel really ill I’m afraid. (Might have some bearing on why my neuro and I both now think I may have had MS for up to twenty years without really noticing/doing anything about it).

Apart from anything else, it’s such a kerfuffle when you don’t drive, and it takes a fortnight to get an appointment anyway. I’ll be almost due to see the nurse by then!

I wonder if I’ve got more spooked that I’ll admit by that silly and unhelpful txt from my friend, sharing that she dreamt “something awful” happened to me. It’s enough to make anyone a bit uneasy - especially someone who’s ill already.

I can’t say I’m experiencing anything else out of the ordinary (for MS, that is), so at the moment, it’s purely cosmetic - feel a bit like a chipmunk, but it isn’t sore. Cold compress and loads of slap for college on Wednesday, I guess.



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hi tina,

i agree about trying an antihistame, as it’s possible to become allergic to things you’ve used or taken for years without allergic reaction, and some allergens seem to cause a seeming slow build up. i’m very allergy prone, so i’m always ‘firefighting’ one reaction or another. if you do try an antihistamine, i’d recommend the type you take every 8 hours or so, the one-a-day variety tend to be far less effective, in my experience.

as for the oh-so-helpful ‘we’re all going to die’ type text from your ‘friend’… in what possible universe is it in any way constructive to do THAT? dear god! did she specify what kind of awful it was, or did she just leave you to be paranoid about EVERYTHING? tell her she’s a numpty…

wendy x

Morning Wendy,

The silly girl had dreamt I’d died, apparently. I don’t think it’s a terribly constructive thing to share with the subject under any circumstances (though considered a GOOD omen by the Chinese, apparently) - but especially if you know the person already has a serious illness. What are they supposed to think?

I don’t consider myself a particularly superstitious person, but it may have played on my mind at some level, so I’m looking for any little hint that something might be wrong (wronger than usual).

I massaged a dab of diclofenac (anti-inflammatory) gel into the affected area last night before bed. I know I shouldn’t really be doing that near the eye, but actually, it’s not really a conventional eye-bag, but lower, on the cheekbone. It does seem a bit milder this morning - or is that wishful thinking?

I may never find out what it is. I’ve never had this exact thing before, but I once spontaneously developed a mark like a love bite on my neck - which definitely wasn’t one! How embarrassing having to wear scarves and polo-necks in summer! Never found out what that was, and it disappeared after a few days with the application of moisturiser.

Have also had an on-off conjunctivitis-like condition in the other eye for years - no infection has ever been found, and neither GP nor hospital opthalmologist has ever got to the bottom of it. So it’s not unusual to wake up with that eye sticky and half-closed, and my face screwed up on that side to protect it. I’ve even developed an extra wrinkle in that place, because it was happening so often. So if it had happened on that side, I probably wouldn’t have thought anything of it, and just said: “Oh, it’s that damn thing again!”

But this is on the good side, where I’ve never previously had any problems.

I think it must be slightly less puffy this morning, as I can’t see it when I’m looking down (e.g. at the keyboard).

Yesterday, the whole time I was typing, I was conscious there was something in my field of vision - which was my hamster cheek! I can still see it…just. If I close one eye at a time, it becomes clear my left eye cannot see its own cheek (which is how things are meant to be), but the right one can. However, it’s a lot less intrusive than yesterday.

I think I’ll keep dabbing the diclofenac every few hours, and hopefully it will not be too prominent by the time I have to go to college tomorrow. I don’t want people asking: “Who hit you?”

Honestly, never a dull moment, is there?