Pins and Needles in Face

“Pins and needles in face” or “Face falling asleep ” is the public laymen’s alternative for the medial term Parasthesia which is a feeling of tingling, burning or numbness sensation under skin of the face. This condition is a result of abnormal head position sensory nerve damage, trauma to the face or exposure to low temperatures as well as many other causes. So, this sensation may reflect a serious medical condition and need to be diagnosed by a professional medical staff.

Symptoms of Pins and Needles in Face:

Symptoms accompany pins and needles of the face may vary depending on the underlying disease. These Symptoms can involve any site of the body.

  • Altered sensations
  • Feeling of Numbness, burning, or tingling in the face and the body
  • Sharp pain that may be worse at night
  • Paralysis or Weakness of the facial and other body muscles
  • Inflammation indicators : Redness, Hotness  tenderness and swelling
  • Difficulty in coordinating  motor functions especially walking
  • Aggravated sensitivity to touch and pain sensations

Some symptoms can indicate life-threatening conditions such as:

  • Worst headache experienced in life.
  • Sudden tingling of face associated with numbness or weakness on one side may indicate cerebrovascular attack.
  • Change in degree and  of consciousness such as fainting or dizziness
  • Mental or sudden behavioral changes, such as hallucinations, delusions illusions, delirium, and lethargy.
  • Dysphasia , Dysarthria ,  or inability to speak

Causes of Pins and Needles in Face:

  • Exposure to cold temperatures
  • Sleeping  in a abnormal position
  • strain looking for long hours (e.g. TV or computer )
  • Exposure to toxic materials
  • Facial trauma or injury
  • Severe head injury
  • Stroke
  • Transient ischemic attack (temporary stroke-like symptoms that resolves within 24-48 hrs)
  • Diabetes
  • Damage or Pressure on the Trigeminal (5th)  nerve or one of its branches ,  also Called Trigeminal Neuropathy
  • Damage pressure on the facial (7th ) nerve or one of its branches , also called Bell’s Palsy
  • Migraine
  • Multiple sclerosis (An autoimmune disease that causes the body’s own defense  mechanisms  to attack and damage their own brain and spinal cord )
  • Shingles ( reactivation of the varicella-zoster virus, which stays in the nerves in latent phase years after chickenpox)
  • Vitamin B12 deficiency
  • Tumors of the brain coverings (called meningioma) or the nerve coverings (called scwhannoma)

Most Common Cause

The most common cause of short-standing pin and needles in face is abnormal head position for long hours (as in sleeping). This will cause the blood flow to the head to reduce give the tingling sensation. Long-standing Parasthesia, however, has more serious cause of which strokes being the most common.

How to stop the problem

The treatment for pins and needles in the face focuses in treating its underlying cause:

  1. Change your head position in a comfortable way
  2. Start moving around to increase blood flow
  3. Keep your face away from cold environments
  4. Avoid looking to fixed place for a long time
  5. If diabetic , Control  glucose levels in your blood
  6. Taking Vitamin B12 supplementations
  7. Treat other underlying diseases


To Summarize:

Pins and needles is a sensation on a specific part of the body, in this case the face, which causes the feeling of tingling or burning. This condition is commonly a result of abnormal head position during sleeping or staring.  The best advice to stop Parasthesia is to first change the position of your head and wait a few minutes. Make sure your head is comfortable position, and then start moving and walking around. This will increase the feeling of pins and needles for a while but will also help to get blood flow to your face. If after all suggested attempts you are still having the pain in your hands, there is a possibility it may be caused by one of the above listed causes and you should consider seeking medical attention.