Causes of Poor Circulation in the Face

Updated February 21, 2017

As blood circulates through the body, the red blood cells carry oxygen to energise the body's cells. Poor blood circulation can cause numbness and tingling sensations and can serve as warning signs of other, more serious diseases. An individual who feels numbness or tingling sensations in their face or extremities should consult with a physician to determine the cause and make a treatment plan.


Smokers have a higher risk of developing cardiovascular diseases that can impair the body's circulation. A cardiovascular disease causes an individual's blood vessels to become blocked when a fatty substance called plaque hardens and builds up, constricting the walls of the veins and arteries. This results in poor circulation when it interrupts the normal flow of blood through the blood vessels.

Environmental Factors

Environmental factors, such as overexposure to the sun, can inflame the skin on the face, compromising blood circulation. Many people try to reduce their exposure to the sun but individuals who feel that their facial skin shows signs of prematurely ageing should investigate whether the blood circulates properly and if not, take steps (exercising facial muscles, special creams or medical intervention) to increase blood circulation.


Researchers have noted facial blood flow disturbances among individuals suffering from migraine and cluster headaches. They have identified increases in facial blood flow during examinations of individuals in the midst of a cluster or migraine headache. These observances may, in the future, help researchers find a cure for people who suffer from migraine and cluster headache attacks.

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About the Author

Laurie Rappeport is a writer and blogger with more than 10 years of experience. Her areas of expertise are in education, child development, travel, pets, nutrition and health for Demand Studios and a major travel website. Rappeport holds a Master of Arts degree from Wayne State University.