Numbness is the loss of sensation in a part of your body. When your forehead feels numb, it can be accompanied with a “tingling” or a faint pain under your skin.
Forehead numbness can be a form of “paresthesia,” a tingling feeling that happens when too much pressure is placed on a nerve.
Almost everyone has experienced temporary paresthesia, which often goes away on its own and requires no treatment. Less often, forehead numbness can also indicate a serious health condition.
A numb forehead is most likely temporary and not a cause for concern. Illnesses, medication, mental health conditions, blocked circulation, and injuries are among the many reasons your forehead might feel numb.
Numbness that goes away and then comes back, or numbness that sets in and lasts for hours or even days, could be an indicator of one of the following health conditions:
- multiple sclerosis (MS)
- bell’s palsy
- peripheral neuropathy
Read on to learn more about these conditions and why they might cause a numb forehead.
Other early symptoms of MS include:
- blurred vision
- loss of short-term memory
Shingles blisters tend to follow the paths of your nerves, and sometimes occur on just one side of your body.
Bell’s palsy can be a symptom of another condition, like MS, or it can be a condition on its own. Bell’s palsy is a temporary paralysis of some of the nerves in your face.
Symptoms include muscle weakness and numbness in the affected area. Bell’s palsy can affect your forehead. It’s somewhat rare, affecting about 40,000 Americans each year.
Brain tumors can compress your cranial nerves and cause numbness on your forehead or face. Headache, dizziness, and changes in your vision are other possible symptoms of a brain tumor.
According to the American Cancer Society, your odds of developing a malignant brain tumor during your life are less than 1 percent, making it uncommon.
Anxiety can cause tingling anywhere in your body. When your body feels threatened, it directs blood to your major organs in a flight-or-flight response. Other symptoms of anxiety include:
- increased heart rate
- rapid breathing
Anxiety is the most common mental illness in the United States, affecting 18 percent of the population. Hyperventilation, which commonly happens with anxiety can also cause tingling of the face.
Peripheral neuropathy causes numbness in extremities, like your hands and feet, but can affect your forehead, too. This condition is caused by nerve damage and is usually related to another health condition, like diabetes or an autoimmune condition.
In addition to numbness, peripheral neuropathy can cause extreme sensitivity to touch, lack of coordination, or burning pain.
Paresthesia is a numbness or tingling caused by compressed nerves. Slumping forward in a chair or compressing your forehead against your hand can cause numbness.
While adjusting your position may resolve the numbness quickly, it could take a few minutes or even an hour for the full feeling to return to your forehead.
Most people have experienced this kind of temporary paresthesia, the feeling of “pins and needles” or a part of your skin “falling asleep.”
Chronic paresthesia is numbness that doesn’t go away, and it can be a sign that a nerve has become trapped or damaged. Numbness and pain are often the only symptoms of paresthesia.
At-home remedies for a numb forehead will vary according to the cause of your symptoms.
The first step to getting rid of forehead numbness could be to simply change your posture. If you’ve been sitting at a desk or reclining in the same position for some time before symptoms appear, stand up and get your blood moving throughout your body.
Practice deep breathing to oxygenate your blood and perform a simple stretch or two to make your body feel “warmed up.” This could be enough to loosen a compressed nerve or direct your blood flow back to your forehead.
If you have forehead numbness that happens frequently, consider changing your lifestyle as a method of treatment. You can incorporate these habits to improve blood flow:
- hold your head high and avoid placing strain on your spine and neck
- get more sleep
- incorporate more cardiovascular exercise, such as walking, into your routine
- avoid repetitive movements that may trigger numbness
Once you have a diagnosis, treatment for forehead numbness will focus on the underlying cause.
If your forehead gets numb when you have a panic attack due to anxiety, for example, a doctor may prescribe an anti-anxiety medication to address your symptoms.
Alternative treatments like acupuncture and massage therapy could improve your circulation so that numbness doesn’t happen as often.
Some neurological conditions, such as MS, are treated with immunosuppressants. Others, such as Bell’s palsy, are treated with steroid medication, or left to resolve on their own.
You should speak with a doctor if you have a reason to believe that your forehead numbness is a side effect of a medication you’re taking.
See a doctor right away if you’re experiencing head numbness along with:
- numbness in other parts of your body
- difficulty breathing
- blurry vision
- head injury
- weakness in your extremities
- disorientation or confusion
Forehead numbness that happens because of a compressed nerve or poor posture is usually nothing to be concerned about. It will most likely go away on its own without treatment.
Forehead numbness can also be caused by neurological conditions, tumors, and viral infections. Speak to your doctor if you have concerns about this symptom, or if you experience forehead numbness regularly.