Arterial Blood Supply




The face contains two main arterial blood supplies. One arising from the external carotid artery system and one arising from the internal carotid artery system.


The external carotid artery gives rise to the facial artery which crosses the mandible, entering the face at the junction between the posterior one third and the anterior two thirds of the body of the mandible. This also corresponds to the anterior border of the masseter muscle and this can be palpated at this point as well as being identified by a facial artery notch that runs inferiorly along the edge of the mandible. This artery runs underneath the SMAS layer and traverses superiorly and medially towards the corner of the lip before giving rise to an inferior labial and superior labial artery, and then continuing in the deep nasal labial fat as the nasolabial artery. This continues along the side of the nose, as the angular artery, and gives rise to an alar branch to supply the skin over the ala of the nose and a lateral nasal branch to supply the skin of the lateral nose.

A further branch of the carotid artery is its terminal branch, the superficial temporal artery which divides into two main branches and supplies the skin of the temporal and forehead area.

The second main supply to the face arises from the internal carotid artery which gives rise via its various branches to the supraorbital and supratrochlear artery.

This picture shows the arteries in red and veins in blue