Why Do I Have A Dent In My Head? Vitamin A Toxicity, Bone Disorder, Or Possible Tumor? - The Heart And Brain (2023)

Slight bumps and ridges could be present from birth on your skull, known as congenital skull depression. A dent could result from a head injury you might have experienced in the past or recently. Or it could be a sign of potential underlying health issues such as Gorham’s disease, Paget’s disease of bone, skull base tumors, or vitamin A toxicity. Diagnosis and treatment depend on the various symptoms and the underlying issue behind the cause. Some might be easier to treat with medications other might require surgery.

Finding a dent in your head can be something to worry about, and your mind immediately starts thinking about the source of this dent. Not everyone has a perfectly rounded head shape, and such slight dents here and there are not something to fuss over.

But if you notice a new dent in your head that is quite prominent, it could have formed either due to bumping your head somewhere or an underlying health issue you’re unaware of.

Finding a dent that wasn’t there before isn’t something you should ignore but try to get it diagnosed to find its source and get it treated.

Let’s look at possible underlying health issues and the symptoms that appear apart from a possible dent.

Possible causes of a dent in the head

1. Head injury

It’s quite an apparent cause, and most people would think that they got a dent from when they injured their head. While most toddlers bump their heads, it usually doesn’t leave a dent.

Why Do I Have A Dent In My Head? Vitamin A Toxicity, Bone Disorder, Or Possible Tumor? - The Heart And Brain (1)

A noticeable dent can only appear when the head receives a blow or impact hard enough. It can even cause a skull fracture and usually occurs when one gets into an accident.

There could be different skull fractures, such as open, closed, depressed, or basal. A depressed fracture is likely to look like a dent. Caused due to a displacement of the bone toward the brain.

If a skull fracture due to an accident has caused a dent in your head, you will feel these symptoms:

  • Dizziness
  • Headaches
  • Impaired vision
  • Balance problems
  • Nausea
  • Confusion

If you were in an accident, you would be rushed to the hospital immediately. Only in rare cases, a person feels the impact later, and so if you recently got into an accident and all the symptoms are felt, you should seek immediate medical help.

2. Gorham’s disease

It’s a rare bone disorder characterized by bone loss, often associated with abnormal blood vessel growth. Bone loss can occur in just one bone or spread to soft tissue and adjacent bones.

It mainly affects the skull, collarbone, pelvis, ribs, spine, or jaw.

The symptoms include:

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  • Pain
  • Swelling
  • Increased risk of fracture
  • Bone pain
  • Decreased range of motion
  • Generalized weakness

It’s a very rare bone disease, so chances are you don’t have it, but to be on the safer side, consider focussing on the symptoms and if you are going through something similar, seek medical help.

3. Vitamin A toxicity

People taking vitamin A supplements are most likely to overdose on this vitamin.

Acute toxicity can cause rash, abdominal pain, increased intracranial pressure, and vomiting. Chronic toxicity can cause rash, increased intracranial pressure, sparse and coarse hair, dry and rough skin, and arthralgia.

Especially in adults, the risk of bone fracture increases as it causes softening of bone, including the skull, which can cause indentation to appear.

4. Paget’s disease of bone

There’s interference with your body’s normal recycling process in Paget’s disease.

Usually, our body produces new tissue, which gradually replaces old bone tissue. In Paget’s disease, this process interferes, which causes bones to become misshapen and fragile.

Usually, there are no significant symptoms that can indicate the presence of this disease other than bone pain, deformities, and fractures.

Bone pain can be felt because this disease causes your body to generate new bone faster than usual. This rapid remodeling of the bones is less organized and thus results in weaker bones.

That’s why you can see deformities such as indent in your head.

This disease mainly affects the pelvis, skull, spine, or legs, and if it affects your skull, you might also experience hearing loss or headaches.

See a doctor immediately if you experience:

  • Pain in your bone or joints
  • Tingling and weakness in an extremity
  • Bone deformities such as indent in head
  • Unexplained hearing loss, especially on one side

There’s no single reason why someone would suffer from this disease, but environmental and genetic factors could contribute. It could also be hereditary for some people.

5. Skull base tumors

Our skull base consists of several bones that form the bottom of the head and the bony ridge behind the eyes and nose.

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Many different kinds of tumors can grow in this area, and if left untreated, they can grow with time big enough to create pressure on the brain.

Symptoms can differ depending on the type of tumor, location, and size. But some common symptoms include:

  • Headaches
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Altered sense of smell
  • Blurred or double vision
  • Trouble swallowing
  • Hearing loss
  • Loss of balance
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Memory loss

Benign tumors such as fibrous dysplasia and ossifying fibroma may cause an indentation of the skull. The malignant tumors where one type is destructive bone cancer, can cause skull depressions and skull irregularities.

6. Brain surgery

Certain brain surgeries might also leave a small dent in the skull. Some surgeries require specific removals for a short period, but the dent can be resolved once the part is replaced.

Some surgeries might even leave a dent in your head due to a complication that might have arisen.

7. Congenital skull depression

These are apparent kinds of dents in the skull that are present from a person’s birth—usually developing due to the trauma to the head during delivery.

It’s uncommon in western countries where well-qualified doctors for the delivery and healthcare are good.

During the delivery, it could just be a depression in the bone, and in rare cases, it could be a brain injury.

Symptoms of brain injury include:

  • Trouble breathing
  • Feeding difficulties
  • Seizures

Treating head dent

The treatment for an unknown dent will depend on the underlying cause, and it can differ depending on what kind of health issue a person could potentially have.

Usually, it would help if you conveyed any symptoms you might have observed apart from the dent.

After going through your previous medical history and your family medical history, your doctor might suggest a few tests to see what could be the potential health issue causing this dent.

If you’re suffering a dent due to an overdose of vitamin A the easiest way to cure it is to stop taking supplements that could have caused an overdose in your body. Simply by stopping it, the symptoms will go away, and you can go back to being normal.

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For Gorham’s disease, the treatment options include surgical removal and reconstruction of the affected area and radiation therapy.

To treat Paget’s disease of bone, people suffering from it usually have elevated levels of alkaline phosphate in their blood, which a blood test can reveal. If the disease affects your skull, it needs to be treated with medications or surgery in rare cases.

For dents caused by skull base tumors, there are a variety of surgical approaches, and 90 percent of the cases can be treated with invasive surgeries.

Afterward, radiation therapy might be recommended.

A depressed skull fracture would need surgery. Removing bone fragments around the brain to decrease the risk of brain damage is the way to treat it. Then the patient receives antibiotics and pain relievers.


Is it normal to have dents in your head?

Not everyone’s head is perfect at birth, and some people might have slight ridges here and there, which could have resulted from congenital skull depression. They’re not to be worried about.

If you’re witnessing a new dent that is quite prominent, it could be a sign of worry, especially if there’re symptoms accompanying it. If you see any such changes, it’s right to seek immediate medical help.

Do dents in the head go away on their own?

A dent in your head might or might not go away so quickly, depending on its cause. Sometimes, there could be slight ridges in our heads that have been present since birth and might not disappear.

If the dents are caused by a health issue or a brain injury, they will be treated using medications or surgery. It depends on how serious the issue is.

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Why is my head lumpy?

Few head injuries can make your head lumpy by causing blood clots in different places.

It depends on how serious is the head injury, and typically they should dissolve on their own in a few days. If it doesn’t, and you witness other symptoms, seek medical help.

Do headphones cause head dents?

Headphones can’t cause dents on your head. Using it for a long time might create an impression of a dent, but it can go back to the original shape after a few minutes.

There’s nothing to worry about your headphones causing a permanent dent on your head.

To summarise

If you have recently discovered a dent in your head, it could be a dent since birth that you didn’t know about, but it could be new which could indicate towards potential underlying health issue.

It’s essential to take note of any other symptoms you might be experiencing to identify the issue when seeking help from the doctor. A faster diagnosis based on your report can help find a better treatment for you.

Ignoring a potential new dent could result in a difficult treatment later on and put you at risk. In most cases, a dent can be easily treated, but in other cases, surgery might be required depending on your current health status.

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Can brain tumors cause head dents? ›

The takeaway

While it's common for the shape of people's skulls to vary, a new dent or irregularity in your skull can occasionally indicate a serious health condition. Dents in your skull can be caused by trauma, cancer, bone diseases, and other conditions.

Can vitamin A toxicity cause dent in head? ›

Vitamin A toxicity: Too much Vitamin A can cause negative effects, typically including bone softness, including the skull, often leading to indentation.

Why do I have an indent in my skull? ›

After a traumatic head injury, such as a blow to the head, it's important to carefully check whether you or your child develops a dent in the skull. Besides trauma, other common causes of a dent in the skull are bone disease or cancer.

Why is my skull changing shape? ›

The structural changes in skull shape with age may be a physiological response to mechanical force (Crockett et al. 2011). Local pressure changes due to gray matter volume (GMV) loss and increased CSF may cause localized mechanical forces, contributing to bone remodeling.

Do brain tumors change skull shape? ›

Because meningiomas tend to grow inward, they commonly cause pressure on the brain or spinal cord. They can also grow outward causing the skull to thicken (hyperostosis). Figure 1.

What are the signs of a tumor in your head? ›

In general, the most common symptoms of a brain tumor may include:
  • Headaches.
  • Seizures or convulsions.
  • Difficulty thinking, speaking or finding words.
  • Personality or behavior changes.
  • Weakness, numbness or paralysis in one part or one side of the body.
  • Loss of balance, dizziness or unsteadiness.
  • Loss of hearing.
  • Vision changes.

What are 2 signs of vitamin A toxicity? ›

Symptoms and Signs of Vitamin A Toxicity

Drowsiness, irritability, abdominal pain, nausea, and vomiting are common. Sometimes the skin subsequently peels. Early symptoms of chronic toxicity are sparsely distributed, coarse hair; alopecia of the eyebrows; dry, rough skin; dry eyes; and cracked lips.

What are signs and symptoms of vitamin toxicity? ›

  • Confusion, mood changes.
  • Convulsions (seizures)
  • Fainting.
  • Fatigue.
  • Headache.
  • Mental changes.
  • Irritability.

What are symptoms of vitamin D toxicity? ›

The main consequence of vitamin D toxicity is a buildup of calcium in your blood (hypercalcemia), which can cause nausea and vomiting, weakness, and frequent urination. Vitamin D toxicity might progress to bone pain and kidney problems, such as the formation of calcium stones.

Are head dents permanent? ›

How Long Does it Take for a Headset Dent to Go Away? A few hours, at most. After that, headset dents go away on their own because flesh and skin are flexible and regain their original shape once the pressure has been relieved. Put simply, all you have to do is to remove the headset and take a break!

Can dehydration cause dent in skull? ›

Sunken fontanel: Everything you need to know. A sunken fontanel occurs when the soft spot on a baby's skull becomes more deep set than usual. One of the major causes is dehydration. The human skull is made up from several bones that are connected by tough fibrous tissue called sutures.

Is it normal to have a flat part of your skull? ›

A flat continent? Do not fear! It's likely normal skull flattening (the fancy medical term is positional plagiocephaly), it's totally normal, and only rarely do baby craniums need any “fixing.”

Does the shape of the head affect the brain? ›

It is believed by many researchers to have had no significant effect on cranial capacity and how the brain worked, the conclusion of a 1989 study of skulls in The American Journal of Physical Anthropology.

How do you fix abnormal head shape? ›

Although it is not possible to undertake major skull reshaping surgery in adults, the situation can often be improved by reshaping the outer layers of the skull (burring) or by inserting implants to improve skull shape. Small irregularities can be treated with fat transfer.

What is an abnormal skull shape? ›

Craniosynostosis is a congenital deformity of the infant skull that occurs when the fibrous joints between the bones of the skull (called cranial sutures) close prematurely. Due to this closure, the baby develops an abnormally shaped skull because the bones do not expand normally with the growth of the brain.

What are the red flags for brain tumour? ›

Symptoms of a brain tumour

seizures (fits) persistently feeling sick (nausea), being sick (vomiting) and drowsiness. mental or behavioural changes, such as memory problems or changes in personality. progressive weakness or paralysis on one side of the body.

What is the condition that mimics a brain tumor? ›

Pseudotumor cerebri literally means "false brain tumor." It is likely due to high pressure within the skull caused by the buildup or poor absorption of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF). The disorder is most common in females between the ages of 20 and 50.

What is Turcot syndrome? ›

Turcot syndrome is a rare genetic disorder. It causes small growths (polyps) in your intestines and increases your risk of brain or spinal cord tumors. Turcot syndrome also increases your risk of colorectal cancer. Some experts classify Turcot syndrome as a type of familial adenomatous polyposis (FAP).

Can you feel if you have a tumor in your head? ›

Some tumors cause direct damage by invading brain tissue and some tumors cause pressure on the surrounding brain. You'll have noticeable symptoms when a growing tumor is putting pressure on your brain tissue. Headaches are a common symptom of a brain tumor.

What does a tumor feel like on skull? ›

Skull base tumor symptoms may include: Facial pain or numbness. Facial weakness or paralysis. Headache.

What does vitamin toxicity look like? ›

6 Symptoms may include kidney stones, nausea, recurrent vomiting, constipation, excessive thirst, excessive urination, confusion and weight loss. Taking high doses has also been linked to cancer risk, heart problems, and an increased risk of bone fractures.

Which vitamin toxicity is most serious? ›

Too much Vitamin A

It would be difficult to reach this level consuming food alone, but some multivitamin supplements contain high doses of vitamin A. Retinol is the form of vitamin A that causes the greatest concern for toxicity.

What is the most likely cause of vitamin toxicity? ›

High intake of fat-soluble or water-soluble vitamins can lead to accumulation of vitamins in body tissues and fluids that cause toxicity and hypervitaminosis.

Which two vitamins pose the greatest risk of toxicity? ›

Extra amounts of water-soluble vitamins are typically excreted. The fat-soluble vitamins A and D are the most likely to cause toxicity symptoms if you consume them in high amounts.

When can vitamin toxicity occur? ›

It can happen when an adult takes several hundred thousand international units (IUs) of vitamin A. Chronic vitamin A poisoning may occur over time in adults who regularly take more than 25,000 IU a day.

How do you get rid of vitamin D toxicity? ›

But how do you flush vitamin D out of your system – and can you even do that? Yes, by ensuring you consume plenty of water. This will encourage urination, allowing your body to shed the excess vitamin D and calcium more quickly. Prescription diuretics like furosemide can also be helpful.

Is vitamin D toxicity life threatening? ›

Background: Vitamin D toxicity, often considered rare, can be life-threatening and associated with substantial morbidity, if not identified promptly.

How long does it take to recover from vitamin D toxicity? ›

It took about 18 days for his calcium to return to expected levels ( 20 ). Vitamin D toxicity can cause symptoms like confusion, agitation, and unresponsiveness. This also appears to result from elevated calcium levels, which high doses of vitamin D can cause.

How do I stop my head from denting? ›

How To Prevent Headphone “Denting”
  1. Wear A Headband. ...
  2. Wear A Beanie. ...
  3. Add More Padding. ...
  4. Wear Your Headphones On The Back Of Your Head. ...
  5. Remove Your Headphones From Time To Time. ...
  6. Buying Another Pair of Headphones. ...
  7. Showering. ...
  8. Gently Rubbing Your Head.

Can alopecia cause dents in skull? ›

Some people may be born with "defects" or irregularities on the scalp. If you have alopecia areata and have had STEROID INJECTIONS, that can also cause depressions (inward dents).

Why do I have a vertical dent in my forehead near my hairline? ›

Vertical depressions in the forehead may be caused by the shape of the frontal bone, trauma, low body fat, or much rarer conditions such as linear scleroderma. Sometimes pressure from a large central vein in the forehead can result in a loss of fat over time due to coughing, laughter, sneezing or exercise.

Should I be concerned about a dent in my head? ›

If a person develops a new dent in their head, they should see a doctor as soon as possible. If an indentation develops after trauma to the head, immediate evaluation is necessary. Some head injuries, including skull fractures, can be life threatening.

What happens to your head when your dehydrated? ›

When you're dehydrated, your brain and other tissues in your body shrink (contract). As your brain shrinks, it pulls away from the skull, puts pressure on nerves and causes pain. Even mild dehydration can lead to a headache.

What is the vein dent in my forehead? ›

Answer: Frontal vein

The vertical midline vein on the forehead, or frontal vein, may bulge, may be flat and invisible or collapsed with a visible groove. If you see indentation of the collapsed vein look at it in horizontal position or when straining. It all depends on venous pressure.

What is Gorham's disease skull? ›

Summary. Gorham's disease is a rare bone disorder characterized by bone loss (osteolysis), often associated abnormal blood vessel growth (angiomatous proliferation). Bone loss can occur in just one bone, or spread to soft tissue and adjacent bones. Symtoms may include pain, swelling, and increased risk of fracture.

What is flattened head syndrome? ›

What Is Flat Head Syndrome? Flat head syndrome usually happens when a baby sleeps with the head turned to the same side during first months of life. This causes a flat spot, either on one side or the back of the head. Flat head syndrome is also called positional plagiocephaly (pu-ZI-shu-nul play-jee-oh-SEF-uh-lee).

What is a brachycephalic skull? ›

Brachycephaly is an infant skull deformity characterized by a shortened anteroposterior skull length and a widened biparietal diameter. This condition may be non-synostotic (positional) or synostotic (craniosynostosis).

What is mesocephalic head shape? ›

Adjective. (of a person or animal) Having a head that is not particularly short or long from front to back, relative to its width from left to right.

Is it normal to have ridges on your head? ›

"It's more common in men and usually completely harmless," adds Dr. Shah. Roughly 1 in 100,000 men have cutis verticis gyrata according to review in Eplasty. CVG has a reported male-to-female ratio of 5:1, according to DermNet, which may be related to some women having longer hair to camouflage the condition.

Why are some heads shaped weird? ›

The major forces that misshape the head include: External pressure, either applied to the skull during the birthing process or resulting from uterine constraint in cases of multiple births (molding). Gravitational forces applied to the skull during early infancy (deformational or positional plagiocephaly).

Why do I have dent in my head? ›

Dents in your skull can be caused by trauma, cancer, bone diseases, and other conditions. If you notice a change in your skull shape, you should make an appointment with your doctor. Take note of any other symptoms, like headaches, memory loss, and vision difficulties, that could be connected to a dent in your skull.

What are the 4 head abnormalities? ›

This nonprofit organization addresses the medical, financial, psychosocial, emotional and educational concerns related to head shape abnormalities, including craniosynostosis, Apert syndrome, Crouzon syndrome, Pfeiffer syndrome and Saethre-Chotzen syndrome.

What causes skull deformation? ›

When a baby spends a lot of time in one position, it can cause the shape of their head to change. This is called a positional skull deformity. For about 20% of babies, a positional skull deformity occurs when they are in the womb or in the birth canal. More often, it happens in the first 4 to 12 weeks of life.

Why is the shape of my skull changing? ›

The structural changes in skull shape with age may be a physiological response to mechanical force (Crockett et al. 2011). Local pressure changes due to gray matter volume (GMV) loss and increased CSF may cause localized mechanical forces, contributing to bone remodeling.

Do brain tumors cause bumps on your head? ›

While very rare, a bump on the skull can be a tumor.

Do brain tumors cause lumps on the skull? ›

Typically not. Lumps on the head may be a sign of something else such as a head injury or other conditions. Those include a noncancerous cyst, an inflamed hair follicle, or a noncancerous skin tumor.

Are head dents temporary? ›

The indentation you receive from wearing headphones for prolonged periods is only temporary and occurs in the hair and outer skin where the headphones were resting, not the person's skull.

What does a brain tumour feel like on your scalp? ›

Every patient's pain experience is unique, but headaches associated with brain tumors tend to be constant and are worse at night or in the early morning. They are often described as dull, "pressure-type" headaches, though some patients also experience sharp or "stabbing" pain.

What is a lipoma on the head? ›

A lipoma is a fatty tumor located just below the skin. It isn't cancer and is usually harmless. A lipoma is a slow-growing, fatty lump that's most often situated between your skin and the underlying muscle layer. A lipoma, which feels doughy and usually isn't tender, moves readily with slight finger pressure.

Can you feel a tumour in your head? ›

Common symptoms of brain tumours include headaches, feeling or being sick and seizures (fits). These symptoms and the others listed below are often caused by other medical conditions. But if you have any of them, it's important to see your doctor.

Can stress cause brain tumors? ›

Chronic stress can activate the hypothalamic-pituitary adrenal axis and the sympathetic nervous system, cause the release of endocrine hormones and promote the occurrence and development of tumors.

Can wearing a headset cause a dent in your head? ›

In Conclusion, excess use of headphones can dent your head by creasing the skin or hair but not have permanent damage to the skull. You can prevent it by loosening the headphones, wearing a beanie on the head, or switching to earbuds once in a way and still enjoying your favorite pastime.

How do you reverse dents in your head? ›

Wet hair or have a hot shower

If you have headphone hair, a few water splashes are all you need to sort out the crease or dents. But if you have a crease on your scalp, a hot shower may help to expand the skin, returning it to its original shape.


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