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Dent in Skull: What Are The Common Causes?

Having a dent in skull definitely isn’t normal. It can be caused by things ranging from vitamin A toxicity to Gorham’s disease. Let’s learn more.

One possible cause is Gorham’s disease. This is a disorder that causes one (or several) bones to turn into vascular tissue.

The end result is a misshapen skull. However, keep in mind that this is rare. It’s often referred to as the “Vanishing Bone Disease” or “Disappearing Bone Disease”.

As the bone disappears, it’s slowly replaced with lymphatic vessels. So the area where the bone used to be starts to become soft and misshapen.

Who Does Gorham’s Disease Affect?

Gorham’s disease (GSD) doesn’t just affect the head. It can also affect the spine, pelvis, collarbone, and ribs. Sometimes the jaw can also be affected.

Pain and swelling may develop in those areas as well. The severity of this disease will vary from person to person. And unfortunately, the exact cause is unknown.

The good news is that this is a relatively rare disease, so the chances are small that this is what’s causing your head indentation.

Vitamin A Toxicity: A Common Cause For Dents in Children

The official term for vitamin A toxicity is “Hypervitaminosis A”. This can cause bones to swell, leading to pain.

It can also cause skull bones to soften, leading to a dent. As its name implies, vitamin A toxicity happens when you consume too much vitamin A.

How much does a child need? According to the National Institutes of Health, here’s what they need based on their age (daily allowance):

  • 0-6 Months: 400 mcg
  • 7-12 Months: 500 mcg
  • 1-3 Years: 300 mcg
  • 4-8 Years: 400 mcg
  • 9-13 Years: 600 mcg
  • 14+ Years: 700-900 mcg

If your child isn’t getting the right amount of vitamin A, then this can cause the bones in their head to become softened, leading to an indentation.

Use this chart as a reference for how much vitamin A they should be getting on a daily basis.

Symptoms of Vitamin A Toxicity

Besides causing a head indentation, let’s take a look at some of the other symptoms of vitamin A toxicity:

  • Drowsiness
  • Abdominal Pain
  • Vomiting
  • Nausea
  • Increased Pressure on Brain

If your child is experiencing any of these additional symptoms, then you should definitely have them cut back on the amount of Vitamin A that they’re consuming.

This could very well be the reason why there is an indentation on their head.

Trauma to the Head

A dent in skull can be caused by trauma. For instance, if you’re struck by an object it can cause the skull’s bones to crack, resulting in an inward dent.

In the medical community, this is referred to as a “Depressed Skull Fracture”. Most people would know if they’ve had any trauma to the head though, so if you haven’t, then you can rule this out as a possibility.

Prolonged Pressure on Skull and Head Indentations

Another possibility is that you’ve experience a prolonged pressure on your skull.

Again, this is something that you would easily notice (unless it’s happening when you’re sleeping).

Be on the lookout for anything external that’s putting chronic pressure on your head.

Meningitis

Yet another possible cause for your head indentation is meningitis. This is when the sac that lines your brain becomes inflamed.

However, it’s usually associated with other symptoms like pain, so you would most likely know if you have this based on other causes.

Dent in Skull

Infections

In some cases, an infection can lead to the erosion of the bones in the skull. If you have an infection, you’ll need to get on antibiotics to prevent the further development of the symptoms.

Only your doctor will be able to tell you for sure whether you have an infection that’s causing your dent in skull.

Conclusion

In summary, some of the things that might cause a dent in skull include vitamin A toxicity, Gorham’s disease, trauma, and prolonged pressure.

In some cases, a person might have this symptom for years before ever realizing it.

If it’s not causing you any pain, and you don’t have any other symptoms, then it’s probably nothing serious. Consult your doctor if you’re worried.

9 Comments

  • i have a small dent which is the size of the end of my finger thats just appeared ive just come home from tailand do u think ive picked something up i cant see plus ive had 2 really bad headaches and been physically sick

  • Hi, I’m concerned and need some advice, but I will see my GP.
    I have a dent at the top of my head ( all I can discribe it as is near to where a new baby should have there dent), but just to the right.
    It’s the width of my middle finger and as long as from the he top of my middle finger to the middle joint.
    I have been diagnosed with Fibromyalgia and wondered if this also is part of it.
    Can anyone give me any advice please

    • Hi Heather, I have Fibromyalgia and also have noticed a dent toward the back of my head which is painful. It is around 1 to 2 inches long by an inch wide. My GP said it is normal just like what babies have but im not happy with that so i`m going to ask for a test to make sure.

  • I have a dent the size of a finger joint at the back of my skull and inch past the flat top part. I also think it new, but maybe we are just finding them for the first time? Naw, I would have known if it was there – if FEELS HUGE, it is 1/2″ deep fgs.

    Doctor says “suture lines, bla bla bla” but it is RARE to develop them as an adult unless we got bonked on the head. I don’t remember any skull-cracking moments lately…. lol of course I would – alien abduction is as good an answer as any so far lol

  • I’ve always had a dent in my head and thought it was normal till I told my friend about it it starts at the end of the crown of my head to the front of the crown about 2 fingers width,if I lean my head against the wall on the dent I get a headache and it makes brushing my hair difficult sometimes also when I touch it it feel uncomfortable.what do I do?

  • So I’m a young adult and I’ve noticed a dent in my skull about the circumference of the end of my index finger tip, so it isn’t that big. It has never caused any pain or anything but I have been dealing with a lot of medical issues including major fatigue, depression, anxiety, pseudosiezures, migraines, and Crohns disease. I’ve never mentioned it to my neurologist, but after researching it, I’m not sure that was the best way to go. Should I tell my neurologist? And if so, is there anything specific I should bring up? (They already know all my medical history)

  • I had a about a year ago I discovered maybe 1/2 inch deep and 4 fingers long. I was struggling with ecoli and Bladder infection. My urine kept coming up positive & negative. I tried to explain to the doctors that I had some sort of systemic infection. I have a bad immune system. My doc sent me to infectious disease and he said, I did not have systemic infection because I didn’t have a fever. He refused to run any tests. He said, if I had a systemic infection as long as I said, I had I would be dead. I told him I take a lot of aspirin and that may be why no fever is showing up. ( I later read that elderly people or people with bad immune systems do not have to have fevers with a systemic infection, figures) ! I told the doctor what I was experiencing as follows. My head was hurting and I felt like it was also, hurting an area on the inside corner if my eyebrow. Which if you lined it up with the dent in my head it would be in line with it following it down from there. I was also having problems with my ears clogging up. They are still clogged today. I told him when I was taking antibiotic they started to pop but, I couldn’t seem to get through the next dose when the would clog again. I told him the antibiotic wasn’t strong enough to clear infection up. Again, he disagreed and said, I have no infection. I am almost 60 years old. I should know by now when I have an infection. I still do btw.my infection started two years ago and has never left. It isn’t as bad as a year sgo though. Thank God, I put myself on prednisone because I was so sick and the doctors would not give it to me. Thank God again, that I did take it because it truly did help, I was hurting all over too. When I was a kid approx. 9 years old I fell and hit my head and had a hairline fracture. I tried to tell the doc I believe infection got in the crack and caused the dent. I also, have a fracture on my backside inside hip area . I told him I think infection got in there as well. He again, dissagreed with me. I told him I have arthritis and I know what it feels like when your joints hurt. This is not the same this is in the bone and excruciating pain. I am a strong person that can tolerate a lot of pain but, not this. I further told the doc that certain food I eat will totally burn my whole stomach I said, it is when the food had too much bacteria in it the worse it is, I am sure. Again, he disagreed. I said, this infection definitely got up in my head I have a dent, my ears are clogged and won’t pop, it attacked my tooth in no time at all and I lost a tooth because if it. I had absolutely no problems with that tooth either. My sinuses are bad my head hurts. He insisted I had different infections but, none of which were systemic. I told him this infection not only caused a dent in my head but, created peripheral neuropathy on my whole left side from the top of my head to my toes. Another thing happened for a couple of weeks off and on. The left side of my face was going numb especially, my lip was numb. To the point it felt like I had been given novacain. I told him I was now concerned with having a stroke or becoming paralyzed if this happens again. Again, he argued with me and said, he was going to do nothing because I show no signs of systemic infection. Nice talking to you doc, thanks for wasting my time and money ! That’s what I should have told him. I have gotten nowhere. Now, it is going on (3) years. Btw, I had a circle jerk of many different doctors and still got basically no where. I know through the years I have realized most of the doctors today DO NOT study medicine as they should. I have read things and shared with the docs things they are not aware of and some even disagree. Maybe it was embarrisment but, for whatever reason they were in denial. I often wonder if they ever investigated what I had shared with them. I am not sure if they just don’t care to study medicine or if it is just because they are lazy. It could even be because they think they know it all, who knows. They should all be studying medicine. A truly good doctor WILL study medicine.

    So, to end this long story, I fully believe Infection created this dent in my head it is still there but, has closed up quite a bit. Sorry this is so, long!

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