Can Big Brow Bones Be Reduced Without Surgery?

Q: Dr. Eppley, Hello, I’m a 19 year old male. I recently cut my hair short and to my surprise, I have a very Neanderthal-esque brow ridge. It doesn’t stick out as far as some people from pictures I’ve seen, just a couple of millimeters probably. I was wondering if there was any alternatives to plastic surgery for this? Can small amounts of pressure be applied to the area over an amount of time to reduce the appearance, or anything similar? Obviously at such a young age I don’t want to resort to plastic surgery, but I dislike the appearance that my brow ridge gives my face. Thanks in advance.

A: The pneumatization or expansion of the frontal sinus cavity creates the prominence of the brow bones. This is not bone growth but bone stretching due to underlying air expansion. This is why the brow bones, the bigger they are, are very thin often only being a few millimeters in thickness. The development of a brow bone prominence or bossing is genetic and can not be modified once established by any external pressure or molding. If it is too aesthetically excessive, it requires surgery for brow bone reduction.

Dr. Barry Eppley

Indianapolis, Indiana