What Causes Temporal Bulging?

Q: Dr. Eppley, I have wide temporal areas between the sides of my eyes and my hairline that I want reduced. Is the temporalis muscle the reason why some people have bulged temples that are wider than their cheekbones, and some with troughed temples as wide as, or narrower than their cheekbones? Or has it also got something to do with the cranium itself? Is this feature genetic at all? My mother has troughed temples that are slightly narrower than her cheekbones, and my dad has bulged temples wider than his cheekbones. So have I carried my father’s genes for that particular feature? Thank you.

A: The shape of the temporal region, whether it is a convexity or a concavity, is largely controlled by the thickness of the temporalis muscle mass, not bone. Only very rarely, in cases of a temporal bone tumor, is a temporal convexity driven by the size of the bone. This feature appears to be completely genetically derived.

Dr. Barry Eppley