Why Dimples Appear on the Cheeks and Can they be Made
They delight and touch, making the expression more friendly and young – this is how dimples on the cheeks are most often described. But in reality, this is nothing more than a congenital disability. We understand what its features are.
Cheek dimples are genetically transmitted cheek muscle abnormalities that result in small dimples when a person smiles or laughs. Perhaps this is one of the few defects that many dream of. We asked experts how dimples appear on the cheeks and whether they can be acquired or removed.
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What causes dimples on the cheeks
Cheek dimples are small indentations in the skin around the cheeks or behind the corners of the mouth. Usually, they are on both sides, less often on one. Dimples are most noticeable when smiling. Different people differ in shape and size, from small round to deep elongated.
Physiologically, the dimples on the cheeks result from a bifurcation of the large zygomatic muscle. It runs from the zygomatic bone’s outer surface to the mouth’s circular muscle. When smiling, this muscle lifts the corners of the mouth up, which is why it is sometimes called the laughter muscle.
In most people, this muscle is a single whole. Still, sometimes it is divided into upper and lower bundles in the region of the zygomatic cavity. When stressed, it draws the skin inward, and cavities appear on the cheeks.
It is known that the structure of the muscle changes due to a particular genetic mutation, even at the embryo development stage. It is not considered a pathology but an anatomical variation. According to various sources, up to a third of people have this trait. Cheek dimples are considered an autosomal dominant trait, i.e. are inherited. Thus, if one or two parents have dimples on their cheeks, the child is likely to have this feature.
Dimples on the cheeks accompany a person throughout life. They cannot appear with age and disappear since this is a muscle defect. But with ageing or due to other factors, the dimples become more or less pronounced when the skin structure and subcutaneous fat of the face change.
How to make dimples on the cheeks
Dimples on the cheeks are not considered a flaw in appearance and seem cute to many. It is believed that they make a person outwardly more attractive and younger. By the way, a similar attitude to the dimples was in the past. In many cultures, it is a symbol of good luck, beauty, a sign of innocence, and even a talisman. But since this is a congenital deformity, there is no chance that the dimples will appear independently. However, several ways can fix this.
Operation for dimples on the cheeks
Dimpleectomy is a surgical operation to form dimples on the cheeks. The procedure was developed in the 1960s and is still in demand.
The ideal place to create a dimple is the intersection point of two lines: perpendicular, down from the outer corner of the eye, and horizontal, from the corner of the mouth. If desired, the patient can independently choose a place for the dimple on the cheeks. However, the surgeon will determine the exact position in any case.
Dimpleectomy is considered a fairly simple operation without the risk of serious complications. However, potential side effects include:
- Possible bleeding;
- Development of infection;
- Damage to the facial nerve;
- The appearance of asymmetry;
- Insufficient expression of dimples.
- For the postoperative period to go smoothly, the patient may be prescribed a course of antibiotics and certain hygiene procedures.
Piercing is another way, along with surgery, which involves invasive intervention. But, unlike a dimple-ectomy, it is not for everyone. First, the piercing leaves a thorough puncture. Secondly, piercing is associated with wearing jewellery – earrings, rings and tunnels – which is not suitable for everyone and is sometimes even prohibited, for example, by corporate rules.
Cheek piercing is done with a needle. The puncture is not painful, but the healing period can take several weeks. At this time, a person may experience discomfort from the jewellery itself and the body’s reaction to the procedure. In particular, swelling and redness may occur. In addition, the body may begin to reject earrings and rings, which will provoke suppuration and infection at the puncture site.
Cosmetic procedures for dimples on the cheeks
In cosmetology, there is a procedure for creating dimples using lifting threads with notches. However, this method needs to be more anatomically justified. The thread, placed under the skin, does not attach to tissues and remains mobile – it is visualized on the skin. Still, it can migrate to another part of the face, which will cause unexpected consequences. During the installation of the lifting thread with notches, as in operation, the facial nerve can be affected – this can provoke numbness, asymmetry and paralysis.
Makeup for dimples
Drawing dimples with makeup is one of the social media trends. But this method applies to faces whose structure initially implies dimples when smiling. In all other cases, the reception is more suitable for shooting with a camera, such as taking a selfie. In real life, the drawn depressions will look exaggerated.
Before you start makeup, determine the place for the dimples, and then choose the right cosmetics. Here’s how to do it:
Smile broadly: At this point, wrinkles form on the cheeks. Mark points to the dimples just behind them, just above the corners of the lips. Ensure that the dimples on both cheeks are located symmetrically at the same height.
Decide on a tone: An eyebrow pencil, dry or cream corrector, or shadows are suitable for drawing dimples. Choose tones that lay down more naturally.
Apply makeup: To do this, you can add a shadow with a sculpting product of a cold shade on top of the already-finished makeup. Carefully blend the borders to get the most natural effect.
Cheek dimple exercises
For those not ready for radical solutions, there are many “home” ways to form dimples on the cheeks with the help of massage and special exercises. These life hacks will only have a short-term effect. Moreover, from the point of view of physiology and muscle structure, it is impossible to make a dimple using manual techniques.
For example, at the beginning of the 20th century, the American Isabella Gilbert patented a device that, as she claimed, creates dimples when worn on the cheeks. Two metal arms clung to the ears, and special pads at their ends pressed against the cheeks.
Gilbert claimed that with regular use, her device would help form dimples, but this was not the case. Pressure and massages will not help to achieve a long-term effect. But, if you need a quick result, for example, for a photo, the following is sometimes advised:
Cheek retraction: Do the exercise daily for ten minutes. From a scientific point of view, there is no evidence that this will help. However, for a while, the cheeks may appear more sunken.
- Use your index fingers or the back of a ballpoint pen or pencil.
- Make sure you press on the spot where the dimples usually appear.
- Apply pressure to this area for five minutes.
- Smile and repeat. You can do the exercise for twenty minutes a day.
There is no long-term effect, so keep your phone ready to take a selfie when the dimple is still visible.
How to get rid of dimples on the cheeks
Sometimes it also happens that a person wants to get rid of dimples on his cheeks. They may not like or bring aesthetic discomfort if only one dimple is on the face. There is no reverse dimple-ectomy operation, that is, removing dimples on the cheeks.
In this case, as a rule, the patient turns to a beautician who will offer to fill the dimples with special compounds. According to the expert, fillers based on hyaluronic acid are often used for this.