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14th Mar 2024

Dimple makers: what are they and why are they dangerous?

Anna Martin


Dimples are adorable, just look at celebs like Miranda Kerr and Gabrielle Union – but have you heard of dimple makers?

While we all love them, they’re pretty rare with statistics indicating that just 20-30% of the population of the world are lucky enough to have them.

They are mostly hereditary and form when a facial muscle, called the zygomaticus major, splits in two, according to Medicine Net.

Lately, some people who really want dimples have found a way to get them in a non-surgical way, but it might not be a great idea.

What are dimple makers?

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Dimple makers are small devices with a ball at each end of a wire, similar to the shape of tweezers.

They are placed on either side of the mouth so that the balls pinch the inner and outer cheeks creating temporary dimples.

The product is readily available online and has a price range of anywhere between €1.25 and €17.95.

The inventor, E. Isabella Gilbert, from Rochester in New York, debuted the original tool in 1936, which promised to “make a fine set” of dimples when used, the Atlantic previously reported.

So to say they’ve been around for a hot second would be an understatement.

How do they work?

Credit: Getty

A dimple maker is a silver rod device with balls on the end that apply enough pressure to your cheek fat to make an indentation that mimics a dimple.

However, this indent is temporary and how long it lasts will vary from person to person.

It is essentially training tissue to move fluid from one spot to another in your cheek, creating the dimple on your face.

As mentioned before, results are temporary and they will largely depend on how tight the device clamps to your face and how often you use it.

Are they safe to use?

Credit: Getty

Though you may think they are safe because they don’t involve making a permanent change to your body through surgery, there are risks.

Dr. Jonathan Kaplan, a plastic surgeon with Pacific Heights Plastic Surgery in San Francisco, California, told USA Today that dimple-seekers should exercise caution.

If the device is worn too tight or for too long, it has the risk of blocking the blood flow to the compressed area on the cheek and can lead to the death of fat tissue otherwise known as necrosis.

It can also cause a hard lump on the inside of the cheek, or leave a scar where skin cells that were damaged in the process have died.

There is a rarer, yet still plausible risk of wearing dimple makers is nerve damage in the face, which could theoretically lead to paralysis in the upper and lower lip.

However, the chances of most of these happening is unlikely due to the fact wearing them long enough would cause considerable pain, making it likely you’d remove them before permanent damage is done.