- A cherry-shaped device joins the inner and outer cheek, creating a mark
- The results are temporary and doctors warn that the process could leave scars
- READ MORE: TikTok ‘breaking bones’ trend encourages people to hit themselves
Medical experts are sounding the alarm about another strange TikTok trend, in which people use a device to pinch their cheeks to achieve dimples.
The “dimple maker” is a cherry-shaped clamp-like device with two little balls on the ends of the wires. It is placed on both sides of the face where one ball will squeeze from the inside of the cheek and the other will squeeze from the outside.
The goal is to pinch between the inner and outer cheeks to create a dent, hoping to achieve the cute dimpled look that some people are lucky enough to be born with.
But the effects of the devices are temporary and could cause lasting damage to the face.
Dr. Ari Hoschander, a board-certified plastic surgeon based in New York, told DailyMail.com that wearing dimples carries a “risk of skin necrosis and subsequent scarring.”
Skin necrosis or tissue death can occur due to trauma, such as having your cheeks pinched for a long period of time.
The “dimple maker” device is placed on each side of the face to pinch the inner and outer cheeks.
Natural dimples are usually inherited and caused by the irregular growth of a facial muscle during embryonic development.
The muscle shortens in people with natural dimples, causing the skin to be folded.
Because dimples can emphasize a smile, they can make some people look younger or friendlier.
According to Allure Plastic Surgery, approximately a quarter of the world’s population has dimples.
The hashtag #dimplemakers has nearly 61 million views on TikTok, and dimple-making products sold on Etsy are selling out quickly.
A German TikToker with the username @xpreetyy has several videos documenting her “dimple journey” using the dimple device, which she also sells through a link on her profile.
Dr Samuel Lin, associate professor of surgery at Harvard Medical School, based in Boston, told DailyMail.com: ‘Any device that compresses the skin in any way has the potential to cause chronic scarring pain and may not span.
‘Ultimately, there is no long-term data on how this works. Any medical device not approved by the FDA may have risks that have not been fully studied.
However, dimple tools have been around for much longer than the TikTok trend.
A woman named Isabelle Gilbert reportedly invented the device in 1936.
Health risks include a lump on the inside of the cheek or scarring on the face where damaged skin cells have died.
When continuous pressure is placed on a nerve, it can eventually die, causing irreversible damage.
For those who were born without dimples but want them, indentations can be achieved through a procedure called dimpleplasty, where a surgeon will alter the muscle on the inside of the cheek to create a dimple.
The surgery is performed under general anesthesia and the inside of the cheek is closed with dissolvable stitches.
However, this also has risks and complications including bleeding, facial nerve damage, infection, and scarring.