Love dimples? They are caused by an ‘anomaly’ in your genes

Ever wondered why are dimples formed on your cheeks or chin? An expert tells you all about the reasons behind it, and it will surprise you.
Alia Bhatt dimple
Alia Bhatt flaunts her dimple! Image courtesy: Instagram/Alia Bhatt (The image is for representation purpose only)
Geetika Sachdev Published: 21 Feb 2022, 11:44 am IST
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The very mention of dimples brings to mind our favourite movie stars like Shah Rukh Khan, Preity Zinta, Alia Bhatt or even Deepika Padukone. This facial feature has always been considered attractive, and a sign of beauty and youth. But do you know why are dimples formed? Wait till you find out.

Celebrity dermatologist Dr Jaishree Sharad tells HealthShots, “Dimples are caused by an anomaly in the normal muscle, whereby it bifurcates into two, causing a dimple in the skin. It is usually considered to be an autosomal dominant genetic trait.”

All about why are dimples formed

Also known as gelasin, dimples can be viewed as indentations anywhere on the skin. Although they are most often found on cheeks, they could occur anywhere on the body, including shoulders and back. A close second after the cheek dimple is a dimple on the chin, says Dr Sharad. Popularly called a cleft chin, they are considered quite attractive.

dimples and genes
Parents may not necessarily pass on dimples to children. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

Although it is considered a genetic anomaly, it is interesting to note that dimples are not necessarily passed down from their parents to children. As per University of Utah’s Genetic Science Learning Center, dimples are considered “highly heritable.” This means that in case parents have chin dimples, and all their children also do, it isn’t necessary that their future offspring will definitely have it. But in case of cleft chin, even if one parent has it, the chances of the children having it is much higher.

Specific causes for different types of dimples

When you have cheek dimples, remember that they are caused as a result of a muscular abnormality, while a chin dimple is caused by the malformation of the lower jaw. During fetal development, the lower jaw generally fuses together, but in case of a cleft chin, the jaw doesn’t fuse. But the good news is there’s nothing to worry about.

Both cheek dimples and cleft chin can exist together, and even separately. A report by professors at the Department of Anatomy at Abant Izzet Baysal University in Turkey went on to say that dimples are generally formed on both sides of a person’s face, but in rare cases, there can be a unilateral dimple on either the left or right side.

keep smiling
Dimples or no dimples, keep the smile on! Image courtesy: Shutterstock

Are there any other kinds of dimples?

Yes, some people also have two indentations on their lower back, which are called by dimples of Venus. These are caused by “a short ligament stretching between the posterior superior iliac spine and the skin,” according to a 2014 article in the International Journal of Dermatology.

So ladies, do not freak out at all! Even if it’s a genetic anomaly, so what? Celebrate your uniqueness!

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About the Author

An independent writer and journalist, Geetika loves sharp and fresh humour, just like her coffee! If not writing, you'll find her cafe-hopping and raiding the best book stores in town. ...Read More

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