- Cherry-shaped device pinches inner and outer cheek together, creating indent
- Results are temporary and doctors warn the process could result in scarring
- READ MORE: TikTok ‘bone smashing’ trend encourages people to hit themselves
Medical experts are sounding the alarm over another strange TikTok trend, which sees people using a device to pinch their cheeks to achieve dimples.
The ‘dimple-maker’ is a cherry-shaped, tweezer-like device with two small balls on the end of wires. It is placed on both sides of the face where one ball will squeeze from the inside of the cheek and one will squeeze from the outside.
The goal is to pinch between the inner and outer cheeks to create a dent, in the hopes of achieving the cute, indented look of dimples that some 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 using dimple makers comes with a ‘risk of skin necrosis and subsequent scarring.’
Skin necrosis, or death of tissue, can occur from trauma, such as having your cheeks pinched for a prolonged period.
The ‘dimple-maker’ device is placed on either side of the face to pinch the inner and outer cheeks
Natural dimples are typically inherited and are caused by the irregular growth of a facial muscle during embryonic development.
The muscle is shortened in people with natural dimples, causing the skin to become tucked in.
Because dimples can emphasize a smile, they can make some people look more youthful or friendly.
According to Allure Plastic Surgery, roughly 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 fast.
A German TikToker with the username @xpreetyy has multiple videos documenting her ‘dimple journey’ using the dimple-maker device, which she also sells via a link on her profile.
Boston-based Dr Samuel Lin, an associate professor of surgery at Harvard Medical School, told DailyMail.com: ‘Any device that is compressing the skin in a way has a potential to cause scarring chronic pain and may not last.
‘Ultimately, there is no long-term data regarding how well this works. Any non-FDA approved medical device may have risks that have not been completely studied.’
Dimple-making tools have existed for far longer than the TikTok trend, however.
A woman named Isabelle Gilbert reportedly invented the device in 1936.
Health risks include a lump on the inside of the cheek, or scars on the face where damaged skin cells have died.
When continued pressure is put on a nerve, it may eventually die, which would cause irreversible harm.
For those born without, but desiring dimples, the indents can be achieved using a procedure called a dimpleplasty, where a surgeon will alter the muscle on the inside of the cheek to create a dimple.
The surgery is done under general anesthetic and the inside of the cheek is closed with dissolvable stitches.
However, this also has risks and complications include bleeding, facial nerve damage, infection and scarring.