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Anatomical terminology
"Dimple" and "dimples" redirect here. For other uses, see Dimple (disambiguation).

A dimple (also known as a gelasin[1]) is a small natural indentation in the flesh on a part of the human body, most notably in the cheek or on the chin.[2]


A young man with prominent dimples.

Cheek dimples when present, show up when a person makes a facial expression. A chin dimple is a small line on your chin that stays on your chin without making any facial expressions. Dimples may appear and disappear over an extended period.[3] Professor McDonald, citing limited research, concludes dimples have been mislabeled as genetically inherited and as a dominant trait.[4][5] However, the University of Utah considers dimples an "irregular" dominant trait that is probably controlled mostly by one gene but is influenced by other genes.[6]


Dimples are a facial muscle deformity.[7] Dimples may be caused by variations in the structure of the facial muscle known as zygomaticus major. Specifically, the presence of a double or bifid zygomaticus major muscle may explain the formation of cheek dimples.[4] This bifid variation of the muscle originates as a single structure from the zygomatic bone. As it travels anteriorly, it then divides with a superior bundle that inserts in the typical position above the corner of the mouth. An inferior bundle inserts below the corner of the mouth.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Garg, Anu. "A.Word.A.Day". Wordsmith. Retrieved 2013-08-12. 
  2. ^ "Dimple - definition of dimple by The Free Dictionary". TheFreeDictionary.com. 
  3. ^ Am J Med Genet. 1990 Jul;36(3):376. Cheek dimples.
  4. ^ a b Pessa, JE; Zadoo, VP; Garza, PA; Adrian Jr, EK; Dewitt, AI; Garza, JR (1998). "Double or bifid zygomaticus major muscle: anatomy, incidence, and clinical correlation". Clinical Anatomy 11 (5): 310–3. doi:10.1002/(SICI)1098-2353(1998)11:5<310::AID-CA3>3.0.CO;2-T. PMID 9725574. 
  5. ^ McDonald, J.H. "Myths of Human Genetics". Sparky House Publishing. Retrieved 10 January 2015. 
  6. ^ Utah. "Observable Human Characteristics". Retrieved 26 January 2015. 
  7. ^ "Dimple Creation – Cute as a button, who pays for a deformity?". 

External links[edit]