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'Dimple Makers' Are Trending on Social Media — A Plastic Surgeon Explains What You Need Know​

Board certified plastic surgeon Dr. Michael K. Obeng tells PEOPLE how the device works and whether it’s safe to use

By Vanessa Etienne

Published on October 20, 2023 05:45PM EDT

A new beauty trend is taking over social media, popular among people who wish they had natural dimples similar to stars like Gabrielle Union, Miranda Kerr, or Mario Lopez.

Some social media users are trying to achieve the look using a "dimple maker" device.

On TikTok, the hashtag #dimplemakers has over 61 million views and the devices have been selling out on Etsy and similar online shops.

Dr. Michael K. Obeng, a board certified plastic surgeon and a member of PEOPLE's Health Squad, spoke to PEOPLE about the social media trend and what to know about the devices.

What are dimple makers?

Dimple makers are small devices with two balls 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. The devices have been sold in several online shops for less than $20.

How do they work?

Dimple makers create an indent by compressing the skin and underlying fat in the cheek.

“This is basic clamping with cheeks,” Obeng explains. “And if you do it for a long time, it is causing ischemia, it is causing the area to be deprived of blood flow and eventually you get scar tissue. That's what’s causing the dimple.”






Are dimple makers safe?

“In my opinion, I think it is safe. You're not going to hurt anything. You can potentially hit a nerve but nobody will put something on the nerve where it hurts,” Obeng explains, comparing it to hitting the funny bone. “If you put it on a nerve, it's going to hurt right away. So you'll know to reposition the dimple maker.”

Obeng stresses that he doesn’t believe the devices can cause much damage.

“I don't have anything against it,” he adds. “And it's a fad, it's a trend. It might last, it might not.”

Are the results permanent?

“The results are not permanent and it also doesn't work for everybody,” Obeng says. “It might work for certain people, it might not work for certain people. It depends on how long you leave it on and how thick your cheeks are. If you have thick cheeks, it's not going to work.”

Obeng notes that because the results are temporary, he’s seen patients get dimple piercings instead — similar to Blac Chyna, who’s been vocal in the past about how she “encouraged” her dimples to appear with piercings.

“Just go get a piercing, keep it in for about three months. Once you take it out, the scar tissue created will cause the dimple and I think most people will retain it,” Obeng says, joking that it’s much cheaper than getting surgically created dimples with a procedure called dimpleplasty.

What is a dimpleplasty?

A dimpleplasty is a minimally invasive surgical procedure that can create natural-looking chin or cheek dimples that appear when a person smiles.

The $1,550 procedure is permanent and takes just about 30 minutes. Surgeons make an incision inside of the mouth in the cheek muscle, which is "then attached to the undersurface of the skin so that the dimples are seen upon animation, but not with the face is relaxed," Dr. Wright Jones, plastic surgeon and founder of Muse Plastic Surgery, previously told PEOPLE.