Both of these types of dimples appear at birth, but that’s where their similarities end.
A sacral dimple (sacrococcygeal or coccygeal dimple) is an indentation just above the groove between your buttocks. Back dimples are the set of dimples that are on your lower back. Back dimples are the result of ligaments, tissues that connect your skin to your pelvis.
If you had back dimples, you would have one on each side of your spine. In contrast, there would be only one sacral dimple.
What Does It Mean to Have a Sacral Dimple?
Most sacral dimples are harmless. But sometimes, certain types of sacral dimples can be a sign of serious conditions.
A sacral dimple can be accompanied by:
- A skin tag
- Tuft of hair
- Discolored skin
If you have a child with a sacral dimple and these other symptoms, talk to their doctor. The doctor may want to check them for a possible spine or spinal cord issue. These include:
- Tethered cord syndrome. This disorder happens when there’s tissue attached to the spinal cord that limits its ability to move. If your child has this condition, they may feel numbness in their legs and bladder. If the problem isn’t fixed, they may also have bowel incontinence, which means they won’t be able to control their bowel movements.
- Spina bifida. Your baby may have a mild form of this condition, which is called spina bifida occulta. It means that their spine doesn’t entirely enclose their spinal cord, but the cord stays inside the spinal canal. Usually, there are no symptoms of spina bifida occulta.
A sacral dimple can be shallow or deep. If it’s deep, you should clean it often to lower the chance of infection.
What Does It Mean to Have Back Dimples?
Back dimples pose no problem. They have also been called “dimples of Venus,” because many people believe they can boost your fertility, beauty, and luck.
Throughout history, many cultures have praised back dimples for their beauty. For instance, in ancient Chinese calligraphic writings, back dimples were compared to pits of wine.
What Causes Sacral or Back Dimples?
Sacral and back dimples are congenital, which means you are born with them.
Sacral dimples show up in 1.8% to 7.2% of newborn babies. Doctors usually use ultrasound to find out if the dimple is a sign of a problem.
How Can I Get Back Dimples?
You can’t get dimples on your back if you weren’t born with them. Since there’s no muscle where the dimples would be, you can't "grow" them, even through exercise.
But if you have them and want to make them easier to see, you can do lumbar or core strength and stability exercises to make your lower back region leaner.
Here are some exercises to get you started. You may not only firm up your lower back region and show off those dimples, but also prevent low back pain and muscle strain . Warm up before you stretch, and stop stretching right away if it hurts.
- Adductor stretch. Put your leg up on a table. Lean toward your leg. As you stretch, try to touch your hand to your foot. Hold for 20 to 30 seconds. Do this exercise three times.
- Glute stretch. Hold the outside of your ankle against the table and make sure your leg is at 90 degrees. Lean forward and try to make your back as straight as possible. Hold for at least 20 to 30 seconds. Do this exercise three times.
- Supine hip twist using a physioball. Lie on your back on the floor. Make sure your knees and hips are bent at 90 degrees over the exercise ball. Move your hips side to side, while making sure you don’t roll off the ball. Repeat at least 10 to 20 times per training session.