Increasingly popular on the networks, a small device for pinching the cheeks promises to reveal pretty dimples on users. Purely aesthetic, the trend is not without risk, as Dr Caroline Pouget, dermatologist, confirms.
Have you always dreamed of having dimples? TikTok has once again found the solution, at the expense of health advice. A new trend on the networks proposes to “create” these dimples artificially using pliers which would strongly compress the cheek. Unfortunately, this little device could well mark users in a more serious way.
Pliers to create a hollow in the cheek
Dimples are an inherited trait caused by the separation of a facial muscle found in 20 to 30% of the population. As these dimples emphasize the smile, they are often envied by those who don’t have them. But for around 19 euros, it is possible today to buy a “dimple pliers” or “dimple marker” online, a small metal torture instrument, finished with two small beads at the end of the pliers, resembling to a pair of cherries. The TikTok videos remain quite explicit: to obtain the famous dimples, it would be enough to wear these pliers which are positioned on the inside and outside of the cheek for a few minutes, several hours a day, to change your morphology. Influencers overuse before/after photos revealing these new temporary dimples created from scratch.
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Risks of necrosis and scarring at stake
However, when it comes to health, the practice doesn’t really make you smile. Not only has no study or control approved this homemade system which is not a medical device, but the risks for the skin are real.
- For Dr. Samuel Lin, associate professor of surgery at Harvard Medical School, quoted by DailyMail.com, the risk is there: “Any device that compresses the skin in some way is likely to cause chronic scarring pain and may not last.” A lump may also appear;
- Pinching the cheek can also damage nerve connections: continuous pressure is exerted on a nerve, it can end up dying, which would lead to irreversible damage;
- Finally, apart from the risk of scarring, a risk of skin necrosis is also at stake among users, warns the English media. Skin necrosis, or tissue death, could occur following trauma, such as pinching the cheeks for a prolonged period of time.
“A very bad idea” for our dermatologist
Consulted on the subject, Dr Caroline Pouget, dermatologist and member of our committee of experts, remains perplexed by this new “beauty” trend: “First of all, I don’t see how this system can last over time.” she announces straight away. As for the consequences, our expert recognizes a risk, paradoxically aesthetic:
“It looks like a homemade piercing, and the practice could obviously lead to an unsightly scar on the face in the long term. I dare to hope that these young influencers would not insist in the event of an injury and therefore would not go as far as necrosis, that seems extreme to me. Nevertheless, it can leave an indelible mark yes.”
And remember that for those who want these dimples more than anything, an intervention exists, expensive of course, but which allows you to shorten this muscle, under the control of a doctor, and not a TikTok influencer.