Dimples are the result of a deformity that makes facial muscles shorter than normal. The shorter muscles pull the skin when the person smiles, causing indentations in the skin known as dimples. As a person ages, dimples sometimes disappear as muscles naturally lengthen.
Dimples can be on a person's cheeks or chin. Scientists believe dimples may be inherited, and they are known as a simple dominant trait in genetics. Variations in the form of facial muscles known as zygomaticus major may cause dimples. The variation in the muscles stems from its position relative to the zygomatic bone and causes a dimple when the muscle divides in a particular manner.
The word "dimple" originated in the 1300s and can also apply to other indented areas in the human body. It can also refer to dents or marks in pieces of metal to indicate the location for drilling.
As of 2014, facial dimples are considered physically attractive, according to numerous websites that advise how to create the look of dimples with makeup, exercise, cheek piercing and surgery. Dermatologists or doctors can create dimples surgically by making small cuts inside cheeks. The procedure reportedly does not cause scarring. Celebrities known for their dimples as of 2014 include Vanessa Hudgens, Matthew McConaughey, Mario Lopez, Jennifer Garner and Kelly Ripa.