Back dimples, or dimples of Venus, can be a genetic trait. A single sacral dimple can occur with some medical conditions affecting the spinal cord.
They’re created by a short ligament that attaches your superior iliac spine — the outside edge the iliac bone — and your skin.
These back dimples are also called dimples of Venus. This is an informal name, but it’s generally accepted by the medical community.
The name comes from Venus, the Roman goddess of beauty, as back dimples are often associated with beauty in women.
Back dimples are more common in people born female.
You can’t make them appear through exercise, since there’s no muscle in the area to tone. However, losing weight can cause back dimples to become more prominent.
Dimples in general are thought to be genetic, but there’s no concrete evidence for this. There has been little research done on this topic, so scientists are not sure what genes may be linked to dimples.
However, what evidence there is suggests that dimples may be a dominant genetic trait.
Back dimples and sacral dimples have some similarities, but there are also several important differences.
People with back dimples have a dimple on each side of their lower back, while people with a sacral dimple usually just have one dimple. It’s above the crease in the buttocks.
Both types of dimples are usually present at birth.
Both types of dimples are also usually harmless. But while back dimples are purely cosmetic, a sacral dimple is sometimes associated with certain medical conditions, including:
- Spina bifida occulta, which is a very mild form of spina bifida. In spina bifida occulta, the spine doesn’t close completely, but the spinal cord still stays within the spinal canal. It usually doesn’t cause any symptoms.
- Tethered cord syndrome, which is when tissue attaches the spinal cord to the spinal canal. This keeps the spinal cord from hanging freely and limits the cord’s movements. Tethered cord syndrome can cause leg weakness and numbness, as well as bladder or bowel incontinence.
The risk of having one of these spinal problems increases if one of the following is present near a sacral dimple at birth:
Treatment is usually not necessary for spina bifida occulta or tethered cord syndrome. However, if a baby is born with a sacral dimple and other risk factors, the healthcare provider will likely do an MRI or ultrasound to see if there are any spinal cord issues.
Many myths about back dimples center around their benefit to your sex life.
For example, some people say that women who have back dimples can orgasm more easily because they’re a sign of good circulation in the pelvic region.
Some even claim that people — especially women — can orgasm just from having a partner push on the dimples.
However, there’s no research that suggests these claims are true. Back dimples are caused by ligaments that attach bone to skin. They have nothing to do with blood circulation in the area.
One claim that’s supported by some evidence is that men find dimples of Venus attractive in women.
This may be an evolutionary preference linked to pregnancy-related benefits, such as pelvic stability and ability to bear weight.
Back dimples — indentations on your lower back — are a fairly common cosmetic feature.
They’re caused by short ligaments connecting your pelvis to your skin, but they have no medical implications. Not only are they harmless, but they can even be considered a sign of beauty, especially in women!