Filter Glossary

Sacral dimple

  • Overview


    A sacral dimple refers to a natural indentation or pit in the skin located on the lower back, typically emerging at birth in certain infants. Often situated just above the crease between the buttocks, the majority of sacral dimples are innocuous and necessitate no medical intervention.

    However, a sacral dimple can serve as an indicator of a potentially serious spinal issue in a newborn if the dimple is sizeable or positioned near a tuft of hair, a skin tag, an abnormal lump, or an area of discoloration. Under such circumstances, your child’s healthcare provider may recommend an imaging examination. If a spinal anomaly is detected, the course of treatment will hinge on the root cause of the issue.

  • Symptoms


    A sacral dimple is a small indentation or pit in the skin of the lower back, typically found just above the crease between the buttocks.

  • When to see a doctor


    Abnormal symptoms may be a warning sign of potential dangerous diseases. Please contact our team of doctors immediately for detailed advice and update the most accurate and appropriate health care method.

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  • Causes


    The exact causes of a sacral dimple are not known. This congenital condition is present from birth.

  • Risk factors


    These risk factors include:

    1. Size and Appearance: Larger sacral dimples, especially those greater than 5 millimeters in diameter, may be associated with a higher risk of underlying spinal abnormalities. Additionally, if the dimple is located close to a tuft of hair, skin tag, lump, or has an unusual appearance, it may indicate the need for further evaluation.
    2. Location: The position of the sacral dimple can provide insights into potential risks. Dimples located very close to the crease between the buttocks or near the base of the spine may be more concerning, as they could be associated with underlying spinal cord or vertebral issues.
    3. Family History: A family history of neural tube defects, spinal abnormalities, or congenital conditions may increase the likelihood of a sacral dimple being associated with an underlying problem.
    4. Additional Symptoms: Other accompanying signs, such as weakness or sensory abnormalities in the lower extremities, bowel or bladder dysfunction, or developmental delays, could indicate an underlying spinal issue.
    5. Maternal Health and Medications: Maternal factors during pregnancy, such as certain medications or medical conditions like diabetes, can influence fetal development and potentially contribute to the presence of a sacral dimple.
    6. Genetic Factors: While the exact genetic mechanisms are not fully understood, some genetic factors may play a role in the development of sacral dimples and their potential association with underlying conditions.
  • Prevention


    Preventing the occurrence of a sacral dimple is not currently possible, as it is a congenital condition that is present at birth. However, there are steps you can take to ensure the health and well-being of your child if a sacral dimple is detected:

    1. Regular Pediatric Check-ups: Attend regular well-baby check-ups with your pediatrician. These appointments allow healthcare professionals to monitor your child’s growth and development, and any concerning signs or symptoms can be identified early.
    2. Early Detection and Evaluation: If a sacral dimple is present, ensure that your healthcare provider is aware of it. They will perform a thorough examination to determine whether further evaluation, such as imaging tests, is necessary.
    3. Imaging Studies: If your healthcare provider recommends imaging tests, such as an ultrasound or MRI, be sure to follow their advice. These tests can provide a clearer picture of your child’s spinal and neurological health.
    4. Genetic Counseling: If there is a family history of congenital conditions or neural tube defects, consider seeking genetic counseling. This can help you better understand any potential risks and make informed decisions about your child’s care.
    5. Monitor Developmental Milestones: Keep track of your child’s developmental milestones, including motor skills and sensory functions. If you notice any delays or abnormalities, discuss them with your healthcare provider.
    6. Healthy Pregnancy Habits: If you are planning to become pregnant or are already pregnant, maintaining a healthy lifestyle can contribute to your baby’s overall well-being. This includes receiving proper prenatal care, following a balanced diet, and avoiding harmful substances.
    7. Open Communication: Maintain open communication with your healthcare provider. Discuss any concerns you may have and seek guidance if you notice any unusual symptoms or signs.
  • *Please note that the information provided in the article is for reference purposes only. It is essential to consult a doctor before applying any of the suggestions mentioned.

Content Details

Medical info from Mayo Clinic, for reference only. Visit Hoan My for better advice.

Last updated on: 06/08/2023