A sacral dimple is diagnosed with a physical exam, usually during a baby's first exam. If the sacral dimple is large or appears with a nearby tuft of hair, skin tag or lump, or certain types of skin discoloration, your health care provider may suggest imaging tests to check for spinal cord problems.

These tests may include:

  • Ultrasound. This noninvasive procedure uses sound waves to produce images of structures of the body.
  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). If more detail is needed, your health care provider may recommend an MRI, which uses radio waves and a strong magnetic field to create cross-sectional images of the body. This method requires medicine to prevent the child from moving during the scan. This is called sedation.

More Information


Treatment is unnecessary for a simple sacral dimple.

Preparing for your appointment

In general, your child will not need to see a health care provider for a sacral dimple. If you have questions about the sacral dimple, you can also bring these up at your child's routine office visits.

Some questions you might want to ask your child's health care provider include:

  • Does my child need any tests to be sure there's no other cause?
  • Does the area need any special cleaning or care?
  • Is any treatment necessary?
  • Is a sacral dimple ever associated with more-serious conditions?
Oct. 07, 2022
  1. Paller AS, et al. Cutaneous disorders of the newborn. In: Paller and Mancini — Hurwitz Clinical Pediatric Dermatology: A Textbook of Skin Disorders of Childhood and Adolescence. 6th ed. Elsevier; 2022. https://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed Aug. 30, 2022.
  2. Cohen BA. Neonatal dimpling. In: Pediatric Dermatology. 5th ed. Elsevier; 2022. https://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed Aug. 30, 2022.
  3. Sacral dimple — normal. Pediatric Patient Education. https://publications.aap.org/patiented. Accessed Aug. 31, 2022.
  4. Holcomb GW, et al., eds. Neurosurgical conditions. In: Holcomb and Ashcraft's Pediatric Surgery. 7th ed. Elsevier; 2020. https://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed Aug. 31, 2022.
  5. AskMayoExpert. Spina bifida. Mayo Clinic; 2021.
  6. Andreas A, et al., eds. Current status of paediatric imaging. In: Grainger & Allison's Diagnostic Radiology: A Textbook of Medical Imaging. 7th ed. Elsevier; 2021. https://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed Aug. 31, 2022.


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