Sacral Dimple

My daughter has a small opening at her tailbone. After months of waiting and switching pediatricians, we were told that it is an open sweat gland and that I don’t have to worry about poop getting in there. She has had more rashes back there near her tailbone then before and she always has a little poop that gets in there. Is there anything I can do to prevent the poop getting in there or anything that can be done at all?

Sacral Dimple

Dr. Greene`s Answer:

A little hole at the base of the tailbone is called a sacral dimple or a sacral pit. Some of these are shallow and have a smooth end. Stool can collect in here. The treatment is to keep it clean, and to apply a protective barrier diaper ointment to try to keep stool out. Keeping stool out will be much easier when she is out of diapers.

Sacral dimples are common in normal, healthy children, but…

Some 1sacral pits continue deep inside, and may even connect to the spinal canal or even the colon. In the latter case, bits of stool can leak out through the opening. There can be a chronic rash. This type of dimple needs to be closed.

Some sacral dimples are outward signs of underlying problems. Most babies whose sacral dimples are within the crease between their buttocks are healthy.

Dimples that are deep, large, above the crease, or associated with an overlying birth mark or patch of hair should be looked at radiographically to be sure how and where they end. An MRI can give a conclusive answer. An ultrasound is easier and less expensive — and in babies it can often settle the question.

Footnote References:
1 Pediatric Clinics of North AmericaVolume 47;Number 4;August 2000Copyright © 2000 W. B. Saunders Company CUTANEOUS SIGNS OF NEURAL TUBE DYSRAPHISM]

Dr. Alan Greene

Dr. Greene is the founder of DrGreene.com (cited by the AMA as “the pioneer physician Web site”), a practicing pediatrician, father of four, & author of Raising Baby Green & Feeding Baby Green. He appears frequently in the media including such venues as the The New York Times, the TODAY Show, Good Morning America, & the Dr. Oz Show.

  1. Joanna

    Hi, I am 45 and I too have a small hole just above my tailbone. All my life I called it my air hole as some times (but not very often) I feel air escape from it, other times it itches like crazy because fluid seeps through it and causes it to itch. I have looked up Spina Bifida to see if that might be it, and I do have a few of the signs, like a learning disability, and major back pain if I been over to far or to often. could all of this be connected. But on the other hand I am not allergic to latex gloves. But I do trip over air at times, and cannot walk a straight line.

    Just a wee bit confused.

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  2. Dev

    I am fifty years old, i thought that this sacral dimple is common and never bothered about. Very recently I noticed my son doesn’t have one and wanted to google it. Now I come across sacral dimple or pilonidal dimple are common up to 10% of kids. Mine is not probably visible when I stand straight and I never had problem with this abnormality. If it is not bothering or pain, then just keep it clean like any other body parts.

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  3. SAL

    I have a 15 year old with two dimples and a 4 year old with one, we haven’t had any issues.

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  4. Patricia Gojdics

    I’m 73 yrs. old and I have bleeding in the area of my sacral dimple. I also have Crohn’ Disease. Should I worry?

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    • Patricia,

      It would be wise to get this checked out.

      Best,
      @MsGreene

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  5. Corinne

    Hello Dr. Greene,
    I saw from a thread above that you noted children can be asymptomatic until their teen years. Our almost 3 year old has a dimple just above crease but an MRI two days after he was born showed no signs of tethered cord; however, I’m getting concerned for a few reasons: 1) he has chronic constipation and I recently saw some threads there could be a connection; 2) he is very strong and has always been a crazy monkey but lately, he seemingly trips on absolutely nothing – even when just walking – and falls flat on his face and he is appearing to be more clumsy to the point his preschool is concerned about his coordination; 3) I touched his tailbone last night and he jumped in pain and said he was really sore. Could we be seeing some sort of symptoms caused by issues from the dimple? Should we head back to his neurologist or just take him to his ped (have an appointment scheduled). We still don’t see a base but they said from the MRI it appeared close. Thanks so much for your thoughts.

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  6. Worried

    Hi Dr. Green,
    I’m a teen so I know that I’m not exactly in your range of experience but I have a problem that I was hoping you could help me with. For the past two weeks I have been experiencing pain when I sit or lie down. I assumed this was due to a bruised tailbone and checked for bruising above my anus. I discovered what I believe to be a sacral dimple as it looks like what you described. I have not had any problems with my tailbone prior to this. Should I be worried? Should I consult a doctor?
    Thanks,
    A worried teenager

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  7. Filiz

    Hey I have just been told today that my daughter might have spina difida with the big dimple she has on her coccytail I have to wait to get a second opinion but am stressed about it I hate having to wait. To me I don’t think it looks that bad cz I never even notice it.

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  8. lydia

    Hello Dr. I hv a 2months baby with a sacral dimple. It seems to be closing but other days the baby is jumpy as if there’s something tickling him or painful on the but pls help.

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  9. syed bashir Ahmad

    Hello.. I am bashir from Pakistan. My two months old son has sacral cleft in the buttock crease close to anus hole deep enough that bottom can’t be seen.I am very disturb please tell me what I do and what is the bad effect of this.

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    • Kashif

      Hi Mr Bashir,

      Sacral dimples could be a normal finding or they could be a sign of “Tethered cord syndrome” or “Spina bifida”. The best option is to consult with a Pediatrician or Neurosurgeon, who can order an MRI imaging, which finally conclude the answer. We should not delay the diagnosis but it is also a fact that most of the time the children are asymptomatic until the teen age or adulthood. If diagnosed early then it can be treated with surgery.

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  10. kamal

    Hello, I am Kamal from india. My son has sacral dimple between the buttocks — 1 -2 mm hole which base can’t be seen. He also has a right club foot. The doctor told us to do an MRI and another doctor said it’s normal and will be closed by time, just don’t stretch it much and clean it properly. Now we are treating his clubfoot, which is complex type right foot. Can you please tell me, is this a serious problem and what should we do?

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  11. Jamie

    Dr Green, I noticed my son had a sacral dimple at 6 months. Children’s hospital looked at it and said there was nothing to worry about as long as there was no leakage coming from it and we would have to wait till about 2 when he started going to the bathroom to see if there were any underlying problems. He is now 10 1/2 months and I noticed yesterday he has 2 little black hairs growing from the dimple its self. He is very mobile, walking already, crawling everywhere. Is this normal? The hair growing from it?

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