Beauty

Why People are Claiming This Acne Drug Gave Them a ‘Free Nose Job’

Why People are Claiming This Acne Drug Gave Them a ‘Free Nose Job’ featured image

In a string of current movies, social media person after person has co-opted a sound on TikTok that states using highly effective zits drug isotretinoin, or Accutane, resulted in a “free nose job.” Currently there are about 40 movies of individuals sharing earlier than and after pictures of their noses pre- and post-acne therapy with noses that appeared to have modified. 

So why is Accutane making individuals assume their nostril is shrinking? “First of all, it’s important to note that the use of Accutane outside of its prescribed use, usually for acne, is not recommended and highly dangerous,” says Smithtown, NY facial plastic surgeon James C. Marotta, MD. “Accutane works by inhibiting sebum production, or oil, in the skin and decreasing the sebaceous gland size. Theoretically, someone who has thickened skin, due to overgrowth of these glands in conditions such as acne or rhinophyma, could see some of the thickness of the skin improve with Accutane, but this is by no means a ‘nose-job.’” 

“This is not new news,” provides Spokane, WA dermatologist Wm. Philip Werschler, MD. “It’s old actually. It only works for people with sebaceous gland hyperplasia, or big, overgrown oil glands, and not just in nose, but also the chin and forehead.”

When it involves the drug’s skill to rework somebody’s look, Dr. Werschler notes that it’s been a Hollywood staple for years. “This started in the film industry several decades ago,” he says. “Studio dermatologists would put young actors on low dose Accutane for extended periods of time while filming to reduce oil production thus keeping makeup looking fresher longer.” 

However, Dr. Werschler explains that Accutane doesn’t goal or deal with bone or cartilage. “As you know, that is what defines the size and shape of the nasal infrastructure. However, it does target the oil gland-rich tissue of the nose and can, in cases of overgrowth, shrink the nose via shrinking the sebaceous tissue.” 

Dr. Marotta provides that the time period “free nose job” is reasonably deceptive and customers of the drug shouldn’t count on to see rhinoplasty outcomes. “A rhinoplasty or a nose job involves changing of the underlying bone and cartilage and occasionally thinning of the skin of the nasal tip surgically. Accutane will do nothing to change bone and cartilage which are the main targets in rhinoplasty,” says the surgeon.  

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