fbpx

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

By ·
Why People are Claiming This Acne Drug Gave Them a ‘Free Nose Job’ featured image
Getty Images / Image Used for Illustrative Purposes Only

In a string of recent videos, social media user after user has co-opted a sound on TikTok that states the use of powerful acne drug isotretinoin, or Accutane, resulted in a “free nose job.” Currently there are about 40 videos of people sharing before and after photos of their noses pre- and post-acne treatment with noses that appeared to have changed. 

So why is Accutane making people think their nose 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.’” 

@prizzilla

#stitch with @m0ldaviteking_ It shrank so much, I knew I had more than just a skin glow up. #greenscreen #nosejob #accutane #accutaneresults

♬ original sound – Prizzilla

“This is not new news,” adds 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 comes to the drug’s ability to transform someone’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 does not target or treat 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.” 

@unclefernando

#stitch with @m0ldaviteking_ I kinda see it ?!

♬ original sound – Fern

Dr. Marotta adds that the term “free nose job” is rather misleading and users of the drug should not expect to see rhinoplasty results. “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.  

Find a Doctor

Find a NewBeauty "Top Beauty Doctor" Near you

Give the Gift of Luxury

NewBeauty uses cookies for various reasons, including to analyze and improve its content and advertising. Please review our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use for more about how we use this data. By continuing to use this site, you agree to these policies.