If you happen to’ve ever struggled with cussed pimples or painful cystic pimples, likelihood is you’ve come throughout Accutane as a possible therapy choice. And when you’re in all probability nicely conscious that it might probably assist clear up persistent breakouts, the favored prescription treatment is rumored to have one other, surprising facet impact: “shrinking” your nostril.
Yep, you learn that accurately, and there are many pictures on social media that apparently help this alleged phenomenon. In a viral video with greater than 9 million views, for instance, one TikToker insists Accutane delivered a “nostril job in [her] sleep” and presents a teenage selfie as proof. (Although to be honest, she additionally admits she didn’t know the right way to use make-up to contour her face again then.)
However, maintain on: Regardless of tons of different comparable claims circulating on-line, these accounts are exaggerated at finest and, to place it frankly, form of BS, in accordance with the dermatologists we spoke with.
First, how does Accutane work?
Simply in case you don’t already know, Accutane (or isotretinoin) is an excellent potent oral retinoid meant to enhance extreme and chronic pimples. It’s often a last-resort choice for folk who haven’t responded to different much less aggressive therapies like antibiotics or prescription-strength topical options, equivalent to benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid.
The science behind what causes pimples is fairly sophisticated (therefore why it may be so rattling exhausting to handle). In essence, Accutane works by lowering extra sebum, a thick, oily substance naturally produced by your pores and skin’s sebaceous glands (discovered beneath your hair follicles). An excessive amount of sebum can clog your pores and result in breakouts, Ife Rodney, MD, board-certified dermatologist and founding father of Everlasting Dermatology in Maryland, tells SELF.
“Consequently, [Accutane is] an incredible and fairly widespread choice for treating persistent pimples and minimizing redness or irritation,” Dr. Rodney says. However like every prescription treatment, it comes with the chance of disagreeable (and for some, insupportable) unintended effects—which we’ll get into in a minute.
So can Accutane really shrink your nostril?
Briefly, no. Let’s backtrack to the drug’s skill to scale back sebum manufacturing. A complete lot of sebaceous glands are concentrated in your nostril. (Yep, we’re speaking about these teeny-tiny holes you’ve in all probability squeezed at.) Due to Accutane’s oil-minimizing impact, your pores and skin would possibly change into much less congested or greasy-feeling after taking it, Joshua Zeichner, MD, the director of beauty and scientific analysis at Mount Sinai Hospital’s Division of Dermatology in New York Metropolis, tells SELF.
“By reducing oil manufacturing, Accutane will shrink the glands themselves—together with those in your nostril. That’s why this space tends to point out an incredible degree of enchancment when taking the treatment,” Dr. Zeichner says. That, together with “a lower in swelling and irritation,” might consequence within the tip of your nostril trying ever-so-slightly smaller, he says.
This potential impact is rather more minimal than some TikTokers purport it to be although. One potential motive why a few of these before-and-after “Accutane nostril job” pics look so dramatic is that many individuals begin the treatment to handle hormonal pimples throughout their teen years—a time when your entire face (not simply your nostril) appears completely different than it should post-puberty. Whether or not you’re taking Accutane or not, your profile is certain to alter as your physique (together with your facial options) develops into maturity.