Active substance: Isotretinoin
Most Accutane patients I have seen at Spring Street do not report muscle or joint pain during their course.
If they do, it is usually mild and tolerable. But again, at 35—by now, 36—I was not a typical Accutane patient. With my newfound arthritis, I felt a good 50 years older. I am happy to report that all of the pain began to subside in the first weeks after Accutane.
When my mom came up to New York for a springtime visit, I looked—and felt, on an emotional level—better. My Accutane glow was borderline radioactive, but I was visibly happier and relatively clear.
But there was never a day when I was totally clear. Despite marked over all improvement, there were always two or three infected follicles in my beard—painful, inflamed, angry. Accutane was shutting down the oils on which my nemesis bacteria lived, but they were still holding on, surviving through the famine.
I frantically texted a barrage of selfies to Dr. She was reassuring, as always, urging me to stay the course.
In every photo of myself from that weekend, I look as red and inflamed as ever.
How could my skin revolt on my like this, after months of improvement? It was time to break up.