I'm a first time poster, but have some experience with both accutane and Vitamin A. I, like you, researched accutane and Vitamin A acne treatments for my exteremely persistent nodular cystic acne. I'm 29 and got tired of people staring at my cysts. I decided to high dose on Vitamin A for 2 months a couple of years ago to see if it would work. Cheaper and less of a hassle with getting blood work and all that mess. Unfortunately, i saw no improvements, but had dry lips and dry skin like accutane but felt it was too risky to take for such a long time with no improvement I'm not saying it won't work eventually, but its just too risky for something that might not work. Look up Vitamin A toxicity.
I then broke down and went to see a dermatologist for the first time. He surprisingly reccomended accutane my first visit. I was surprised because all the previous doctors I saw never even mentioned accutane (only topicals and antibiotics). I found out about accutane on the internet. Anyway, I got put on accutane for 6 months. After 6 months on accutane, I still had some acne left, but was much better. It wasn't until a few weeks after I got off of accutane that my skin really cleared up and looked completely clear.
I was clear for about 1.5 years and unfortunately the acne came back, but not quite as bad. I just got back on accutane. I am sure Vitamin A is no where as effective as accutane and is much less safe. Even if it works somewhat, you will likely not go into long term remission anyway.
From my experience, I would just try to go see a dermatologist. Maybe try to get a reccomendation from someone on the board or a friend as some derms are quicker to prescribe accutane than others.
It should be noted however, that accutane is not cheap if you don't have a prescription plan. I think its probably close to $1,000 a month or so for four plus months. However, its like $10 bucks for generic with my prescription plan.
Hope this gives a little insight.