I just wanted to tell my story somewhere where it might have effect.
I have had acne since I was about 12, I am 27 now and I still have acne. I have combination dry skin, emphasis on dry, especially in the winter. I also have psorrisis in my scalp.
In my teen years especially, but continuing today, I've have nodular acne on my face, neck, and back. Occassionally now, and especially back then, these nodes would be quite large and numerous especially on my upper back. Every shirt I owned was stained with blood from nodules draining. I also have/had a few blackheads and whiteheads, here and there, but with the painful nodes on my mind - I had/have better things to worry about.
I did go to the dermatologist regularly as a teen. I have used all of the following products:
2) Benzoyl Peroxide
3) Retin A Micro (I think that's what it was)
4) Minoxyclin (oral)
5) Doxycyclin (oral)
8) Salicyclic Acid
Every product, with the exception of doxycyclin, had a negative or null effect on my acne. At some point in my teen years I literally compiled data on the size and number of nodules I had on my body and made charts based on time. I don't have the data anymore but the bottom line is that it was not just my perception that the drugs weren't working, but objective fact. And I gave these drugs plenty of time to work (3 years), and applied everything religiously and per the doctors orders
My new dermatologist called me a "sophisticated patient" lol. I found a new dermo as an adult to check to see if there are any new miracle drugs for my condition. Unfortunately no, but I did end up getting a bottle of doxy which I never finished.
Living with this for so long I can tell you a lot about my particular condition and going caveman.
I have utilized the "caveman" technique for something like 12 years straight. The benefits were obvious and immediate after less than a week. Although I never knew it was a technique that anyone else employed until today. Any topically applied product or cleanser makes my acne worse, shaving with anything closer than a beard trimmer makes my acne worse and I get infected ingrown hairs, period. So instead of this I just run around with a 5 o' clock shadow everyday of my life. Any deviations from the caveman routine - which is rare - with the exception of tee tree oil masks, have yielded a NEGATIVE result.
For those suffering with neck and back acne, If the caveman method works for your face I'd suggest it will work for your other problem areas, as well. Basically just don't wash or put anything on those areas but of course water is just fine. You don't want to be the combination of dirty smelling and afflicted with back acne. It's not a good looki. The problem with the caveman method on the back and shoulders stems in my case from wearing shirts. My backne will regress substantially when I'm shirtless, and I have been so bold to employ this technique on some extended vacations. It works, amazing! but not very practical for day to day life.
As someone who had moderately-severe acne as a teen, then moderately-light acne as an adult, and as someone who has lived the caveman lifestyle for 12 years, I hope that this information is found to be of use to someone, you are not necessarily crazy if after two months OTC or perscription topical acne treatment, recommended by a dermatologist, your acne has gotten worse and your skin is falling off and dry as a bone. If the suggestion is ever more severe and drying acne treatments even if it works (didn't in my case) your life will be miserable. It used to literally hurt when I would speak, the skin around my mouth so dry, for darn near two years. I used to bury my face in a sweater or whatnot during class to find some relief. Ridiculous looking back on it! I trusted my dermotologist WAY too much! I was seeing a dermatologist and doing what he said religiously. To fix my acne the doc just kept giving me harsher and harsher topical meds, until I just GAVE UP.
GIVING UP WORKED! Doing nothing was 1000X better than any of the skin care routines given to me by the doc.
Skip the dermatologist says in that scenario, find another, or go back and simply refuse to mess with topical treatments and washes. Reintroduce topicals one by one in two month intervals if you think it will help. I think for most folks the recommended acne treatment will work just fine, I seem to be a special case, to my immense frustration. If that is true for you then I think it's totally reasonable to try out the caveman method and get yourself back to square one. You might be immensely surprised at how your life improves!
Today I have very light facial acne and light to moderate acne on my back. This can be cured completely with doxyclin, but I prefer not to ingest an antibiotic daily and just live with the problem. As I mentioned before my backne substantially improves (to pretty much no acne) just by removing the shirt (true caveman!), unforunately, thats just not practical everyday.
(P.S. I did order some hempseed oil today. I'm skeptical because I've tried just about every pharmaceutical solution - but this natural solution does have some good research and even a hokey patent on it)
PPS - as a teen I had a very low self esteem due to my acne. Luckily I did have a gf so whatever, I had a good time nonetheless. As an adult I have a healthy (huge ??) ego and this is no longer a problem for me to talk about... openly. At the end of the day acne makes you a better person, I would be totally different if I never had it. I worked hard on myself thinking that I'd be very attractive one day when my acne was better. That day came to pass, hooray!