I was once like all of you. Keep in mind, this is my first post EVER on any forum and I am only posting this for the benefit of acne sufferers. I know that there are probably hundreds of posts claiming a solution to this problem, however, I believe I have found a solution (it was awknowledged by my dermatologist at one point as well).
Let me start out by saying I am now 23 years old. The start of my terrible acne experience started at around 19-20. Over the first 6 months of my breakouts, I had tried anything and everything I could possibly get my hands on without a prescription. Nothing worked. I went to see a dermo in my area and he gave me stronger benzoyl peroxide than I had already been using. Didn't work. Eventually we continued to antibiotics for about 6-8 months (tetracycline). Nothing. Did some research and found accutane. My current dermo didn't want to put me on it. By this time my acne became cystic. Like really bad. My face would projectile pimple juice. My face would bleed at night. I was extremely depressed and would refuse to leave the house except for college classes. I didn't leave the house without a hood on if it was under 80 degrees. This newest doctor told me I had very severe acne, said that I qualified for accutane, and 5 minutes later (after signing all the necessary forms and getting that accutane ID card) I had the prescription in hand. I did my due diligence in researching accutane and refused to take it, trying desperately to find another way. I couldn't, so a month later I filled my first prescription of 20mg/day for the first month. I had the usual side effects. My dosage was elevated 20mg every month. Fast forward to month 4 (80mg/day). I had plans for moving to California and consulted with my dermo.
Roughly 2 months preceding this meeting, I had spoken to a vegan friend, who had convinced me that the animal products I was eating was contributing drastically to my acne. So I thought, "why not give this a shot?". No animal products for about 2 months and I was crystal clear. No cysts, blackheads, whiteheads, or red marks. I really could not believe it. There were tears in my eyes while I was looking at the mirror. I could actually look at myself again. I couldn't be happier. I honestly cannot say that going vegan for awhile eliminated my acne or the accutane did. While doing this vegan diet, I was slowly weening myself off the accutane in the 3rd and 4th months. I started to cut my dosage by 1/3 (I had 20mg pills, so 40mg/day for month 3), and then by half (40mg/day) in month 4, and in the middle of month 4 I had cut it to 40mg every 2 days until this meeting with the dermo.
So back to the dermo. Our relationship was good. He could see that I was clearing up and how happy it made me. I told him what I was doing, and that I planned to stop taking accutane all together. He told me that he, himself, went on 3 cycles of accutane throughout the course of his life. "Every time it would come back 6 months later", he said. He then admitted that he was also a vegan and only would eat dairy on very rare occasion ("a little with my tarimisu" lol). His face was clear as well. I told him I was leaving and that I planned to stop taking the meds. He nodded in approval and gave me an extra prescription anyway in case I wanted to renew it. This was in April 2013.
I didn't remain totally vegan. I would have "cheat" meals which directly led to severe breakouts (usually chicken or some ice cream) . This could be from some food allergy but I really don't think it was given that I was eating junk food all of high school and didn't break out. It's still inconclusive if any specific food makes me break out, but it seems that any animal product will do the trick. Until today, I have a half month prescription of accutane untouched in my room back home. When I cheat, I see the results on my face soon after. I realize that everybody's body is different and what worked for me will not necessarily work for you. I post my story only because I have read so many of yours. I feel that I am obligated to share my solution with all of you. During the time of this post I have only one pimple (due to some ben and jerry's, do'h). I am not vegan, but 95% of my diet is plant based. I am attaching a few graphic pictures of my face from the 2nd month of my accutane days (before vegan diet). So please, if you're reading this, try to go without animal products for a few months. It is not easy in this day and age, but will be well worth it. Good Luck.