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Please Help! Retinoids

Ok, I'm a 20 year old guy who gets maybe 1 nodule a month. I normally ice like crazy (literrally 5 mins every hour), take advil, and prevent scarring (follow my advice people). The problem is that i can never prevent these pimples from arrising. From what i heard retinoids can prevent such acne. I am really freaked out though that I might get a crazy initial breakout far worse than my normal acne. What are the chances of this occurring?

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Are we talking topical or oral here?

I've only used topical retinoids and they don't really help my acne. They have improved the texture and coloring of my skin though.

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