If you suffer from acne, you know there are few things that can wreck a good day like a pimple can. Whether it’s a Rudolph-style cyst on your nose, or a fresh breakout across your forehead, it’s a true bummer. So, how do you get rid of stubborn acne? Well, it depends on a lot of factors, from age (adolescent acne is a whole different animal from adult acne) and the type of acne you’re dealing with — but luckily there are a lot of dermatologist-approved tips out there for achieving that elusive holy grail that is clear skin. So, whether you’re trying to clear things up in time for prom, or in time for that scary new job interview on Thursday — have no fear, there’s a treatment out there somewhere that’s got your back.

Sometimes it feels like nothing works, but in most cases it’s simply a matter of finding the right treatment — or, as the case may be, the right treatments plural — for your particular situation. Prescription medication Spironolactone, for example, works great for specific cases of adult cystic acne, according to XOVain, while over-the-counter treatments like hydrocortisone cream can shrink just about any zit in a pinch. All treatments have their pluses and minuses (some bigger than others), so let’s take a look at some of the best ways to get rid of stubborn acne — courtesy of three well-respected practicing dermatologists.