It’s a dilemma many parents face.
You notice pimples on your child’s face. You’re concerned and want to help, but they haven’t said anything to you about it. Do you mention it or leave it, for fear of making them self-conscious if it’s not bothering them?
“Bring it up sooner rather than later. The longer you leave it, the harder it gets,” says Professor Rodney Sinclair of Melbourne’s Sinclair Dermatology.
"The aspect of acne that's irreversible is scarring, so if they are getting scarring then it's automatically time to bring it up and arrange for them to be seen [by a GP].
"Other times when they need to be seen is if it's causing them distress."
Often it's a fear of embarrassment that prevents kids from talking about their skin problems, even if it is bothering them.
"When you talk to pharmacists, the number one item shoplifted is acne treatments. Kids get embarrassed but it really shouldn't be a source of embarrassment, it's pretty much a universal problem."
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Dr Sinclair says a casual approach is fine.
"It's perfectly reasonable to say 'I see you're getting a couple of pimples, do you want to go to the pharmacy and get something for it?'" he says.
"If nothing is working five or six weeks, then go to a doctor. If it's severe, a pharmacist will guide you as to when it's time to see a doctor."
Your GP will most likely be able to manage it, otherwise they will refer you to a dermatologist.