It's not just skin conditions which can lead to people becoming so embarrassed that they change jobs, withdraw from social contact or suffer mentally and emotionally.
Experts say people can experience stigma over problems with continence, body odour or halitosis, sexual health, visible feet or dental problems, gynecomastia and a whole host of other conditions which affect the way people see and feel about themselves.
Melbourne GP Ronald McCoy, senior education strategy adviser for the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners, says that while skin conditions such as acne, warts and excessive sweating are probably the most common "embarrassing problem" GPs see, there are other equally sensitive conditions which people struggle to talk about.
Often, people worry their problem is too trivial to bother their busy doctors with, they feel too embarrassed to raise it, or they think it's something they just have to put up with.
"If it's causing you a problem you shouldn't put up with it, and that goes for any embarrassing problem," Dr McCoy said. "So often we hear 'I've had this for so long, I don't know why I didn't do something about it a long time ago.'
"Your doctor will have seen it all before, and most of these things are treatable. If it's causing you distress, then it's a problem worth dealing with. That's what your doctor is for."
Richard Choong, WA president of the Australian Medical Association, agreed.
"There are loads of conditions that we see and a lot of lumps and bumps that people try to hide or are too embarrassed to reveal," he said. "Unfortunately that just gives those conditions an opportunity to get worse rather than to get better and can make treatment far more difficult.
"We encourage everyone to speak to their GPs about lumps and bumps that bother them. There's nothing too trivial when it is a concern of the patient. If it's really worrying and embarrassing you, don't be afraid to go to your GP and let them have a look at it and help you through it, either by addressing the problem or helping you manage the condition."
Psychologist Kim Maserow, who has specialised in body image and body issues, says that in cases where people have become so self-conscious or anxious about a condition or facet of their body that it affects their lifestyle and life choices, psychological therapy may be beneficial.
She says people may be suffering either because of experiences of others judging them or because of their own exaggerated perceptions about the problem and how others see it.
"These problems can be quite debilitating," Ms Maserow said. "Mind-reading what someone else must be thinking, worrying they might be making someone else feel very uncomfortable, or fearing an embarrassing moment are probably some of the worst things about it - that someone might find out or in public someone would notice it. People can become quite inhibited in their lifestyle. Their career and other choices are sometimes governed by the problem."If that person was someone in my practice, I would help them develop confidence in other areas as well so that they don't become that problem."
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