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by Abigail Van Buren

Mom Wants to Slow Down Daughter's Rush to Maturity

DEAR ABBY: Last year, my 32-year-old husband, "Tom," came down with a bad case of chicken pox. He never had it as a kid and couldn't be vaccinated because he is severely allergic to the vaccine.

The outbreak left Tom with pockmarks on his face, neck and back. He hasn't said much about it, but I know my husband. I can tell by the way he now styles his hair and wears his clothes that he's trying to hide the marks on his skin.

Tom is still very handsome, but he acts self-conscious and embarrassed about his appearance. Should I try to get him to talk about it -- yes or no? And if I can get him to open up, what should I suggest? Thanks, Abby. -- CONCERNED ABOUT HUBBY IN PENNSYLVANIA

DEAR CONCERNED: By all means talk to him. These days, many men avail themselves of cosmetic surgical procedures -- and not just in Hollywood.

Suggest that he consult a dermatologist about his options for improving the appearance of the scarring. In recent years, tremendous progress has been made in skin resurfacing. However, the procedures should be done ONLY by an experienced, board-certified physician.