Eczema - how to proceed now?

Discussion in 'DoDMERB' started by CHS11111, Feb 19, 2013.

  1. CHS11111

    CHS11111 Member

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    I am not sure what to do. DS has had bouts of what we believe is atopic dermatitis/eczema on his wrists/lower arms off & on for years. He has not been treated for it since before he was 12, it is not severe, but it flares up from time to time. He is a Junior in HS and has wanted nothing else except a career as an officer in the military for as long as we can remember. He is very well qualified as far as grades and extra-cirricular activities and is looking to apply to pretty much everything: USNA, USAFA, USMMA, and USCGA as well as USNROTC & USAFROTC, & MC college programs. My question is, how do we proceed with the skin issue? Is it better to be treated or not treated for it? How do you go about finding a local specialist (dermotologist) that is familiar with the DoDMERB? It is hard to know how to proceed and what is the best course of action. We don't want to do the 'wrong thing'. I have searched this forum and it is discouraging to see that eczema appears to be one of the conditions that is very hard to get a waiver for. We aren't giving up at all, just looking for some guidance. Thanks in advance for any advice you can give!
     
  2. vareporter

    vareporter Member

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    I wish I could give you great advice. Unfortunately, I can't. I just wanted to lend a word of support, as I was in your shoes not that long ago. My son had acne growing up that seemed to be persistent no matter what over-the-counter solutions we tried. Eventually we took him to the dermatologist, who promptly prescribed Acutane. After receiving the prescription, my son AND we parents started to have serious second thoughts about him taking it. Luckily, we did NOT even fill the prescription. We found out when he was enlisting in the Navy that had he taken it, he would not have been able to join. Period. End of story. No compromising on it. So I guess the moral of the story is just be very, very, very careful with what you do. Obviously, I am not advocating failing to treat something that needs to be treated. All I'm saying is just be very careful.
     
  3. mmb5

    mmb5 Member

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    I can't quite tell, but it seems from your post that your question is really "Do I do something that will show up in a medical record"? The DODMERB questionnaire looks for medical records, and also for "history of..." a condition. So first, your son will have to disclose a medical history, treated or untreated.
    But second, yes, get a very understanding dermatologist. True eczema is an autoimmune disease, with flareups that can lead to disabling infection. But the word "eczema" gets thrown around for a lot of other things that may or may not be disqualifying. I would bring the list of codes and make sure that the doctor understands the distinction and the importance of being accurate.
     
  4. CHS11111

    CHS11111 Member

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    Thanks for the replies! Yes, we realize that we will have to disclose everything. I guess my question is really, how do we prepare? I would love to find a great dermo that understands the DoDMERB - and wondering if there is any way to access a list of 'doctors who work w/DoDMERB'? We really don't know right now if it is just dry skin or eczema or something else altogether. Thanks again!
     
  5. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    I am not understanding why you are not going to a dermatologist now. Any way you play it, you need an answer for the exam.

    You will have to acknowledge this either way. Not getting a diagnosis probably means a remedial at best.That may require submitting doctor's paperwork. Paperwork you don't have on hand.

    If you take him, no meds prescribed, you can fight it. No paperwork and it is flaring up on his body at the time of the exam, you could be on a different path.

    Our DD has eczema. It flares up at unusual times, and the flare ups are not always the same. Behind her knees, in the crease of her elbows, between fingers. Never all at 1 time. Constant scratching is the only common aspect.

    I get why our DD would be DQ'd. The scratching without the meds would cause medical problems in places like the sandbox (Afghanistan, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, etc), it would also cause problems in areas like Hawaii, Florida, etc due to humidity. It would be a breeding ground for infection. Meds that they might not have on hand when they are deployed.

    Take him to a dermatologist if you can afford to. It is just best for him all around to know what this is.

    OBTW, dry skin and eczema are not the same. Flare ups for dry skin usually can be contained with lotion, eczema needs more than lotion. The skin looks different just alone from an appearance aspect. It feels different too.
     
  6. Jcc123

    Jcc123 Member

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    FYI the main reason why eczema is a disqualifier has to do with increased sensitivity to certain vaccines in individuals with eczema. As an example (even though they stopped routinely giving the smallpox vaccine in 1972) people with eczema can have severe, even fatal, reactions to live virus smallpox vaccines or even by coming into contact with recently vaccinated individuals. If you've ever gotten your pre-deployment shots, you can imagine what a potential
    nightmare this could cause.

    The Medical Standards of Fitness are not just a "good idea" - they serve to protect both the military and the individual in situations where the consequences can literally be matters of life and death.
     
  7. vareporter

    vareporter Member

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    Excellent point!
     

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