Eczema (maybe?)

Discussion in 'DoDMERB' started by Klone, Aug 14, 2016.

  1. Klone

    Klone Member

    Dec 4, 2014
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    Hi all,

    I am an upcoming AS200. After a few hours of searching the internet regarding eczema and it being an automatic DQ I am confused as to what I should do next.

    My situation is that I was originally a scholarship cadet ( I had dropped the scholarship because I recieved a different one) and as such had to go through DODMERB. I passed through it with 2 waivers granted for contacts and a heart murmur, however I did not list that I had eczema because I did not know I had it (I'm still not sure if what I have is even eczema), my doctor that I went to as a kid simply said it was dermatitis and gave me some medications for it. However last summer my new doctor gave me a refill for it and I think he wrote a note that it was for eczema?

    I brought this concern up to both cadre/upper class men who told me "not to disqualify myself". I also brought up this concern to my dermatologist who said that eczema and dermatitis are often used interchangeably and he could re-diagnosis my skin condition as something other than eczema if it would later be an issue with the military. In addition, I was written prescriptions to treat this eczema/dermatitis but I have not yet filled it since I didn't want it to change my medical records.

    My question now is what should I do? I am not sure if I should update DODMERB on the eczema or just wait and see if they'll consider it disqualifying since the results are good up until this summer of FT. Would they notify me later since if it was in my medical history prior to the DODMERB testing wouldn't it have been listed as DQ then, so there's no need for me to mention it again? In regards to how skin is now it'll become itchy every now and then during nighttime, but I have had little to no issue with it during PT the past year. Thank you for your time and assistance.
  2. Pima

    Pima 5-Year Member

    Nov 28, 2007
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    If I am reading your post correctly. You need to report it because your medical condition has changed....maybe! You are not contracted, but you do have a DoDMERB on file.
    ~ I would think that the cadre is saying don't disqualify yourself because there are too many moving pieces right now.
    ~~ Have you taken your AFOQT yet? You have yet to meet the SFT board. They have no clue what % will get selected for SFT. My guess is that their goal is to right now get you selected for SFT. We'll deal with the DoDMERB aspect when you are selected. Remember, you are probably unique to them. non-scholarship, with a DoDMERB exam under their belt. Most scholarship cadets only get their exam once they have been awarded a scholarship. Non-scholarship will go for the DoDMERB as a 200.

    It is not just about the prescription, but the diagnosis too. However, before I would do that, I would get a 2nd opinion. Have you thought about going to an allergist? They could do a scratch test to see if you have allergies which is causing the eczema or the dermatitis. It might be as simple as an allergy.

    Eczema and dermatitis is interchangeable impo as a patient...NOT a doc. Eczema is very hard to diagnose. I am assuming that your doc was saying they could change it to atopic dermatitis. However, atopic could also be an issue too.
    ~ I am not a doc.! My DD has eczema. I have atopic dermatitis. We flare up at different times for different reasons, yet they have several identical causes. Allergies, stress, in contact with irritants (i.e. a soap), etc.. Thus, this is why it can be mis-diagnosed between the two. Or at least that is what my doc has told me.

    What my DD and I both have in common is that to clear it up we have to be on some form of steroid. I am right at this moment on betamethasone diproprionate cream. We need prescription level meds to clear it up, and it takes a week or 2 to get it done. Over the counter Gold Bond for eczema will not clear it up. However for both of us we do use a heavy lotion to try to prevent a flare up. She uses Gold Bond. I use Aquaphor. Both are expensive (@$10 a container). The reason why is they create a barrier to keep that moisture in our skin. Suave lotion is great for the cost aspect, but it has a lot of alcohol in it and that dries up your skin. Not a good thing for eczema or dermatitis sufferers to go cheap on lotion.

    Again, I am not a doc.
    I am just saying I get how it is interchangeable from the diagnosis aspect, just not sure that either is going to give you an edge. Yet, if you take it one step further and go to an allergist you maybe able to get more clarity. The more clarity you have the better you can defend yourself if you need a waiver.
    ~ IE. Dermatologist re-diagnoses it as atopic dermatitis (contact). Allergist says you are allergic to a specific chemical that is in your shampoo or soap, in turn as long as you don't use that soap, you are good to go with no expectation of any outbreaks nor medications.

    At the very least call your doc and ask if they think that if it is to your advantage to go to an allergist to see if that is the underlying cause for your condition. They can refer you to an allergist.

    OBTW, I would talk to the CoC about that DoDMERB exam from the SFT/contracting POC perspective. Yes, you need it for SFT, and yes, according to you it will be valid (2 yrs) for SFT, BUT when did you take it? When will you go back to school as an AS300?
    ~ Let's say you did 08/15/15, you go to Max 4... good to go from that aspect. However, school does not start back up until 08/18 that year, and contracting as a POC is 08/22. Your DoDMERB is now not valid since you fell out of that 2 yr. window.
    ~~ Will they now make you go for another exam as soon as you get back so you can contract? If so, expect not to contract or get that stipend until you go through the whole process again. As you know it could take months. I believe they will not back pay you that stipend.
    ~~~ If that is the case that you fall out of the DoDMERB between SFT and contracting as a POC can they work it now to get a new exam done before the 2 yr marker? If they can, and you know you need them to waive you again, you need to get it done in early spring, especially if now you need that 3rd waiver.

    Eczema can be controlled, but this is jmpo, get to an allergist now. People that have never experienced these conditions cannot begin to understand how you will scratch your skin until it bleeds. Once you get to that level, you are opening yourself up to an infection from the cracked skin, thus why they are putting you on steroids now...or at least that is my assumption...they gave you some steroid topical cream like betamethasone diproportianate cream or maybe predisone, crack the skin, get an infection and they may have to prescribe even more meds.
    ~ In turn that impacts your DoDMERB medical history.

    Many. many, many people get waived for eczema. Your health matters more than the DQ.

    Also, just my 0.01986 cents, and with another $2.15 you can get a small coffee, after visiting an allergist, I would without a doubt update my DoDMERB file, but only to what the final outcome is...eczema or allergy. As I stated in the beginning your medical condition has changed one way or another, eczema or dermatitis. It is okay to wait for a 2nd opinion, but to play ostrich in the sand because you don't want to risk the chance is wrong impo.
    ~ This is not just about you. This is about the mission for the military. I am going to guess because of the heart murmur and the vision you are not going rated. Yet, let's remember that Intel, Maintenance, Accounting and Finance, etc. officers are sent to the sandbox too, and sandstorms are not cohesive to a military member with eczema especially if they need to have prescriptions to control it. We are not talking about a CVS on every corner to fill the script.
    ~~ Even closer to can't take any prescriptions to SFT. If you have a an episode at SFT and they have to pull you out medically than you will not graduated from SFT and you will start that whole waiver process again. see above regarding contracting as a POC.

    You are in a unique place right now. You are not contracted. You can go to a private doc or 2 and get a clear diagnosis before updating your DoDMERB. My DS was scholarship, and would be required to inform them that his medical condition changed be it eczema or dermatitis. That he was now on a prescription medication due to this diagnosis, which in turn would probably equate to requesting a new waiver.

    FWIW, you will have an exit DoDMERB exam prior to commissioning. Even if you skirt it now by using your old exam without acknowledging this diagnosis. You will have to acknowledge it as an AS400 for that exam.
    ~ IE when you took it as a scholarship candidate you did not know you were diagnosed with eczema or dermatitis. However, they asked for your medical history since age 13. They are going to do the same again. IOWS it will catch up to you.

    Best of luck. Don't worry about eczema, it is waiverable for many.
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2016
  3. Klone

    Klone Member

    Dec 4, 2014
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    @Pima I just realized you were the same person to give me advice last year prior to me joining AFROTC (Nursing scholarship), many thanks for that and now for your help here as well.

    I have scheduled to go to the dermatologist tomorrow, so from what I've gathered these are the things to ask him.

    -What exactly I have, atopic dermatitis or eczema
    -Should I see an allergist

    In addition my DODMERB exam would expire 04/17 so I would most likely have to take it again prior to (hopefully) my 300 year. I have been using a compounded cream with an Aquaphor base that I got from a compounding pharmacy I used to work at and it has so far managed to work as effective as the refilled prescription "Fluticasone Propionate .005% Ointment", is this something that I would be allowed to bring to FT?

    My next steps seem to be confirm what I have and update my DODMERB correct? What other questions would you think I should ask my dermatologist tomorrow? Should I look through my medical records first before putting anything down? I wouldn't want it to be looked into and suddenly turns out I have atopic dermatitis, eczema, and all sort of other skin diagnosis that the varying doctors I have been to have said I have and I didn't list them down on my DODMERB. Should I also ask the dermatologist for a written statement on my condition in anticipation for the waiver process since I wouldn't be able to see him for a while because school is starting back up again and my college is out of town? What things should he include on there?

    Thank you for all your help!!
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2016

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