Clinical Edge

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Atopic Dermatitis and Military Service

Atopic dermatitis (AD) is common in adults and has the potential to complicate military service. However, the reported rates of complications remain low, a recent study found. Researchers completed a literature search for topics relating to AD and an internet search of the military regulations regarding this condition were also performed. Additionally, an independent request was made to the Armed Forces Health Surveillance Branch to look at evacuations given a specific diagnosis of AD at the time of evacuation from January 2003 - December 2006. Among the conclusions:

  • There are numerous complications of AD that are relevant to military service, including the propensity to flare in harsh conditions, ocular complications, and risk of secondary infections.
  • There were fewer than expected reported casualties secondary to AD, suggesting the possibility that screening against the condition prevents non-battle injuries during deployment.


Jeter J, et al. Atopic dermatitis and implications for military service. [Published online ahead of print May 18, 2019]. Mil Med. doi:10.1093/milmed/usy427.