I was wondering if anyone knew the deal with passing/failing the medical when it comes to eczema?

I occasionally get very mild eczema on my wrists but it never effects my day to day life

Thanks for any help
a non doctor writes.....

it's the sort of thing they get very funny about at medicals.

So, you've got three options:

1) tell them, at least then it's in the open and you know one way or the other
2) don't tell them, hope for the best, and get discharged when it becomes a problem after wasting lots of the Queen's money on your training
3) they notice it anyway at your medical regardless of you saying or not saying anything and it's out of your hands.

1 is more honourable than 3, but either is preferable to 2

I had infant eczema, or something, but never again after the age of 3. Got to 17, did AIB said I'd never had it since the age of 3 (ie was honest, and put the ball in their court), seemed to be ok (this was 1997).

spent a lot of time at sea, left the mob in 2006, never had eczema. Now however, since 30, steroid cream is my friend. No idea why, or why I got away with it for so long.

Life at sea is a fairly unforgiving environment - salt water, dry skin, oils, fuels, lack of sleep, communal laundry facilities (no specifying "non-bio only please No1 dhobi"), stressful, changes in temperature/pressure, air conditioning - all the other things which can trigger eczema. So more likely than not you will get found out.

There was a girl at Dartmouth with me whose legs were red raw all the time - how she ever got through the net was a wonder to all of us.

Bottom line, I was honest from the start and got lucky (looking back, against the odds really because many things in the above list would set me off now but at the time just didn't at all). But I was quite prepared to be sacked off at AIB stage to start with because it was better that than tell a little white lie which could spiral and end up causing problems and paperwork for lots of other people.

Personally, I'd be honest, particularly if you're already getting symptoms. Like I said, I'd been free of it for 14 years by the time I did AIB, and 19 years (I was a scholar and a bursar for 5 years) before I got through the gates of BRNC, but I doubt I'd pass the medical now.


War Hero
Active eczema is unfortunately likely to be an issue at your medical examination due to the fact it can be made far worse with the synthetic oils and greases commonly used on weapons, ships, aircraft and transport in the Naval Service.

If it is apparent at the medical examination it is a "no-go" unfortunately. You also need to be a couple of years free from prescribed treatment.

Before someone jumps-in with "I had eczema throughout my Naval career" it's worth emphasising that the medical standards for entry are necessarily more stringent than those applied to those still serving.
Bit of a dumb question but does the eczema "no-go" apply for both the Navy and royal marines or say just only the Navy?
Both (as the RM are part of the RN) but it would be worse for a booty in the field to get it. My eldest was turned down by the Army and RM because of it, he did make it into the RN a couple of years later when it had practically disappeared though.
Both (as the RM are part of the RN) but it would be worse for a booty in the field to get it. My eldest was turned down by the Army and RM because of it, he did make it into the RN a couple of years later when it had practically disappeared though.
Okay, thanks


Lantern Swinger
I had this problem getting in. One of the key issues is to determine what you actually have before you fill in your medical questionnaire. Because "eczema" is a more specific diagnosis rather than meaning a general skin complaint. Go and speak to your GP to find out what your medical record says and then put that on your form.

I thought I had been diagnosed with eczema, put it on my form and got rejected. I spoke to my GP much later on who checked and said I'd never been diagnosed with eczema, I reapplied and got in.


I put off seeing a GP for ages due to what looked like eczema for fear of being told the inevitable. When I fianally manned up to see if I would have to change my career choice I was told by my GP it was a fungal infection which was cleared up by the cream he prescribed in literally about 48 hours. I told
My got a letter confirming this from my GP prior to medical and everything was fine. Good luck!
I've been for a medical and haven't received a yes/no yet but the doc said he'd have to check a few things with other people, i had eczema when i was 7, nothing bad, and I've not had it since. However the doc said the back of my hands were dry and that I may be at risk in the future despite the fact I've never had it on my hands only back of the knees very mildly. Will this fail me? Can i re-apply if I do fail? Any responses would be greatly appreciated.


War Hero
It depends on your medical history regarding the condition &whether you've been prescribed any treatment in the last two or three years.

Generally you can re-apply (if knocked back) once you are three years clear of visually apparent eczema an treatment.


War Hero
Absolutely gutted, any opinions on whether I've got a case to appeal would be welcome
If you have the visible condition stated then I'm afraid it would be impossible to claim otherwise.

An appeal would only be considered if there was a medical history of several years symptom & treatment free. An appeal because you don't like the decision is unfortunately pointless.


War Hero
It's just the treatment stated isn't directly related to the condition I've been PMU for
There is no grounds for appeal if there's a visually apparent skin condition diagnosed as eczema. If you can prove it's not eczema with indisputable medical evidence, crack on...but if you claim it's an allergic reaction, that's a permanent bar.
Hi all

Does anybody know the definition of "chronic" in terms of the updated medical guidance for skin disorders?

I am a new applicant for the Navy Reserves who had already affirmed and passed all tests only to subsequently fail my entry medical on the basis of some very minor eczema I've had within the last 3 years. Absolutely gutted by it as you can imagine, particularly as given my age (35) this would almost certainly preclude me from entering the service and missing out on a lifelong ambition and amzing experience.

I have decided that I'm going to appeal the decision (for the sake of writing a letter I may as well and when I spoke to the CA post medical he said that it may be worth doing) so Im aware I cant appeal against the standard itself (albeit it seems ridiculous to me!) and have obtained details of my medical notes and confirmation from my Dr to include these along with a covering letter. I want to be able to say in the appeal that the condition is not "chronic" as per the new guidance (which does not give any specific dates on the activity of eczema, just that a precluding condition is "chronic eczema/dermatitis"). I have never been formally diagnosed with eczema, albeit somewhere in the notes there is mention of the word "eczema" :(.

Any advice here would be much appreciated.



Normally you need to be TOTALLY free from eczema, for at least two years, before entry due to the fact that the service environment is one that would make eczema flare up, even if it's just a little!
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