Vitiligo in the RN

Hi there, looking to join the royal navy, wanted to know if anyone has vitiligo or know anyone who is serving with it. I have looked at the medical requirements and it's not on there.



War Hero

The standards for medical fitness for entry to the Royal Navy are derived from a document called JSP 950.

I've looked at what I believe to be the most recent version and what it says is:


26. Vitiligo. Candidates with vitiligo have a comparable risk profile for photosensitivity and skin cancer as those with Type 1 skin (8).

Candidates with vitiligo not associated with any other autoimmune disorder may be graded FIT.


If you do a search for vitiligo in the document, you should be able to see the page where it says this.

I would assume that you would be declared fit on the assumption that there are no other areas of medical concern.

It could be that the Senior Medical Officer (Service Entry) might take a look at the paperwork to give the go-ahead, as JSP 950 says that 'vitiligo not associated with any other autoimmune disorder may be graded FIT' and he might want to check with your GP that your case matches these criteria.

I would begin your application now, mention the vitiligo on the form and then discuss this with the medically qualified staff involved in your recruitment process. Start the ball rolling today!

By the way, I don't know a great deal about vitiligo myself, but it may be that you will be given special advice about protecting your skin if you are deployed somewhere where the sun is intense.


does it have any symptoms other than change of colour in pigment? if not I wouldn't imagine there to be any issue but I'd love to know for sure


War Hero
I suddenly 'got' slight Vitiligo when I was about 21. It manifested as 3 or 4 inch / 8 to 12cm patches on the inside of my elbows and around my armpits both sides. Maybe some other small bits - can't remember. White against my skin in summer, red against my skin in winter.

I was a sun-god and had just been on a long and sunny deployment and initially thought it was just some sort of heat rash. It was diagnosed as Vitiligo. Didn't cause me any problem apart from slight embarrassment.

After about 5 years, one summer it just disappeared - no white patches.

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