Military Says No To Psoriasis?
Hey yall, I go to a university that has an Air Force ROTC program there. Last semester I joined it and enjoyed every bit of it. It really kept me involved and I began to appreciate why our serviceman fight for our country everyday.
I had a medical physical earlier in the semester and the physician wrote "Dry Skin Patches on Knees." A couple weeks later the detachment got a letter for me to get re-evaluated and for a physician to change my diagnosis from "dry skin patches on knees" to psoriasis. So after finally getting a second physical done and having the new physician change my diagnosis for me I turned in my paper work and everything seemed hunky-dory.
Well a few days ago my Lt. Col. called me to meet up with him at his office. I met with him and my Captain in person and they gave me the news that I have been disqualified to join the Air Force, and most likely any other branch, because of my psoriasis on my knees. I was very upset and shocked that I was turned down after something so small. It sucked so bad, like I was trying not to choke up when talking to my Cadre. Lt. Col. told me the reason why its a big deal is because apparently taking immunizations and vaccines to go overseas could somehow trigger the psoriasis to worsen. He also told me that wearing BDU's could possibly worsen it due to chaffing (I call BS on that though because I wore BDU's all time when I played paintball/airsoft regularly).
Have any of yall heard of this or gone through this experience before? I'm still kinda upset about it and I would like to fight the disqualification if I could. I hope this doesn't affect me joining any branch because if I can't get in the Air Force I was hoping to go into the Navy.
Do you actually have psoriasis? There are many different skin conditions and dermatitis that have similar symptoms but many doctors are quick to jump to psoriasis.
Well, I mean thats what the second physician said... but I only have it on my knees. I thought psoriasis was like a rash that can spread.
My dad and I thought about getting a second physician's opinion done just to verify it.
The reason why I ask is because of personal history with misdiagnosis. I was diagnosed with psoriasis when I was 3 years old and a dozen different doctors and specialists continued to prescribe treatments to this effect for almost 20 years. It turns out I have a form of dermatitis which was far easier to treat. I don't mean to get your hopes up but there are a lot of uninformed doctors out there.
EDIT: Psoriasis in extreme cases can cause arthritis-like symptoms at your joints. This may be a concern for the military.
If you want it bad enough I would consult more doctors, not military doctors and actually find out so you know what is going on so if you can join then do so [assuming you still want to at that point]. If you want it bad enough you'll get the answers you need but if you can't then don't feel bad as my grandfather could not service in the second world war during his life due to medical reasons and people didn't look down upon him as anything less than a honorable and respected man. Some can't serve due to medical conditions, its life but work at it and see what you can find out about your knees so you make the right decision.
Sorry about your news, I recently found myself DQ'd as well (doc said bad knee despite my being able to outrun all of the other poolees).
From what I understand... once you've been DQ'd, you're DQ'd. You can try writing your congressman but I've read that's a waste of time.
I did some googling and it would seem that psoriasis is not waiverable and is an automatic DQ because you won't be able to be vaccinated for deployment.
It sucks but it's best to just accept it and move on.
Do not, under any circumstance, go to another recruiter and "forget" details of your medical history at MEPS because if the symptoms are ever to reappear and they do dump your history, you're in a mess of trouble. Many military people I spoke to about my issue said to just "forget" but, honestly, I wouldn't want to risk a discharge because I committed fraud.
Best of luck.
Didn't know that about the automatic DQ, I stand corrected. I will say this, because you can't join doesn't make you anything less than respectable and unwilling but you can still do other things to support the cause. :)
That's really lame. Dry skin is not necessarily psoriasis (which is one of those badass immuno diseases). As far as I know there is a lot more to it than one doctor appointment for a doc to say you have it... Also, some of the treatments for it can cause side effects that are akin to the extreme symptoms of the disease- ie arthritic joints.
No idea what to tell you about getting in or not.
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