in two secondary studies (Eisen et al. 1991; O'Toole et al. 1996b). In addition, the rate of incident skin conditions—including dermatitis, psoriasis, and eczema—had a dose-response relationship with PTSD symptom levels in a secondary study of Korean War and World War II veterans (Schnurr et al. 2000).

In summary, there is a high frequency of self-reports of various types of rash and other skin conditions among deployed vs nondeployed veterans, and, in general, these reports are confirmed by dermatologic examination, particularly for eczema. Overall, very few studies have rigorously assessed the prevalence of skin conditions in Vietnam War and Gulf War veterans and results are mixed with increases for some skin conditions but not for others. Most are weak in design and limited by self-selection and possible reporting bias. (Skin cancer was discussed earlier in the section “Cancer.”)

The committee concludes that there is limited but suggestive evidence of an association between deployment to a war zone and skin disorders.

The National Academies | 500 Fifth St. N.W. | Washington, D.C. 20001
Copyright © National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.
Terms of Use and Privacy Statement