Peau et maintien de la paix
A Review of Skin Conditions in Modern Warfare and Peacekeeping Operations
Skin is the most exposed organ of the body, and military personnel face many external skin threats. As a result, skin disease is an important source of morbidity among military personnel deployed on combat or peacekeeping operations. This article reviews the most common conditions seen by deployed military dermatologists. A PubMed search was used to identify articles in English, written between 1965 and 2014, using medical subject headings “military medicine” AND “skin disease” or “military personnel” AND “skin disease.” The five most common reasons for physician consultation for skin conditions in wartime since the Vietnam War were warts (10.7%), fungal infections (10.4%), acne (9.0%), nonspecific eczematous conditions (7.1%), and sexually transmitted diseases (6.1%). There was a significant difference in the skin conditions seen in the hot and humid climates of Vietnam and East Timor, where bacterial and fungal infections were more common reasons for consultation, and the dry climates of Bosnia and Iraq, where eczematous conditions made up a larger part of the dermatologic caseload.