Skin related medicals in the Merchant Navy

Skin disease refers to any disorder that affects human skin. Students preparing for Merchant Navy or sailors already sailing on ships often lack information related to skin illness and how it can pose a struggle for them in the near future. They mistake their initial condition as a temporary problem marking the beginning of a long-term illness which might not be curable to full extent. If you are facing any minor or major symptoms of any skin disease, we will advise you to visit a doctor nearby as soon as possible. In this blog, we are going to clear your doubts regarding medical eligibility in case of any skin disease. 

Skin disease
Skin disease

Skin Rashes –

These are abnormal changes in the skin texture which can arise from inflammatory skin conditions. These usually are visible as itchy redness on skin. Although rashes are low to mild skin condition, if they are developing as a recurrent phenomenon they need to be addressed as an emergency. In the merchant navy, recurring rash conditions can lead to a rejection as this problem can make you unfit to perform your regular duties on board. 

Rashes skin

Dark/Light Spot on skin –

These spots are generally not a cause of medical concern. They are not painful and can be developed due to many reasons such as –

  1. One reason people see a lighter area is their skin is due to a hypopigmentation which translates to less pigment. Your skin’s ability to make pigment may slow down when you: Injure your skin. 
  2. Dark spots or hyperpigmentation can occur when your skin starts producing more melanin than required. It is a harmless process but if such spots are accompanied by other bodily problems then you must consult a doctor soon.

Many times, our body develops such spots as a response to some trauma or when it gets in contact with heat machines on ship. If you are someone with such marks and are worried if it will cause you any trouble in our medicals, then take a seat back and relax. You are eligible for the merchant navy with these marks until and unless they are not causing any other problem. 


is a skin condition that causes dry and itchy patches of skin. It’s a common condition that isn’t contagious. There are treatments available to help you manage symptoms, but there isn’t a cure. The symptoms of eczema include dry, itchy skin. In a few cases bumps on skin or swelling is also visible. 


If you have symptoms that are severe in nature such as continuous itching or painful swelling then you can not sit for medicals in the merchant navy. However, eczema with no or less symptoms makes you eligible to join the ship and pursue your dream to sail.

Vitiligo –

is a disease that causes loss of skin color in patches. It is a cosmetic condition in which Melanin formation slows down in your body. The discolored areas usually get bigger with time. The condition can affect the skin on any part of the body. It can also affect hair and the inside of the mouth. 

Vitiligo skin

If you suffer from an extensive vitiligo on your whole body then you will be rejected in the medical of the merchant navy. This condition has been framed keeping in mind the complications that can fall on the patient when onboard. So if you are someone with small patches of vitiligo, it is advisable to start your medications after consulting a doctor as soon as possible. However, the success rate of vitiligo treatment is low, but with the help of medicines its impact can be reduced on your skin.

Lichen Planus –

On the skin, lichen planus usually appears as purplish, itchy, flat bumps that develop over several weeks. It is a condition that can cause swelling and irritation in the skin, hair, nails and mucous membranes. The symptoms include blisters, itching problems and hair loss. 

Lichen Planus skin
Lichen Planus

In the Merchant Navy, if a candidate is suffering from lichen planus, he will be immediately asked to get proper treatment. This inflammatory condition is not allowed in the Merchant Navy.

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If I have strech skin in my thigh and arm is that any problems in medical in merchant navy

Bikram Singh

Sir I’m diagnosed with psoriasis and it’s there on my forehead mainly so can it be a cause of rejection in medical?

Mustafa Nadim

Is receding hairline a problem?

Aman Manwal

Hi Mustafa, receding hairline is not a problem at all. You can join Merchant Navy without any issue.

Supan Deb

Sir I have psoriasis, will there be any problem?

Aman Manwal

Hi Supan, You can check all the information about Merchant Navy Medicals from our free Medical Guidance Series.

Sir if I have ance n dark spots then I will be rejected from merchant Navy?

Aman Manwal

Absolutely NOT, acne is quite common these days and it is not that big of a problem that you would get rejected from medicals. So, without any problem you can prepare for merchant navy. To get more info, you can check out our FREE MERCHANT NAVY MEDICAL course.