The environmental extremes in which soldiers exercise and fight, like the environmental extremes in which many civilians encounter occupationally and recreationally, can prove to be a significant cause for morbidity and decreased effectiveness. A variety of skin diseases are related to occupational exposure to dusts and ultraviolet radiation as a well known cause of cutaneous damage. As more is understood about the biochemical factors involved in frostbite injury, treatment recommendations have changed. Too much water, hot or cold, is a continued source of cutaneous misery to the soldier in the field. Finally, even common minor skin ailments can incapacitate the sufferer when confronted with unfavorable environments.
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