Skip to content

May 20, 2024

How to Ace Your VA C&P Exam for Skin Conditions

I hope you enjoy reading this blog post.

If you want to learn how to implement these strategies to get the VA benefits you deserve, click here to speak with a VA claim expert for free.

If you’ve filed a VA claim for skin disease, chances are you’re going to be scheduled for a VA C&P exam for skin conditions.

In this high-value blog post, you’ll learn how to ace your exam so you can get the VA rating and compensation you deserve for serving our country.

Some of the most common skin conditions in veterans include dermatitis, eczema, psoriasis, skin cancer, and chloracne.

Pro Tip: The VA rates skin conditions under 38 CFR § 4.118, Diagnostic Codes 7800-7833 from 0% to 60% based on their severity and impact on daily functioning. The rating criteria considers the percentage of the body affected, the type of treatment required, and the frequency of flare-ups. The general rating formula for skin conditions is as follows:

  • 60%: Lesions on over 40% of the body/exposed areas, or continuous treatment with steroids, light therapy, or other drugs in the past year.
  • 30%: Lesions on 20-40% of the body/exposed areas, or treatment with steroids, light therapy, or other drugs for 6 weeks or more, but not constant, in the past year.
  • 10%: Lesions on 5-20% of the body/exposed areas, or treatment for less than six weeks in the past year.
  • 0%: Only topical treatments needed, lesions cover less than 5% of the body/exposed areas, or disfigurement/scars depending on the main disability.

Summary of Key Points

  • VA Ratings for Skin Conditions: The VA rates various skin conditions based on their severity and impact on daily functioning. Ratings range from 0% for minimal symptoms to 60% for severe cases affecting large portions of the body or requiring constant therapy.
  • Exam Objectives: The C&P exam aims to confirm a diagnosis, establish a service connection, and evaluate the severity of your symptoms and their effect on your work, life, and social functioning.
  • C&P Exam Process: During the VA exam for skin conditions, the examiner will review your medical history, discuss your symptoms, assess the impact on daily life, perform a physical examination, and conduct any necessary diagnostic tests.
  • Preparation Tips: Gather all relevant medical records, maintain a symptom diary, list the functional impacts of your condition, and review the Skin Conditions DBQ to be well-prepared for the exam.

What to Expect at Your C&P Exam for Skin Conditions

A C&P exam for skin conditions is designed to evaluate three things:

  • (#1) Determine if you have a diagnosed skin condition.
  • (#2) The examiner will give their medical opinion on whether your skin condition was caused or made worse by your active duty military service or another service-connected condition.
  • (#3) Assess the severity of your skin condition symptoms in terms of frequency, severity, and duration, and their negative impact on your work, life, and social functioning.

    Here are six things you can expect during a VA skin conditions C&P exam:

    1. Review of Medical History

    The C&P examiner will start by reviewing your medical records, including any previous diagnoses, treatments, or evaluations related to your skin condition. The examiner has access to the medical records and documents you submitted to the VA.

    2. Discussion of Symptoms

    The examiner will ask you about your skin condition symptoms, including when you first noticed them, how often you experience them, and the severity of the symptoms. This includes discussing itchiness, redness, scaling, pain, and any other related symptoms.

    3. Negative Impacts on Daily Life

    You’ll be asked about how your skin condition affects your daily activities, such as sleeping, concentrating, working, socializing, and overall quality of life. Be honest and provide specific examples of how your skin condition interferes with your ability to function normally.

    4. Physical Examination

    The examiner will conduct a physical examination, which may include inspecting the affected areas of your skin, noting the size and location of lesions, and assessing any signs of infection or other complications.

    5. Diagnostic Testing

    You may undergo diagnostic tests such as skin scrapings, biopsies, or lab tests to assess the nature of your skin condition. These tests help determine the severity and specific nature of your skin condition.

    6. Completion of the Disability Benefits Questionnaire (DBQ) for Skin Diseases

    The examiner will document their findings on the VA DBQ for Skin Diseases, which is then submitted to the VA rater for further processing. Eventually, the VA rater will either approve, deny, or defer your VA claim for skin conditions.

    What Questions Will I Be Asked During a VA C&P Exam for Skin Conditions?

    Here are the questions a veteran will likely be asked at a C&P exam for skin conditions, based on the Disability Benefits Questionnaire (DBQ) for Skin Conditions:


    • Do you currently have a skin condition?
    • Can you provide a specific diagnosis for your skin condition?
    • When were you diagnosed with this skin condition?
    • Is your skin condition related to dermatitis, eczema, tumors, neoplasms, infections, or other specific categories?


    • Can you describe the history of your skin condition, including its onset and progression?
    • Have you had any skin conditions that have resolved and no longer require treatment? If so, can you provide details?


    • Have you been treated with medication for your skin condition in the past 12 months? If yes, what medications have you used, and for which conditions?
    • What was the route of administration for these medications (oral, injection, topical, etc.)?
    • How long have you been using these medications (less than 6 weeks, 6 weeks or more but not constant, constant/near-constant)?
    • Have you had any treatments or procedures other than medications in the past 12 months for your skin condition? If yes, what treatments or procedures?
    • What was the duration of these treatments (less than 6 weeks, 6 weeks or more but not constant, constant/near-constant)?


    • Do you have any visible characteristic lesions due to your skin condition?
    • What is the approximate total body area affected by your skin condition (none, <5%, 5% to <20%, 20% to 40%, >40%)?
    • What is the approximate total exposed body area (face, neck, and hands) affected by your skin condition (none, <5%, 5% to <20%, 20% to 40%, >40%)?
    • For each skin condition, can you describe the appearance and location of the lesions?


    • Do you have acne? If yes, can you indicate the severity and location (superficial or deep acne, less than 40% or more than 40% of the face and neck, or other body areas)?
    • Do you have chloracne? If yes, can you indicate the severity and location (superficial or deep acne, affects intertriginous or non-intertriginous areas)?
    • Do you have vitiligo? If yes, can you indicate if exposed areas are affected?
    • Do you have scarring alopecia or alopecia areata? If yes, can you indicate the percentage of the scalp affected or the extent of hair loss?
    • Do you have hyperhidrosis? If yes, can you indicate the severity and your ability to handle paper or tools after treatment?
    • Do you have chronic urticaria? If yes, is it unresponsive to treatment, and do you experience symptoms at least twice a week for six weeks or more?
    • Do you have primary cutaneous vasculitis? If yes, how many episodes have you had in the past 12 months, and have you required systemic immunosuppressive therapy?
    • Do you have erythroderma (exfoliative dermatitis)? If yes, do you have generalized involvement of the skin with or without systemic manifestations?
    • Do you have erythema multiforme or toxic epidermal necrolysis? If yes, can you indicate the severity, frequency, and specific areas involved (mucosal, palmar, or plantar)?


    • Do you have a benign or malignant neoplasm or metastases related to any of your skin conditions?
    • If malignant, what is the status of your disease (active, remission, etc.)?
    • Have you undergone any treatments such as surgery, chemotherapy, radiation, or other treatments?
    • Do you have any residual conditions or complications due to the neoplasm or its treatment?


    • Do any of your skin conditions cause scarring or disfigurement of the head, face, or neck?


    • Do you have any other pertinent physical findings, complications, conditions, signs, or symptoms related to your skin condition?


    • Do any of your skin conditions impact your ability to work? If yes, can you describe the impact, providing specific examples?


    • Do you have any additional comments or information that may be relevant to your skin condition and its impact on your life?

    How to Prepare for Your VA Skin Condition C&P Exam

    Here are some tips to help you prepare for your skin condition C&P exam:

    1. Gather Records and Documents

    Collect all relevant medical records, including diagnosis reports, treatment history, and any correspondence related to your skin condition. This documentation will provide essential evidence to support your claim during the examination. Review the documents in detail and feel free to bring hard copies with you to the C&P exam for reference.

    2. Create a Symptom Diary

    Keep a detailed log of your skin condition symptoms, noting the frequency, severity, and duration of episodes. Document any factors that exacerbate or alleviate your symptoms, such as physical activity or rest. This diary will help you articulate the impact of your skin condition on your work, life, and social functioning during the exam.

    3. List Functional Impacts

    Make a list of specific ways in which your skin condition affects your ability to perform daily tasks and activities. This may include difficulties with concentration, sleep disturbances, or challenges in social or work environments. Providing concrete examples of how your skin condition negatively impacts your daily functioning will strengthen your case during the exam.

    4. Review the DBQ for Skin Conditions

    It’s a good idea to review the Skin Conditions DBQ. Be prepared to describe the onset and progression of your skin condition symptoms over time, as well as any treatments you have pursued and their effectiveness (if any). Additionally, be prepared to discuss how your skin condition impacts your work, life, and social functioning.

    5. Pro Tip: Upload Pictures in Support of Your Claim

    Have you ever heard the phrase “a picture is worth a thousand words?” For visible conditions like skin diseases, we recommend you take pictures of the affected area(s) and upload them to in support of your claim. Documenting your skin condition with clear photos can provide compelling evidence and strengthen your case, ensuring the VA Rater has a thorough understanding of the severity and impact of your condition.

    DBQ for Skin Conditions [Download]

    The DBQ for Skin Conditions (including dermatitis, eczema, psoriasis, and other related conditions) will be completed electronically by the C&P examiner at your exam.

    We’ve made a copy available for download below:

    About the Author

    Brian Reese
    Brian Reese

    Brian Reese

    Brian Reese is one of the top VA disability benefits experts in the world and bestselling author of You Deserve It: The Definitive Guide to Getting the Veteran Benefits You’ve Earned (Second Edition).

    Brian’s frustration with the VA claim process led him to create VA Claims Insider, which provides disabled veterans with tips, strategies, and lessons learned to win their VA disability compensation claim, faster, even if they’ve already filed, been denied, gave up, or don’t know where to start. 

    As the founder of VA Claims Insider and CEO of Military Disability Made Easy, he has helped serve more than 10 million military members and veterans since 2013 through free online educational resources.

    He is a former active duty Air Force officer with extensive experience leading hundreds of individuals and multi-functional teams in challenging international environments, including a combat tour to Afghanistan in 2011 supporting Operation ENDURING FREEDOM.

    Brian is a Distinguished Graduate of Management from the United States Air Force Academy, Colorado Springs, CO, and he holds an MBA from Oklahoma State University’s Spears School of Business, Stillwater, OK, where he was a National Honor Scholar (Top 1% of Graduate School class).

    Related Articles

    Featured Resources

    Elite Membership

    Dear Veteran,
    Here’s the brutal truth about VA disability claims:

    According to our data, 8/10 (80%) of veterans reading this message right now are underrated by the VA…

    This means you do NOT currently have the VA disability rating and compensation YOU deserve, and you could be missing out on thousands of dollars of tax-free compensation and benefits each month.

    As a fellow disabled Veteran this is shameful and I’m on a mission to change it.

    Brian Reese here, Air Force service-disabled Veteran and Founder @ VA Claims Insider.

    Since 2016, VA Claims Insider has helped thousands of Veterans just like you get the VA rating and compensation they deserve in less time.

    If accepted into our ELITE membership program, you’ll get free up-front access and permission to use $13,119 worth of proprietary VA claim resources, including access to our network of independent medical professionals for medical examinations, disability evaluations, and credible Medical Nexus Letters, which could help you get a HIGHER VA rating in LESS time.

    It’s FREE to get started, so click “Go Elite Now” below to complete our 3-step intake process.

    1. Complete Basic Information
    2. Sign Members Agreement
    3. Join the Mastermind Group

    If you’re stuck, frustrated, underrated, and currently rated between 0%-90%, VA Claims Insider Elite is for you!

    Click “Go Elite Now” below to get started today and a member of our team will be in touch within minutes.

    Go Elite Now!

    Why Choose VA Claims Insider

    You’ve exhausted your free resources

    You're not alone. Thousands of other Veterans in our Community are here for you.

    Veteran Community

    You’re ready to get the rating you deserve

    We know the pain of feeling stuck, frustrated, and alone, and we want to make this process as easy and painless as possible for you.

    Explore Elite Membership

    We win ONLY when YOU win

    Hear from fellow Veterans just like you, with many of our Veteran Ambassadors having gone through our programs.

    Schedule a Call

    Fellow Veterans:

    For a limited time, you can book a free, no-obligation VA Claim Discovery Call with one of our experts.

    Book A Call

    Fellow Veterans:

    For a limited time, you can book a free, no-obligation VA Claim Discovery Call with one of our experts.

    Book A Call