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New skin care policy set to reduce shaving waivers

The 1st Special Operations Medical Group is starting a new policy to improve treatment of skin conditions of the face inflicted by shaving practices for Hurlburt Field Airmen beginning June 1, 2013. The new protocol is scheduled to phase out all current shaving waivers by June 30. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Christopher Callaway)

The 1st Special Operations Medical Group is starting a new policy to improve treatment of skin conditions of the face inflicted by shaving practices for Hurlburt Field Airmen beginning June 1, 2013. The new protocol is scheduled to phase out all current shaving waivers by June 30. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Christopher Callaway)

HURLBURT FIELD, Fla. -- The 1st Special Operations Medical Group is enacting a new policy to improve treatment involving skin conditions of the face inflicted by shaving practices for Airmen at the Hurlburt Field Medical Clinic on Hurlburt Field, Fla., June 1.

Previously-issued shaving waivers will remain in effect until June 30 and are scheduled to be replaced with periodic evaluations and treatment plans.

"The new shaving program has two purposes, which is to place a new emphasis on individualizing each member's treatment and to improve appointment availability for our patients by running the program by medical staff with provider oversight," said Col. Donald T. Molnar, commander of 1st SOMDG.

The new protocol's customized individual treatment plans will be based on the skin condition present for each individual in order to help improve skin health and shaving practices among patients.

Common reasons in the past for issuing medically-recommended shaving waivers to male service members included pseudofolliculitis barbae, folliculitis, acne and other forms of shaving irritation.

"Thankfully, urgent skin infections are rare," said Capt. Laslie Winton, a flight surgeon for 1st Special Operations Aerospace Medicine Squadron. "We anticipate the care provided by our medical team members will be high in quality. However, some conditions may require an appointment with the member's provider in cases where additional management is required."

Members wishing to be seen for a skin condition should see their primary care team. An initial visit with clinic personnel is provided on a walk-in basis Monday through Friday from 9 - 11 a.m. and 1 - 3 p.m.

The policy change will be shared with all primary care clinics on Hurlburt Field so the new standardized protocol will be available to each Hurlburt Field member's medical team for implementation.

Periodic follow-up visits will be provided on a walk-in basis as needed. Recommendations for short-term shaving waivers made by medical staff are subject to approval by each member's commander.

For more information about the program please contact your primary care advisor.