veterans and family members who hold a Department of Veteran Affairs Gold or White Card for skin conditions are entitled to sun damage treatment with lasers and Photo Dynamic Therapy. DVA gives 100% coverage for the treatment of solar keratosis and actinic keratosis on the face, as well as skin cancers. They also provide skin laser treatments for rosacea and rhinophyma, and cover the treatment of broken capillaries. DVA skin checks can detect skin cancers and precancerous spots at an early stage.

Facts on DVA, Veteran Affairs skin treatments

  • DVA covers the treatment of sun damage and solar keratosis of the skin 
  • Treating sun damage is important as this can decrease the incidence of skin cancer
  • PDT or Photo Dynamic Therapy is authorized for the treatment of solar keratosis / actinic keratosis and skin cancers on the face
  • DVA patients have a much higher incidence of skin cancers compared to the civilian population due to military service
  • DVA also covers the use of lasers for medical conditions such as rosacea, redness, rhinophyma and broken capillaries

What skin conditions are covered by DVA?

Providing you have either a Gold Card or White Card that covers skin, skin conditions are covered under DVA- Veteran Affairs. Conditions include-

  • Sun damage – actinic keratosis, solar keratosis, and sun spots
  • Skin cancer – treatment and prevention of Bowen’s, IECs and BCCs
  • Scarring from acne, trauma or skin cancer surgery
  • Rosacea and rhinophyma
  • Broken capillaries, facial veins
  • DVA Skin Checks
  • Birthmarks
  • Psoriasis

Brisbane DVA doctor

How do I know if I am covered by Veteran Affairs for skin cancers?

You would have received prior advice by your DVA advocate in regards to your entitlements and the types of cards issued. In general – a DVA GOLD CARD covers for most conditions, including skin related issues. A WHITE CARD will only cover for conditions that are on that card- check to see if SKIN CONDITION is covered.

If skin conditions are covered, you will be entitled to a blanket cover of all skin conditions (including eczema, psoriasis, rashes, as well as skin cancer and sun damage).

Skin condition treatments covered include fully ablative lasers, rhinophyma treatment, pulse dye laser treatment for broken veins as well as top level PDT or photodynamic therapy. These high end treatments can only be provided by Specialist Dermatologist and Plastic Surgeons and not by Skin Cancer Doctors. 

PDT cover DVA2PDT cover DVA 1
After and before PDT treatments for sun-spots and skin cancers. No surgery involved.

What does ‘cover for skin conditions’ mean?

This means you are entitled to treatments with no out of pocket costs.

For example if you have a skin cancer and this is treated by PDT- you maybe out of pocket $750, however if you are covered under DVA, your out of pocket cost is nil. Dr Davin Lim only performs DVA skin checks, surgery and laser procedures. 

DVA- Department of Veteran Affairs provides cover for treatments such as PDT (Photodynamic therapy) as well as lasers to treat redness, rosacea, and rhinophyma.

DVA PDT brisbane

What types of skin treatments are you covered for under the Veteran’s Act?

Skin cancer surgery- this entails excision of skin cancers such as Bowen’s disease, SCCs, BCCs and melanomas

Photodynamic therapy– This treatment addresses sun spots, actinic keratosis, Bowen’s disease, and most types of Basal Cell Cancers

Laser surgery – this can treat broken veins, redness, scarring, sun damage, as well as skin cancers and rosacea/ rhinophyma

Narrowband phototherapy– this treats conditions such as Psoriasis, and Vitligo.

Cosmetic treatments such as Botox, Fillers and skin wrinkle rejuvenation are not covered by DVA.

DVA skin check brisbane

Are cosmetic skin treatments covered under DVA?

No. Anti wrinkle treatments and the treatment of age spots are not covered under DVA. These are deemed as cosmetic in nature and not covered under the Veteran’s Act. Conditions such as rhinophyma, redness, rosacea, broken capillaries, rough, dry, red patches that my cause discomfort are covered under DVA. These conditions are deemed as MEDICAL and not cosmetic in nature and DVA provides treatments such as laser and PDT or photodynamic therapy.DVA skin checks are covered if you hold a Gold card or White Card for skin conditions (malignant or sunspots). 

DVA sun spot treatments

What are the costs associated with sun spot treatments?

NIL. All treatments including PDT, surgery and laser are covered by DVA. Additionally transport to and from Westside Laser Dermatology is provided by DVA. Our staff are all well versed in the necessary paperwork to get you there and back with minimal paper work (we do all the paperwork for you, including arranging transport to and from home). Routine DVA skin checks are also fully covered. 

skin cancer specailist DVA

What are the steps needed to obtain an entitlement card, and how long does it take?


If you have not got a Gold or White card for skin conditions, you maybe entitled to one. The process can take between 3- 12 months, depending on the complexity of your case. Call the DVA Brisbane office, and they will put you in touch with your personal DVA Advocate. This advocate is on your side, and will put your case forward for approval. Dr Davin Lim will assess your case and provide a medicolegaal report. Once accepted, you will be granted DVA entitlements under Specialist cover. 

How do I make an appointment for assessment by a Specialist for laser treatments and or PDT?

As a Specialist, a referral is needed prior to treatment. This can be obtained from your GP or skin cancer clinic. Only Specialist have access to PDT and lasers. With your first appointment, I provide a general skin assessment for the extent of sun damage and find any possible skin cancers. This initial appointment allows me to undertake planning for the second session.

The second session is the actual treatment itself. If PDT has been advised, it may take upto 3 hours to complete. My staff at Westside Laser Dermatology will organize all the transport and logistics associated with this treatment. Additionally complex surgery as well as laser treatment is conducted at Westside Dermatology in Taringa.

Call 07 3871 37 34 and state that you are a DVA Veteran. I only perform skin cancer treatments and DVA skin checks on Veterans and not the normal civilian population – so make sure you tell them you hold either a Gold or White Card.


My viewpoint on treating DVA patients

Dr Davin Lim

Specialist Dermatologist

Dr Davin S. Lim copy

As an ex Army RMO for the School of Engineering and MPs, I have briefly served with the Specialist Reserves. I have also done work in RAAF based Amberley in the mid 90s as a RMO with a special interest in Av. Med and underwater medicine, and started the skin parade in 1 Field Hospital in Sydney in 1999. I trained under Lt Col Rob Rosen and Commander Peter Hoare in Sydney.

I was also the Consultant Dermatologist for the F 111 Reseal Deseal investigation under the Veteran’s act and provided over 90 legal reports.

I still keep my skin cancer skills up to date, but only extend this to DVA card holders. I perform DVA skin checks, skin cancer surgery, but also laser and PDT to DVA patients. The majority of DVA patients are unaware that they are entitled to high level cover by Specialists, including top cover using the very latest in laser and light technology. Veterans are entitled to absolute 100% cover with no out of pocket expense for rosacea treatments, broken capillaries / blood vessels – these are all medical conditions that are treated with lasers. Additionally sun damage in the form of solar keratosis / actinic keratosis can be treated under the Veteran’s act with PDT or Photodynamic therapy as well as laser resurfacing. Call today for a DVA skin check by one of Australia’s leading dermatologist. 

Gold card holders are entitled to all of the above treatments, whilst White Card holders are only entitled to treatments provided they are covered for skin related issues.