Over 200 soldiers contracted an as yet unidentified skin disease on a base in southern Israel this week, the army said.

On Tuesday, IDF soldiers on the Shizafon base in the Negev desert began breaking out in rashes and lesions, the army said.

The source of the skin irritation has yet to be determined, the military said, but is being checked at medical labs in the Sheba Medical Center in Ramat Gan.

In order to treat the soldiers and investigate the incident, a special medical team was flown down to Shizafon, the army said.

Some 65 soldiers were also sent home on Tuesday to recuperate.

The military stressed that although a large number of soldiers were affected by the skin disease, they are only considered to be very lightly hurt.

The Shizafon base is used primarily to train soldiers in the Armored Corps. It is home to hundreds of soldiers.