Captain Cutaneum is a character-superhero created by Phoenix-area dermatopathologist Ruskin R Lines, III, M.D. in 2006. The purpose behind the character is to spread awareness among children of skin health and especially the dangers of excessive sun exposure. Dr. Lines's campaign has been mentioned in local newspapers and in the dermatology journals Skin and Allergy News and Dermatology Times.
The Captain Cutaneum campaign's purpose is to inform children and others of the risks of skin cancer and how to prevent it. Captain Cutaneum wears a costume that completely covers his skin (and which includes a large, wide blue hat), in order to teach children about sun safety and the types of cancers caused by sun exposure. During his visits, Lines teaches students what to look for, and shows them images of skin cancers. He told a reporter for the East Valley Tribune, "A person dies from melanoma every hour in the U.S. As a dermatologist I get to save a lot of lives because people come to see me."
Lines visits elementary schools in order to teach children about sun protection while they are young, instead of telling them about it while removing their skin cancers. "I’ve been saying there needs to be something, some program that we can teach these kids before they’ve already figured out how much they like being tan," he says.
Lines has also created three comic books featuring Captain Cutaneum. Using colorful pictures and accurate writing, he hopes to educate as well as entertain people of all ages. In the comic, Captain Cutaneum fights the dread enemies Lentigo, Squamous, and (in the future) Melanoma. He also has a website that includes a number of songs about skin health intended to teach children about the importance of remaining safe in the Sun.