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10 Tips to Prevent Skin Cancer

Updated on August 9, 2014

Combat life-savers are required to take a two-week crash course. During that time, we were slammed with as much-corpsman training we could manage in a short period. We learned how to put IVs in arms, legs, and necks. We did legs if the Marine's arms were blown off, and necks if arms and legs were blown off. Another big topic we covered was skin care, because most service members who go over to the Middle East will develop at least one really bad sunburn.This is what I learned, and this comes directly out of my notes from my course. The course was actually run by civilians, so a lot of the information is not deployment related.

1. Don't go to tanning beds.

Never use a tanning bed, especially since sunless tanners work so well! Some cheaper sunless suntan lotions can cause orange skin and streaks. They also make the palms of the hands orange or dark brown. Today, you can spend little as $10 for a quality bottle of sunless suntan lotion. My favorites are ones that are made by Neutrogena.

2. Always Buy at least 45+ SPF.

When applying sunscreen, use at least four tablespoons of sunscreen to cover your entire your body. You should repeat application after three hours, or when you get in and out of water (unless you have a waterproof sunscreen formula). They make sunscreen that comes in SPF 80; so the higher the number, the better.

3. Use a hat with a bill when outside.

By using a hat when you are outside you can reduce the amount of sun exposure. Use a hat and sunscreen even when it is shady or during dawn and dusk. This exposure can increase your chances of getting skin cancer, so unless it is dark outside, keep using sunscreen and a hat.

4. When you need to go outside for long periods of time, go out in the early morning or towards dusk.

The most-harmful times to go out in the sun is between 10 am until 4 pm. If you want to do lawn-work or go for a jog, try to go out closer to dawn and dusk.

5. Keep the baby out of the sun.

Don't let babies under 6-months out in the sun if it can be helped. If an infant does go out in the sun, layer up clothing, and use the highest SPF you can find.

6. Either eat or take vitamin D vitamins.


Vitamin D can help heal, and prevent many conditions including depression, heart disease, and even skin cancer. Vitamin D helps the body not to absorb as much ultra violet rays.

7. Do constant skin screenings.

When taking a shower, look for brown spots, or new and changing moles. However, there are some spots that cannot be checked by one's self, get a partner of the same gender to check for spots or moles.

If you are unable to go see a medical professional right away, get a permanent marker to circle around the mole. This way you can see if the mole has grown. If it does grow, put a ring around the mole daily. See a profession as soon as possible.


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