As the realisation that radiation emitted by the sun can give rise to skin cancer has increased, so also has the use of sunscreen creams. These creams, however, can give rise to contact allergy when exposed to the sun, and this has led to an increasing incidence of skin allergy. Scientists at the University of Gothenburg and Chalmers University of Technology are leading the hunt for a natural UV filter that does not have undesired effects.
"Unfortunately, several of the chemical UV filters used in sunscreens cause contact allergy, either of themselves or when they are exposed to sunlight. We have therefore studied a UV filter, scytonemin, that is found in certain bacteria. We have managed to produce this substance artificially in the laboratory", says Isabella Karlsson, research student in the Department of Chemistry at the University of Gothenburg.
Primary source: Organic Letters