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DNA sunscreens provide better and longer protection
August 10, 2017, 4:17 pm

Health experts recommend using sunscreens when going out in the sun, as the ultraviolet (UV) light from the sun can damage DNA and cause harm to the skin. However, the protection provided by sunscreens tends to wear-off after a while, and especially when it comes in contact with water.

Scientists have now developed a thin optically transparent film coating made out of DNA that gets better at absorbing UV and protecting skin the more you expose it to the sun, while also keeping the skin hydrated.

Applied as a topical cream or as a sunscreen the film becomes more effective the longer you stay in the sun and as a bonus it is hygroscopic, meaning that it is capable of slowing water evaporation and keeping the tissue hydrated for extended periods of time.

The researchers are now exploring whether the same material could be effective as a wound covering in other situations such as when you want to be able to see the wound healing without removing the dressing; you want to protect the wound from the sun; or you want to keep the wound in a moist environment, which is known to promote faster wound healing rates.

"Not only do we think this might have applications for sunscreen and moisturizers directly, but if it's optically transparent and prevents tissue damage from the sun and it's good at keeping the skin hydrated, we think this might be potentially exploitable as a wound covering for extreme environments," said the team behind the study.

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