M a r k e t N e w s

BASF and Regional Dermatology Training Centre (RDTC) in Tanzania Develop Sunscreen for People with Albinism

Posted on : Wednesday, 19th November 2014

Local RDTC production assures the supply of sunscreen for 2,000 affected people in North Tanzania;

BASF provides ingredients and expertise for improved sunscreen and further expansion of the station.

Those affected have light-colored skin, hair and eyes, making them more susceptible to sunburn and putting them at increased risk of skin cancer. In the East African country at the equator one in every 2,500 inhabitants is a person with albinism. The average life expectancy of the affected is 30 years. In Moshi located at the foot of Kilimanjaro, the Regional Dermatology Training Centre (RDTC) has helped these people for more than 22 years by providing an extensive support program. Part of it is a local sunscreen production. BASF supports RDTC in the development of an improved sunscreen for people with albinism. Today, the team introduces first results at the World Congress on Cancers of the Skin in Edinburgh.

Best possible protection for people with albinism
In addition to a higher sun protection factor (SPF 50), the new sunscreen should have above all a high absorption of UVA rays and a long lasting protection. Because the existing sunscreen “KiliSun” as it is called by Tanzanians has one decisive disadvantage; it does not currently provide enough UVA protection. “As opposed to UVB rays, UVA rays penetrate the skin deeply. They can alter cells in the long term and thereby promote the development of skin cancer,” said Mafalda Soto Valdés from the Spanish development aid organization 
AFRICA DIRECTO. As a trained pharmacist, she formulates the sunscreen locally and drives the project ahead. In Tanzania, the intense UV rays combined with a lack of suitable clothing and sun protection leads to so-called actinic keratosis a precancerous stage of skin cancer in people with albinism below the age of 20. “RDTC wants to protect people with albinism from the extreme high sun radiation at the equator in the best possible way. We want to provide medical advice and support and supply them with the sunscreens necessary for survival. BASF is an important partner in this endeavor,” emphasized Valdés.

Water-in-oil emulsion for a long lasting protection
However, the search for an even more effective alternative is not an easy one: “More than 90 percent of all sunscreens available in Europe are oil-in-water emulsions. They are easy to apply, are easily absorbed and assure a comfortable feeling on the skin; however, they cannot withstand the hot African sun. They are simply washed away through increased sweating,” explains Osterwalder. Therefore, a BASF team of sunscreen experts wants to develop a water-in-oil emulsion together with representatives of RDTC. “It is not absorbed as quickly but it offers long lasting protection,” says Osterwalder. In the long term, the new sun protection emulsion should replace the existing sunscreen. Until that time,“KiliSun” sunscreen is enriched with the BASF UV filter Uvinul® A Plus. It supplements the important UVA protection while further improving the skin feel of the sunscreen.

Source : health.einnews.com
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