New form of therapy is gold dust for acne sufferers
Acne patients are being sought to try a pioneering treatment that aims to banish unsightly skin blemishes with gold dust.
Scientist are looking for 50 participants of all ages for the evaluation trial which will test the new therapy, called Sebacia.
Already approved in the US, the treatment involves massaging a cream containing tiny particles of solid gold into skin pores. A low power laser is then used to heat up the dust particles and reduce inflammation, hopefully causing spots to disappear over a few days.
Trial leader consultant dermatologist Dr Howard Stevens, founder of private London clinic The Skin Care Network, said: "Acne is one of the most common and distressing conditions for anyone to suffer and while it is most common in younger people, especially adolescents, it can affect men and women too.
"Acne is unsightly and causes embarrassment and can undermine a person's confidence and even lead to psychological problems.
"Stubborn cases may need medicinal creams rubbed into the face daily and some people don't want to use strong medicines on their face or use treatments that don't work or take tablets with a poor safety record. This new system could be the answer for these patients."
Acne is caused by excessive oil, called sebum, being generated by the sebaceous glands. Pores become blocked, leading to a build-up of bacteria that trigger inflammation and unsightly spots.
Some 60pc of people either have acne or have suffered from the condition at some point in their life, according to the British Skin Foundation. There is no cure for acne, but spots can be kept at bay using a range of creams and drugs, including antibiotics and oral contraceptives.
Sebacia is already sanctioned by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Dr Stevens wants to find out how effective the treatment is. He added: "If we can show that the gold particles are as effective as the current treatments, then this could be a real breakthrough for those people for whom topical medicines don't work that well."