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Angela Palmer

There's Not an App for That

By September 11, 2011

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The Federal Trade Commission has cracked down iPhone apps that are advertised as acne treatments.

To settle FTC charges, the marketers of the apps, AcneApp and AcnePwner, have agreed to stop making baseless claims that the apps can treat acne. They have also been banned from making any claims about what their products can do without hard scientific evidence.

If you're not familiar with the apps, they claimed to emit specific wave-lengths of light from your phone that could clear breakouts. (I blogged about it last year when the hoopla regarding the new "acne treatment" apps first hit.)

I was intrigued by the whole idea, but regarded the idea of an acne treatment iPhone app with a huge dose of skepticism. I'm not surprised that the FTC finally pulled the plug on these apps (except maybe that it took so long).

The FTC chairman Jon Leibowitz says, "Smartphones make our lives easier in countless ways, but unfortunately when it comes to curing acne, there's no app for that."

Thank goodness. I'm tired of companies taking advantage of those who are desperate to clear their skin. Who hasn't bought a product that promised (guaranteed, even) clear skin only to be disappointed with the total lack of results? I know I have. They got my money and I got a product that didn't work.

And if you bought one of these apps, you're definitely not alone. About 15,000 people downloaded them onto their phones.

So I say shame on the makers of these bogus acne treatment apps. Let's also use this as a reminder to take any claims of an acne cure with a grain of salt, and to always check out the facts before spending money on yet another treatment product.

If you want real results, the best bet is still the proven acne treatments: benzoyl peroxide, Retin-A, tetracycline, and other medications you can get from your dermatologist. They aren't as slick as an iPhone app, and they do take time to work. But the bottom line is they actually can work.

Genuine or Bogus?

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