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Apps Can’t Cure Acne

FTC says Acne Claims Baseless

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    NEWSLETTERS

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    Neither of these will clear up your skin.

    Colored lights emitted from your smart phone will not cure acne.

    So says the Federal Trade Commission, which has forced marketers who advertised that their smart phone applications could treat acne must stop making baseless claims.

    The mobile applications were sold in Apple’s iTunes Store and Google’s Android Marketplace. The cases involve mobile apps AcneApp and Acne Pwner and are the first the FTC has brought targeting health claims in the mobile application marketplace.

    The FTC alleged that the mobile apps were advertised to work in the same way: Both claimed to be able to treat acne with colored lights emitted from smart phones or mobile devices. Consumers were advised to hold the display screen next to the area of skin to be treated for few minutes daily while the app was activated.

    According to the FTC complaint, there were approximately 3,300 downloads of Acne Pwner, which was offered for 99 cents in the Android Marketplace. Ads for Acne Pwner stated, “Kill ACNE with this simple, yet powerful tool!”

    The marketers of AcneApp claimed, “This app was developed by a dermatologist. A study published by the British Journal of Dermatology showed blue and red light treatments eliminated p-acne bacteria (a major cause of acne) and reduces skin blemishes by 76%.” There were approximately 11,600 downloads of AcneApp from the iTunes store, where it was sold for $1.99.

    The FTC charged the acne treatment claims made for both apps were unsubstantiated.

    “Smart phones make our lives easier in countless ways, but unfortunately when it comes to curing acne, there’s no app for that,” said FTC Chairman Jon Leibowitz.

    The settlements in two separate cases would bar the marketers from making certain health-related claims without scientific evidence.

    Go here for more details.