Got acne? There used to be an app for that -

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The iPhone is pretty special, but apparently its magic does not extend to curing blemishes.

The Federal Trade Commission has reached a settlement with the developers of AcneApp. The marketers of the app claimed that it "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 [sic] skin blemishes by 76%." There were approximately 11,600 downloads of AcneApp from the iTunes store, where it sold for $1.99.

The FTC charged the acne treatment claims made for both the iPhone and a similar Android app were unsubstantiated. It also charged that the marketers of AcneApp falsely claimed that the study in the British Journal of Dermatology proves that blue and red light therapy, such as the type provided by AcneApp, is an effective acne treatment.

Our own Chris Rawson was pretty sure the iPhone's oleophobic screen would take care of acne on its own, but apparently it is only good at resisting greasy fingerprints and ear wax.

A couple of mysteries here: First, how did this kind of snake oil make it past the iPhone app store vetting, and why on earth did 11,600 people download it? Just thinking about this makes my face itch.

Oh, if you still need some kind of acne fix, there is a free app called Acne Eraser that will gives you info and tips on getting rid of the facial blight. For our more light-hearted readers there is a free iOS game called Pimple Popper. You can figure out the rest. As they say, once you pop, you cannot stop.

09 Sep, 2011

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