Close to 15,000 poor folks were holding their phones to their faces thinking it would cure acne, after being duped by “acne cure” app developers. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) caught wind of this and forced them to drop the “baseless claims.”
According to the FTC, the two apps, “AcneApp” and “Acne Pwner” are the first apps they’ve ever gone after for making fake health claims.
The apps were claimed to treat acne by emitting colored lights from the smartphones. “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,” states the FTC.
Both apps were doing well on the market. Acne Pwner, was selling for 99 cents on the Android Marketplace and had 3,300 downloads. The other, AcneApp had 11,600 downloads from the iTunes store and was going for $1.99 per download.
AcneApp cited findings from a British Journal of Dermatology that found blue and red light treatments could eliminate p-acne bacteria, which is a main cause of acne, and reduce skin blemishes by 76 percent.
The FTC said claims by developers of both apps were unsubstantiated, and the treatment used by AcneApp was not in line with the types of light the British Journal of Dermatology says are effective.
The FTC said developers misrepresented information from the study.
According to the FTC, “The settlements would bar the marketers from making acne-treatment claims about their mobile apps and other medical devices, as well as the safety, performance, benefits, or efficacy claims about any device, without competent and reliable scientific evidence. The two marketers of AcneApp would also be barred from misrepresenting research, tests, or studies.”
(Image courtesy of Apple)