The FTC has just ordered two companies to stop marketing apps as cures for acne

Your phone can't zap zits

If you have a smartphone, you know that there's an app for just about everything these days.

But if you have acne, there may not be an app for that, after all.

And there is also a lesson for anyone who blindly trusts that anything in the iTunes store is safe and tested.

FTC Cracks Down

The FTC has just ordered two companies to stop marketing apps as cures for acne.

One of them, appropriately called "Acne App," downloads a red and a blue light onto your smartphone. By holding it up to your face, it is supposed to wipe out acne.

The second app, "Acne Pwnr," also claims to cure acne with light. It was sold in the Android Marketplace.

Don't laugh: the apps cite a British study showing that strong colored lights can kill bacteria. But the FTC says there is no evidence colored lights from your phone will actually treat acne.

Still, more than 11,000 people paid $1.99 to download the apps.

Lesson for App Buyers

One lesson here: Acne App was sold in Apple's iTtunes store, which many people assume sells only apps that have been tried and tested by Apple, and therefore will work as promised.

That is not always the case, based on the FTC's findings. Apple tests apps to be sure they load as promised, won't bog down your phone, and are not scams that are trying to steal your money or contact list. But it doesn't test them for effectiveness.

The FTC says all these apps will do is drain your phone battery, drain your wallet and make you look really, really silly if you try the treatment in public.

As always, don't waste your money.

__________________

Don't Waste Your Money is a registered trademark of the EW Scripps Co.

Print this article Back to Top

Comments