It seems like there is an app for everything these days. There’s mobile software that claims to cure headaches, keep mosquitos away, and even help you get a better night’s sleep.

Apparently, the Federal Trade Commission is investigating these types of applications that make health claims without any scientific evidence to back them up. Its first target? Applications that allegedly cure acne…

The FTC announced last week that they had reached an agreement with the developers of purported acne-curing apps to stop making baseless claims in wake of the FTC’s charges.

The apps in question are titles like AcneApp, who’s App Store description includes claims like:

“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%.”

The FTC charged that the acne treatment claims made by AcneApp’s marketers were unsubstantiated. As a result of the ruling, marketers are now barred from misrepresenting research, tests, or studies.

FTC Chairman, Jon Leibowitz:

“Smartphones make our lives easier in countless ways, but unfortunately when it comes to curing acne, there’s no app for that.”

Nearly 12,000 people have downloaded AcneApp, which sold for $1.99. As of this writing, the title is not available in the App Store.

I typically don’t condone the government sticking its nose where it doesn’t belong. But in this situation, I’m glad there are people holding app-makers accountable.

Do you agree? Or do you think people should fend for themselves?


  • Duped

    Anyone that really thinks that an app on a phone could cure anything other than boredom is out of their mind and should be let to keep buying useless apps. People should fend for themselves, there is far too much regulation on things that are just common sense. Let the Gov. take care of serious problems please!

  • Derpy

    Okay, if any segment of the population believes a god damn LCD screen can cure acne, Humanity is officially stupid.

    • Jason


      • goofygreek


    • SimonOrJ

      Agreed. There will be no “acne center” if it really can get acne away.

  • bc

    I feel that if a developer makes a false claim about an app having some kind of health benefit and using the app has no negative repercussions, then leave it alone. If someone is dumb enough to buy it without researching it first, then they deserve to get taken. If, on the other hand, whatever it is can cause harm to someone (not sure what kind of app could cause actual physical harm), then someone should probably step in and put a stop to it. Then again, even in that case, the inevitable law suit would likely take care of it.

  • lilla574

    bad mofo’s

  • sr sir

    how is this different then horoscopes?

  • XepptizZ

    An app cmaiming to cure acne is one thing, but what about apps like popular sleep cycle? I have it myself but often wonder how effective it really is. I’d love to see a dedicated research on it.
    Sometimes the border between science and fiction gets blurry, thus science fiction is born.

    • Adam

      I used sleep cycle for a while, I never woke up in the refreshed alert manner it claimed I might but it was interesting to see my sleep patterns with it.
      Part of me feels that it’s peoples own fault for being stupid enough to buy “mirror” apps and the like but apple regulate apps so heavily in some cases but let clearly fraudulent one like this through, just seems a bit unfair…

  • msxy

    i think the next app will be reacutin :p