FTC Takes Action Against Purported Acne-Curing Apps

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?