US watchdog the FTC has had to step in to stop the iTunes store peddling an application which claimed to cure acne.
Apple did not write the applications, but Steve Jobs’ approved them for his iTunes store apparently thinking that it does no harm to give users’ false hopes. Apple has banned loads of applications on the grounds that right-wing Christian nutjobs might react badly, but apparently forbidding peddling quack cures was not on his agenda.
We guess it was only a matter of time before “Dr Watson’s Medicine Show” rolled into the iTunes store. Spots are a huge problem among young virgin males who are Apple’s chief demographic. The fact that they are incredulous enough to buy a new phone upgrade every year, or a keyboardless netbook and think they are cool, would make them ideal marks for any rip-off merchants going.
The makers of two mobile applications claiming to treat acne have settled FTC complaints that the developers sold the apps without proof works.
Acne Pwner and AcneApp have been prohibited from making acne treatment claims without scientific evidence, the FTC said.
FTC Chairman Jon Leibowitz said in a statement that while smartphones make our lives easier in countless ways, but “unfortunately when it comes to curing acne, there’s no app for that”.
Both apps claimed that coloured lights emitted from mobile device screens could change the acne scared skin.
Android versions of the applications were flogged on Google’s market place, but were nowhere near as popular even though they were a dollar cheaper than the Apple store version. Only 3,000 Android versions of the cure were sold. We guess there were more spots among Apple users.
AcneApp insisted that the app was developed by a dermatologist and that a study published by the British Journal of Dermatology showed blue and red light treatments eliminated p-acne bacteria and reduced skin blemishes by 76 percent.
The dermatologist in question was Dr. Gregory Pearson, who worked with developer Koby Brown on AcneApp. But Brown and Pearson misrepresented the British Journal of Dermatology study on light therapy.
The study showed that while light therapy can help treat acne, it needed to be a lot lighter than the iPhone can manage. Besides when you put an iPhone 4 to your face, it disconnects.