On Your Side: Apps may not cure acne after all

  • Article by: JANE FRIEDMANN
  • September 10, 2011 - 3:59 PM

Aim your phone at your acne, bathe your blemishes with beams of lights and transform your complexion into a silky acne-free surface that even Mary Kay would envy.

If only it were that easy.

Seekers of smartphone applications claiming to cure acne will have to look elsewhere after the Federal Trade Commission clamped down on the "baseless claims" of two businesses last week.

Koby Brown and Gregory W. Pearson, doing business as DermApps, marketed an application called AcneApp. They claimed that a study found that a red and blue light treatment eliminated bacteria and reduced blemishes by 76 percent. There were about 11,600 downloads of AcneApp at $1.99 each. The Dallas-area men were fined $14,294 by the FTC and agreed to stop making acne-treatment claims.

Andrew N. Finkle made a similar agreement after about 3,300 downloads of his application, Acne Pwner, were bought for 99 cents each. Finkle, who lives in the Rochester, N.Y. area, was fined $1,700, the FTC said.

Identity theft advice

The Consumer Federation of America, a nonprofit association of 300 consumer groups, launched a website last week that provides tips on dealing with identity theft. The site's main strength lies in the links it provides to expert advice on shopping for an identity theft service, reducing the risk of theft and repairing and damage after the fact, among other topics. The site is at


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