Askanesthetician's Blog

An esthetician explores skincare issues and concerns

Ridiculous iPhone Apps? Part 2 March 30, 2010

Filed under: Acne — askanesthetician @ 7:50 am
Tags: , , , , , , ,

I had written earlier in this blog about iPhone apps that claim to help treat acne.  See my post Ridiculous iPhone App?  for more details.  In my previous post I pointed out that claiming an iPhone app can help clear acne with the use of light therapy was silly and down right misleading.

Much to my great surprise I came across the following blog post from Dr. Leslie Baumann (The Skin Guru on Yahoo! Health, whose blog I have mentioned already numerous times in my blog) actually telling her readers that such apps are worth a try???!!!  I found this advice quite amazing in light of all the advice from other physicians that such apps do not work, provide acne sufferers with false hope, and can even be harmful. 

Here is Dr. Baumann’s post:

Wouldn’t it be great if you could erase acne and wrinkles while chatting on the phone? Well, two new iPhone apps promise to do just that!AcneApp and Atomic Red both harness the iPhone’s light emitting diode (LED) screen to emit wavelengths that can benefit skin. The principle is the same as that behind the red and blue light therapy offered in your dermatologist’s office–albeit on a much less powerful scale–which has been shown to kill acne-causing bacteria, reduce inflammation, and treat wrinkles by boosting collagen production.

AcneApp uses alternating pulses of blue and red light and is purported to have anti-aging in addition to pimple-fighting properties, while Atomic Red promises to ease muscle and joint pain as well as firm sagging skin (a third app, Atomic Blue, is intended to treat seasonal affective disorder).

While I think this is a genius idea, I doubt the iPhone is powerful enough to have much efficacy. But for $1.99 per app, it sure is worth a try!

These could be fun and perhaps slightly effective self-treatments for periods between in-office light treatments from a board certified dermatologist. Such treatments cost around $75 per visit, are painless, and require no downtime; in my experience, they are more effective as an acne treatment than for anti-aging (there are other lasers, such as the Pearl and Fraxel, that work far better on wrinkles and sagging skin). The number of treatments required will vary depending on severity of your acne.


Once again, I am extremely surprised that a dermatologist would actually semi endorse such an iPhone app and even encourage her readers to give it a try.  Please read my earlier post to understand why most doctors disagree with the use of such iPhone apps.


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