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
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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.


Ridiculous iPhone App? February 17, 2010

Filed under: Acne — askanesthetician @ 4:45 pm
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I don’t have an iPhone.  I don’t have any kind of smart phone even though my husband and numerous friends have repeatedly recommended that I get one.  I don’t have one not because I am opposed to smart phones; I don’t have because I am afraid if I have one I’ll never put it down.  I fear that my time sucking habit of internet surfing will simply over take my life if I have a smart phone so in lieu of just gaining some much needed self-control I  decided to just have a simple cellphone instead.  For now all I can do with my phone is make and receive phone calls and texts.

Having said all of that, of course I am still well aware of all the different apps that are available to smart phone users.  When the app craze began I even tried to recruit my husband, a former computer programmer, to write an app so we would make lots of money and live without financial worries ever again.  Alas that never happened because of my lack of a cool app idea, not for lack of will.  Nevertheless I still am interested in new apps and was very intrigued when I saw the following article today on WebMD:  Can You Treat Acne with an iPhone App? AcneApp Promises to Clear Skin With Light Therapy; Dermatologists Express DoubtsMy first thought was – is this a joke?  Really – treat your acne with your phone??!! 

The idea behind this app is that your phone gives off blue light (which fights acne) and then red light as well (which helps heal the skin).  The use of light therapy to treat acne is not a new idea, and there are even numerous hand-held devices that you can use at home that claim to help heal acne.  Light therapy, when administered at a physician’s office using medical grade machines, can be part of a treatment option to help alleviate acne.  The home devices are an expensive option that rarely works.  The main reason these home gadgets don’t work is that the light intensity in these devices isn’t strong enough to do anything.  The light intensity must be kept low because these devices are sold for home use and as such must be consumer safe.

I think this iPhone app is nothing but a gimmick full of false hope.  This level of blue light will not heal your acne.  Get on a good anti-acne home care regime that is tailored to your specific type of breakouts and see a professional for light therapy if you choose that option.   Use your smart phone for calls, texts, the internet, etc., etc. but leave caring for your acne to a professional.

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