Sun Pharma's acne medication companion app records daily progress toward clearer skin

By Dave Muoio
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Teens and adults battling severe acne now have a new tool to follow their transition toward unblemished skin.

Sun Pharma, makers of severe acne medication Absorica (isotretinoin), have released a companion mobile app to help dermatological patients manage their treatment and assist with medication adherence. In addition, the app’s “My Progress Tracker” feature uses the phone’s camera to regularly photograph the users skin at various points in their therapy. By doing so, the app allows users to gauge their skin’s reaction to the medication over time.

"In today's mobile-centric world people are using their phones to track everything, from their steps to their food intake. The development of an app is useful to those who are willing to fully commit themselves to the Absorbica treatment process," Dr. Hillary Baldwin, dermatologist and medical director of the Acne Treatment and Research Center, said in a statement. "The app was designed to support patients from start to finish and help them possibly achieve the more clear skin they desperately seek."

Outside of the photo progress tracker, the Absorica Tracker App contains medication dose reminders, healthcare appointment reminders, information about the Absorica medication, and “My Plan,” a monthly set of tips and checklists to keep users on track and engaged with their treatment.

The app is now available for free download from the Apple App Store and Google Play Store. Sun Pharma notes that the app does not replace advice from healthcare professionals, or fulfill any requirements of the national iPLEDGE program mandatory for those prescribed medications containing isotretinoin.

Outside of textbook-style information or tip services, acne apps have had something of a checkered past in the mobile health space. In 2011, the FTC went after two app developers who falsely advertised that their smartphone apps, AcneApp and Acne Pwner, could treat acne. Both apps claimed that colored lights emitted from smartphones would reduce acne if held up daily to a user’s skin. The two apps had nearly 15,000 downloads between them, and were fined by the FTC despite removal from their respective storefronts months prior.