Sometimes your skin will react badly to certain materials that come in contact with your skin. This skin irritation might be due to allergies, chafing or rubbing, or dirt and sweat built up in certain places.
The Fitbit rash started gaining the public's attention in 2014. During that period, the Force wearable fitness tracker was recalled after wearers developed rashes on their wrists. Even today, there are still users of the Fitbit line of fitness trackers and wearables who reportedly have experienced rashes.
WHAT CAUSE FITBIT RASH/SKIN IRRITATION
Some people are allergic to materials such as metals like nickel. These materials may be found in Fitbit. This rash is likely a form of eczema known as contact dermatitis. It is a common skin condition that develops when your skin is in contact with an allergen or irritant.
So, what are these allergen and irritant contact dermatitis?
- Irritant Contact Dermatitis. Irritant contact dermatitis results from your skin being injured by chemicals, friction, or environmental factors. This is the most common form of dermatitis.
You'll experience irritant contact dermatitis when an irritant damages the surface of your skin quicker than the skin can repair itself. This allows the irritants to go deeper into your skin and cause inflammation.
The following are the irritants that are most likely to cause a reaction:
- Rubbing alcohol
If there's soap trapped between the wrist and your Fitbit watch strap, this will cause rashes to appear. You will experience skin irritation if this happens frequently. It would help if you noted that the area where the watch is worn is usually where perfume is sprayed, or lotion is put on. If there is constant friction, contact dermatitis will happen. Other factors that may cause contact dermatitis are pressure and sweat between the skin and the Fitbit band.
- Allergic Contact Dermatitis. It is when your skin is in contact with a substance and has an immune reaction, such as a rash. Some people are hypersensitive to certain materials. Others could be in contact with the same materials, but there will be no skin reactions.
If you are one of the people who have an allergy, your body recognizes the substance as foreign material. Thus, your body will release cytokines. The cytokines will make your immune system activate. After exposure to the allergen, you will experience dermatitis for 48 to 72 hours.
What are the common allergens? These are:
- Plants such as poison ivy
- Antibiotic creams
- Personal care products
- Ragweed pollen
If you're experiencing a Fitbit rash, it might be because of an allergic response to allergens. These allergens might be present in the materials used in your Fitbit watch band. These materials include metals, leather dyes, and rubber accelerators. If exposed to any materials above, a rash will appear on your wrist. That is if you have sensitive skin.
The most likely culprit for your rash is the presence of nickel.
- Nickel Allergy. The rashes you've been having might be due to nickel. Nickel is a material found in several fitness trackers. It's no wonder some flare-ups happen, especially if you and other wearers of the Fitbit are unaware that you have a nickel allergy.
If you want to determine if nickel is the cause of the rashes, you should undergo a dimethylglyoxime test. Nickel is present in your skin if the dye turns pink. You will also need to undergo a patch test to prove you're allergic to nickel.
SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS OF A FITBIT RASH
You will notice the following signs and symptoms on the skin where you wear your Fitbit:
- Red rash
- Scaly skin
WHAT TO DO IF YOU GET FITBIT RASH?
If you develop a rash, Fitbit's advice is to take it off for a few days. According to a Fitbit spokesperson, your rashes are likely from wearing the band too tight. It might also be due to sweat, water, or soap being held against the skin under the device. Another reason is because of pressure or friction against the skin.
The Fitbit spokesperson said the rash will resolve quickly when users take a break from the device. Try wearing your Fitbit again after your skin clears up. However, if you still got rashes, the following can help you prevent or treat the Fitbit rash.
- Clean your Fitbit watch and band. It is essential to clean your Fitbit, especially after a sweaty workout. Clean your fitness tracker regularly, particularly the band. Remember to make sure that the band is completely dry before using it. Most Fitbit bands can be cleaned easily with soap and water.
- Loosen your Fitbit. You should wear your fitness tracker as loosely as possible. You should be able to move it back and forth comfortably on your wrist. Also, remove your Fitbit watch every 20 minutes each day. This will help prevent skin irritation. You can also switch your Fitbit from one wrist to another.
- Switching bands. The basic silicone band usually doesn't cause a reaction. However, the brand of the band you're using with your Fitbit may cause skin irritation. Fortunately, there are lots of shops where you can shop for your Fitbit band.
- Boost your moisture barrier. You should protect your skin's moisture barrier to prevent and treat your Fitbit rash. It would help to look for moisturizers with glycerine, lipids, and ceramides. These are skin-replenishing ingredients that will help maintain your skin barrier integrity.
- Reduce itching and inflammation. Look for something that can help reduce itching and inflammation. Hydrocortisone cream and calamine lotion can help relieve minor skin irritations.
If your rash does not disappear within a few weeks, you should book an appointment with a dermatologist. If the rash suddenly appears and spreads to other areas, you should visit a dermatologist immediately. If you notice oozing blisters and have a fever, it's infected. You will need to receive treatment right away.