Fitbits are still causing rashes. Some owners of the Surge are reporting that, like the Force and Charge before it, the new smartwatch activity tracker is causing a rash. Fitbit’s solution? Take the thing off occasionally.
Fitbit tells TechCrunch that a very limited percentage of users reported skin irritation, and the reactions are not uncommon with jewelry or wearable devices that stay in contact with the skin for extended periods. After consulting dermatologists, Fitbit’s advice is this: Keep it clean, keep it dry and give your wrist a rest.
This is hardly the first time a Fitbit device has caused a rash. The firm released the Fitbit Force, its first wrist-worn activity tracker with a screen, in late 2013 but had to recall the product in early 2014 after numerous reports of skin rashes. A class-action lawsuit followed weeks later.
At the time, Fitbit stated that the rashes were caused by nickel used in the device’s band.The redesigned Fitbit Charge was said to have less nickel. Yet users are reporting rashes with that tracker, as well.
The latest devices include a warning that states “Prolonged contact may contribute to skin irritation or allergies in some users. If you notice any signs of skin redness, swelling, itchiness, or other skin irritation, please discontinue use or wear the product clipped over a piece of clothing.”
By Fitbit’s logic, any activity tracker can cause a rash. And they do, yet there are a lot fewer reports of rashes caused by Jawbone, Nike, Garmin or other activity trackers. Even watches have been known to cause rashes.
At $250, the Surge is Fitbit’s most expensive product on the market and key to the company’s long-term growth. The Surge sits squarely between a full-blown smartwatch, like the upcoming Apple Watch, and a low-cost activity tracker that is quickly becoming a commodity. The company already suffered through one full recall caused by users reporting rashes. It likely cannot weather another.
Fitbit’s full statement: