February 24, 2014 — FitBit has voluntarily recalled its Force wristband after receiving complaints about skin irritation and rashes. The $130 fitness tracker is designed to monitor daily activities, such as steps, distance, calories burned, and sleep patterns. According to CEO and co-founder James Park, 1.7% of users had reported skin irritation.
FitBit determined that the problems were not caused by the battery or electrical components, but rather allergic contact dermatitis. This type of inflammation is caused by an irritant, such as a chemical, dye, or metal. It is not life-threatening or contagious, but can potentially cause blistering, skin infections, and scarring. Most cases clear up in 2-4 weeks.
Park said in a statement:
“Some users may be reacting to the nickel present in the surgical grade stainless steel used in the device. Other users are likely experiencing an allergic reaction to the materials used in the strap or the adhesives used to assemble the product.”
FitBit has stopped selling the Force wristband and is offering customers a full refund. They have also established a dedicated website and hotline at 1-888-656-6381 for instructions on how to return the FitBit Force.