February 12, 2015 — Fitbit has acknowledged that its new activity-tracking wristbands are still causing users to develop skin irritation and rashes.
Fitbit recalled over 1 million Force wristbands in March 2014 after receiving about 10,000 reports of skin irritation and 250 reports of blistering. A class action and several injury lawsuits were filed soon afterward.
The problem is that users continue to report skin irritation with the Fitbit Charge and Surge wristbands. Fitbit says the problems are “likely from wearing the band too tight; sweat, water, or soap held against the skin under the device; or from pressure or friction against the skin.”
An investigation by ABC News7 in San Francisco uncovered more than 200 reports of burning rashes on social media.
New products carry the following warning:
“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.”
Fitbit says rashes can happen with any activity tracker or wristwatch. However, there are far fewer reports for products made by Nike, Jawbone, and Garmin.
Fitbit has denied that materials in the devices are to blame, but users who had never had an allergy to nickel demanded answers. Fitbit finally admitted that adhesives used to assemble the device contained methacrylate, a chemical that could cause skin reactions that would worsen over time.
Fitbit is advising anyone who experiences a rash to stop wearing their device for a few days to see if the irritation clears up.