Would you like a red, splotchy, burning rash with your new Fitbit Force? Because according to the Huffington Post, that’s what you might get. Users of the popular fitness tracker, which came out in the fall of last year, are reporting a serious glitch with product’s use: painful skin irritation caused by wearing the tracker.
And, let me tell you, this rash is no joke. (Scary photographic evidence is here.) As FitBit user Mike Townsend told the Huffington Post, “It got to the point where I wasn’t able to wear anything on my left wrist. Even a tight-fitting shirt would be an irritant.” Yikes!
There are no clear numbers on how many users have fallen victim to this skin rash, but the outcry has been loud enough for Fitbit to respond with a public statement. Here’s a bit of what they had to say:
“We are aware that some of our customers have reported a skin irritation from wearing their Force device. We conduct testing in order to satisfy a variety of internationally accepted standards relating to the safety of the materials in our devices… As with any jewelry or watch, numerous factors could cause a skin irritation such as nickel sensitivity (surgical stainless steel is an alloy containing traces of nickel), reaction to bacteria that can accumulate in wristbands, or a sensitivity to the material of the band elastomer.”
Now, you might be thinking, “Okay, these folks just have allergies. No biggie.” But here’s the scary part: Some users who’ve experienced rashes with the Force claim they had no reaction to its predecessor, the Fitbit Flex, which had a similar stainless steel clasp. And the reaction comes weeks after wearing the tracker problem-free, which doesn’t really add up with the whole allergy explanation.
So what’s causing this skin irritation? As of now, no one actually knows. But, thankfully, Fitbit is offering refunds or replacements to pissed off customers. I’m guessing there are a lot of them.
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