Bonnie Petrie and Mike Barajas

Fitbit Force Reportedly Causing Skin Irritation, Allergic Reactions

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The popular wearable fitness device known as Fitbit Force has come under fire in recent weeks after reports began surfacing of skin irritation and allergic reactions to the band.  Initial reports began to pop up on Fitbit’s own forum with users reporting burns, rashes, and peeling of the skin after use of the Fitbit.

On the Fitbit forum, one user commented: “I’ve had my Force for about a month now.  About 4 days ago I started getting the burn/rash.  I quit wearing it so my arm could heal but it is about the size of a baseball now and it burns.  It also has started to swell.  I’ve tried putting creams on it but it hasn’t helped.”

(Credit: Fitbit Force)

(Credit: Fitbit Force)

The Fitbit is worn around the wrist like a watch and tracks how much exercise the user  gets throughout the day.  In coordination with an app on a smartphone or tablet, Fitbit relays real-time information and statistics about the daily exercise routine.

In response to the claims, Fitbit released this statement:

“We are looking into reports from a very limited number of Fitbit Force users who have been experiencing skin irritation, possibly as a result of an allergy to nickel, an element of surgical-grade stainless steel used in the device.  

We suggest that consumers experiencing any irritation discontinue using the product and contact Fitbit at force@fitbit.com if they have additional questions. Customers may also contact Fitbit for an immediate refund or replacement with a different Fitbit product. 

We are sorry that even a few consumers have experienced these problems and assure you that we are looking at ways to modify the product so that anyone can wear the Fitbit Force comfortably. We will continue to update our customers with the latest information.”

The company has issued no statement regarding a recall at this time.

Users of other wearable fitness devices, such as Nike’s FuelBand and Jawbone’s Up24, have reported similar skin irritations as well.

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