Got a rash from a Fitbit Force? What to do now

Activity tracker recalled because of allergic reaction to wristband

Published: February 24, 2014 05:15 PM

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If you are one of the unlucky people who developed a rash while wearing an activity tracker called the Fitbit Force, here's the good news: Fitbit has recalled the item and will give you a refund.

Our colleagues at the Consumerist were the first ones to report this story last month when they started getting complaints on their consumer forums from people who said the Fitbit gave them a skin irritation near the charging port. The makers of Fitbit acknowledged that the materials used in the Force wristband are likely causing some users to experience an  allergic reaction. 

Consumer Reports' chief medical adviser Marvin M. Lipman, M.D.,  says the red, blistery, sometimes weepy and intensely itchy condition is called contact dermatitis. Steroid creams can provide some relief.

Meanwhile, what are your options if you've developed a rash but still want to wear something that records your daily steps to keep you motivated? Get your refund and buy something else. We recently tested activity trackers, including other Fitbit models not included in this recall, as well as the Nike+ FuelBand and Up by Jawbone. Looking for something more simple? The old standby, pedometers, will still get you moving. Which is the whole point, after all.   

—Sue Byrne


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