Wearables & Gadgets

Fitbit says reports of skin irritation with the Charge “differ greatly” from Force complaints

Fitbit faced a setback earlier this year when it was forced to recall the Force Band, a newly launched product, due to complaints of skin irritation from users. Now there’s concern that history is repeating itself as some people are reportedly complaining about skin irritation with the new Fitbit Charge.

Late last week, Yahoo’s Alyssa Bereznak reported in a review of the Charge that the fitness tracker had irritated her skin. Bereznak said the redness went away when she took the device off for a day but that the irritation persisted throughout the week and a half that she was wearing the device.

Fitbit says only a handful of people out of the over a hundred thousand that purchased the Charge have had this problem. In a statement to Engadget, the company said reactions experienced by Charge users were “likely [due to] sweat, water, or soap being held against the skin under the device, or from pressure or friction against the skin and should resolve quickly when users take a break from the device, usually within hours or days.”

In the case of the Force, Fitbit said that its investigation determined that users were suffering from contact dermatitis as a result of the materials used in assembly. For the Charge, the company changed its materials to ensure this wouldn’t happen again.

“The reported cases represent just a few of the over hundred thousand sold and they differ greatly from what we saw with Force,” Fitbit said in a statement. “While Force’s housing and band were held together with adhesive, which was determined to be the cause of nearly all allergic reactions, Charge’s housing and band are held together with screws, completely eliminating the potential for any adhesive to contact the skin.

“We have conducted extensive testing with laboratories and consulted with top dermatologists to develop stringent standards so that users can safely wear and enjoy Charge, and we have worked to ensure that Charge meets those stringent standards.”

Fitbit hasn’t said just how many people have complained of skin irritation, but Yahoo points to a Google Document that is being continuously updated with photos and links to reviews from affected users. For now, Fitbit recommends you keep the device dry, clean, and don’t fasten it too tightly against your wrist.

The Fitbit Charge went up for pre-order in Canada in late November and launched on December 5th at Best Buy and Future Shop.

[source]Engadget, Yahoo[/source]

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