Fitbit Force users have been reporting for quite some time that sporting the wearable device frequently may cause skin problems ranging from rashes to skin peeling and blisters. The $130-gadget, launched in November, was a popular gift item over the recent holidays but affected users resorted to online forums and social media to complain about it and the Fitbit Force made headlines for all the wrong reasons.
Fitbit Force is essentially a monitoring device that can help people achieve fitness goals. It can track critical data such as steps taken, stairs climbed, distance traveled, calories burned, hours slept, quality of sleep, and active minutes. It will also have a call notifications feature soon, according to its manufacturer.
Fitbit has acknowledged the problem and has sent an updated statement to Tech Times with regard to the issues involving its product.
"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," the emailed statement from Fitbit's PR team member Emily York read. "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 asked customers who contract any skin irritation to stop using the Force and contact Fitbit. The affected customers will be entitled get an immediate refund or they may opt to replace the wearable device with another Fitbit product.
Fitbit also has Zip and One wireless activity trackers that can be attached to one's pocket, bra, belt, or other clothing. These can be good alternatives to people whose skin might be reacting with the band or stainless steel portion of the Force.
According to the maker of the Force, only a small number of its customers are affected by the skin problems. The issue is not documented on its Facebook page but a report by Timothy Stenovec of Huffington Post mentions about a comment being deleted by the admin of the page. Stenovec was also able to speak with several owners of the device who never had skin allergies or reaction to jewelry or metal watches before.
As of reporting, the discussion [registration required] about the skin irritation issue on Fitbit Community has reached 41 pages. There are members of the forum that shared their experience using Fitbit Force and why they needed to seek medical consultation because of the skin irritation. Some Force users suspect the skin rash could be the result of some leakage from Force's rechargeable lithium-polymer battery, though this information could not be verified.