Apple Watch and Fitbit rashes are real (and gross)


Jim Cramer Apple Watch
Don't even think about what Jim Cramer's arm must look like under his double watches.
Screencap: Evan Killham/Cult of Mac

We’re seeing a lot of reports across the Internet of Apple Watch owners getting some irritation from their wearables. We have a few likely culprits for these blights, including friction with the band; contact dermatitis from dirt, water, or soap getting stuck underneath; or allergic reactions to adhesives or nickel used in the smartwatch’s production.

Whatever the cause, however, the fact remains that wearable rashes are very real and not limited to Apple’s new smartwatch. Here are some of the most interesting (meaning disturbing and gross) pictures we’ve been able to turn up from the Internet.

You can barely notice it. Really.


At least it didn’t mess up your tattoo, I guess.

And he’s still wearing his Apple Watch. What a trooper.

Mysterious Laser Burn, Part 1

Mysterious Laser Burn, Part 2: The Scabbing

Just tell people you were literally burning calories.

“Rash me once, shame on you …”

Hopefully, this person doesn’t read this post.

Wow, that’s … wow.

Apple Watch rash or burn

If you’re breaking out underneath your Apple Watch, Fitbit, or another wearable, some advice has emerged that might help you out.

First, make sure you have a good fit. If the band is too loose, it could rub up against your skin and cause irritation. If it’s too loose, it’s easier for irritants to get trapped underneath and create problems.

And while these things are ostensibly designed for constant use, be sure to take them off every once in a while. You want both your wearable and your skin to be as clean and dry as possible. So even though your Apple Watch can survive a shower, don’t wear it in there. It’s not a good idea to trap moisture underneath there.

We’ve seen a few sporadic reports of overheating, like in the “laser burn” pictures above, and those are likely due to faulty hardware. We hope that if those claims are true, Apple will handle them appropriately, but we have no tips for those users other than taking the thing off and reporting the issue to get a replacement.

If you want more information on what’s in your Apple Watch and how to safely clean it to hopefully avoid some of these problems, check out this guide on Apple’s website.

  • Chris Lee

    I think that most ppl are too concerned with wearing it so tight. If you let the band setting up one, it will still continue to stay ‘connected’ to your skin.

    • Fidelia2521

      like Bonnie implied I didn’t even know that any one able to profit $5203 in a few weeks on the computer . look at this site

  • Kev

    My skin turns green when I wear cheap metal. When I wear a plastic band and it gets sweaty, my skin turns red and blisters form when it rubs back and forth. This is not a new thing lolololol. Wear your stuff appropriately. One of those dudes up there literally has the indentation of the Apple watch in his skin. Yeah, you’re wearing it too tight pal of course it’s going to irritate the skin. People ain’t got no sense, y’all.

  • Hayden Evans

    I’m not sure why people are claiming “laser burns”, the heart rate monitor only uses LEDs.

    • Because they are bunch of Morons!

  • AKC322

    FWIW, it’s “trouper,” not “trooper.”

  • kpedraja

    Since my tweet and photo is used in the story (thanks, I guess..?), I might as well provide some context. I’ve worn watches for most of my life. Some cheap, some expensive, often 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. I never once had an issue with skin irritation of any kind. I’d worn a Fitbit Flex pretty much constantly for almost 2 years with no problems. I then upgraded to a new Fitbit Charge HR (which, btw, bills itself as a sleep tracker and constant heart rate monitor so it’s meant to be worn constantly), and within 2 months I developed the irritation I tweeted about. It was clearly caused by the metal buckle. This despite following all of the use guidelines – taking it off regularly, washing it after exercise, etc. Fitbit, to their credit, has offered to refund my purchase. But they obviously have an issue with the alloys used in their product. I’ve now been wearing an Apple Watch since late May. No issues so far.

  • Les Tork

    Handcuffs for geeks

  • digitaldumdum

    “Apple Watch and Fitbit rashes are real (and gross)”

    Dear god, who comes up with this crap? Anything to try to knock Apple back, huh. The only gross part of this story is featuring the monetary madman, Jim Cramer. Just the image of him, let alone his voice, gives me a rash all over.

  • Marco Schreijen

    I have a nickel allergy and if there is even a slight trace of nickel I get a rash. I’m wearing my Apple Watch Sport for 16 hours a day for 2 months now, no problem, no rash, not even after hours of cycling. I rinse the watch and band daily after workouts The Space Grey version has nickel in the coating, this is why I didn’t buy that version…

    • tralalalalalala50

      You should vigorously rub your watch against your wrist like these users do. Your use-case scenario of casually wearing a watch is not realistic. Smart watch users are constantly rubbing their watches against their body to form rashes. It is a self-harm lifestyle popular in this circle.

  • SeriouslyWow

    Two pics from the same guy, one is a polar band… seriously? Massive clickbait.