Four months after its launch, the Fitbit Surge has become a hot topic on Twitter as users are complaining about skin rashes and irritation after wearing the fitness tracker. If it rings a bell, Fitbit last year too had to pull its Fitbit Force from the market due to similar complaints.
The Fitbit Surge users took to Twitter to post several photos of skin rashes due to wearing the fitness tracker. "Having a break from my @fitbit Surge. Might need to stop wearing it - nice rash (and my skin isn't usually sensitive)," stated a user named Shaun Ewing on Twitter along with the image.
Fitbit has addressed the issue in a statement to TechCrunch, stating that "a very limited percentage of users" have faced the problem and such reactions are "not uncommon with jewellery or wearable devices that stay in contact with the skin for extended periods."
The company further states that according to dermatologists, reactions such as skin rashes are caused only in certain conditions, such as when the band is too tight, or in the continued presence of sweat, water, or soap between the device and the user's skin. Another reason for reactions is from pressure or friction against the skin.
According to Fitbit, the solution is to follow the guidelines developed by its team of dermatologists, "Keep it clean, keep it dry and give your wrist a rest." It's an interesting response by the company, considering wearables such as fitness trackers are usually worn daily, and continuously.
It is worth noting however that the Fitbit Surge wearable also comes with a warning which states, "Prolonged contact may contribute to skin irritation or allergies in some users. If you notice any signs of skin redness, swelling, itchiness, or other skin irritation, please discontinue use or wear the product clipped over a piece of clothing."
If such cases continue to emerge, FibBit might risk its chance to grow in the wearables market. Also, its $250 (roughly Rs. 15,300) Fitbit Surge is one of the costliest wearables in the market that is not a smartwatch, which makes it even more difficult to attract users as they have several cheaper options from Jawbone, Nike and Garmin.
Fitbit in October unveiled its Fitbit Surge along with the Fitbit Charge and Fitbit Charge HR. It is worth noting that Fitbit had to take its Fitbit Force, which it launched in late 2013, off the market in early 2014 due to similar skin-related complaints. At that time the firm blamed the use of nickel in the wearable for the complaints.