Fitbit and Nickel Allergy

Do you use a Fitbit exercise watch? Did you develop any skin irritation?

If so, you are not alone! Last month Fitbit apologized for using nickel in their popular “Fitbit” line of exercise trackers. Worn on the wrist, these wearable smart devices were causing mysterious rashes on user’s skin. Although Fitbit used surgical grade steel, they failed to realize that even “surgical grade” contains nickel. The forums on their site were stuffed with complaints from people diagnosed with contact dermatitis. Fitbit has offered refunds to any users affected.

As a nickel allergy sufferer, it seems pretty ridiculous that any company wouldn’t think to source their components nickel free. After all, this must be considered in Europe due to heavy regulation of nickel use through legislation. But Fitbit was not alone. Jawbone, another manufacturer of wearable devices, has also been found to use parts that contain nickel. And this is in a product prone to coming in contact with the corrosive power of sweat!

Although annoying and careless, this has at least made the news and sent a warning to other manufacturers. Go nickel free from the start, or nickel allergy sufferers will single you out! 

Originally published by Janice Enright 3-23-2014