Fitbit caused skin irritation, Wisconsin women claim

Fitbit caused injuries, women said

MADISON, Wis. (WMTV/Gray News) - Fitness tracking devices are one of the most popular electronic products, and Kellian Kiron loved hers until her Fitbit Charge woke her up in the middle of the night with what she describes as a burning feeling on her wrist, WMTV reported.

"I quickly took off my Fitbit and noticed this burn on my wrist," Kiron said.

She had a red mark about the size of a quarter on her wrist. Kiron says the mark blistered a little, then eventually turned into what looked like extremely dry skin in the following days. She didn't go to a doctor because she thought it wasn't a severe enough mark but says it has been an irritation.

"I loved my Fitbit. I relied on it a lot. I used it to track my sleep, track my workouts, track my steps," Kiron said.

The young entrepreneur owns and operates two barre studios in Madison. She has a large following on social media, and shared what she experience with her fitness tracker on her Instagram.

"I had four people reach out to me with similar experiences," Kiron said.

Lisa Caras, another Fitbit user, contacted Kiron and shared what happened to her skin from her Fitbit Alta. Caras says she woke up one morning to what she describes as a burn-like mark on her wrist. Caras stopped wearing her Fitbit, and didn't know anyone else had similar experiences until she heard about Kiron's.

"I guess it is just really disappointing, these products that can potentially cause physical harm and there isn't a warning out about it," Caras said.

Fitbit said they would investigate what happened.

Kiron says when they first contacted her, a Fitbit spokesperson asked if she read their product care instructions and offered to replace her Fitbit.

Kiron says on Wednesday, the company reached out to her again and asked if she could send her model in to be more fully investigated. According to Kiron, a spokesperson also offered Kiron a full refund.

A Fitbit spokesperson said there are no recalls of any Fitbit products.

Fitbit investigated Kiron's case and learned through her device's data that it did not show any signs of overheating.

Fitbit believes Kiron experienced skin irritation, similar to Caras, and not a burn.

Fitbit sent an official statement: “The health and safety of our customers is our top priority. We are aware that an extremely limited percentage of customers may experience skin irritation from wearing a wrist-based device for prolonged periods of time due to factors such as friction or wearing the device too tight, as well as sweat, soaps and other substances getting trapped between the band and the wrist. We are committed to delivering a superior customer experience. We respond quickly when customers report issues and strive to work closely with them through our customer service channels to ensure their satisfaction.”

This isn’t the first reported case of issues for the tech company. In 2015, Forbes reported on skin irritation problems with the Fitbit Flex.

In terms of product care, Fitbit encourages anyone wearing a watch or other device on the wrist, regardless of the brand, to follow four key elements for the best experience: keep it clean, keep it dry, don’t wear it too tight, and give your wrist a rest. They say they recommend wearing the band loosely enough that it can move back and forth on your wrist. More information can be found in their Wear & Care guidelines.

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