Rash under the fitness tracker: It helps

Fitness trackers are useful but often cause skin irritation.

Pexel / Ketut Subyanto

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Actually, they should support your health – but the skin often suffers under the bracelets. We have tips.

Fitness trackers usually measure more than just the results of training. The heart rate, sleep rhythm or menstrual cycle is also often monitored. Gadgets are often used for 24 hours. This precise monitoring has its price: Sweat, which usually just evaporates from the skin, gets trapped between the bracelet and the skin due to constant wear. In this environment, the skin becomes easily irritated – pimples and redness are the result.

Dermatologists refer to this reaction as irritating contact dermatitis, a painful rash that occurs in response to an irritating substance.

Instead of throwing your smartwatch away now, you can continue to track your health with a few simple tips without stressing your skin.

1. Change the belt

It is best to think about what materials are well tolerated before you buy. Too late? Then try changing the band: Silicone tends to trap more moisture, while cotton and silk bands naturally direct sweat away from the skin. Fabric straps with holes usually provide good breathability, and straps without fastening help to avoid contact with metals. Have you fallen in love with a model that is only available in silicone and without holes? For trackers that are only available with permanently integrated silicone straps, you should pay attention to the following points.

While some tolerate silicone well, others experience irritation.

While some tolerate silicone well, others experience irritation.

Pexels / Polina Pankilevitch

2. Look for a perfect fit

Do not wear the band too tightly, otherwise the sweat will not evaporate. However, the strap should not be too loose either: Every time the watch moves on the skin, it can rub and it can irritate the skin.

Not too tight and not too wide: Check the manufacturer's website for the best fit for the strap.

Not too tight and not too wide: Check the manufacturer’s website for the best fit for the strap.

Pexels / Ketut Subyanto

3. Clean, clean, clean

The faster you take a shower after exercise, the less sweat sits on your skin, which helps prevent irritation. Depending on the material, you can also clean your fitness tracker (it is best to check the manufacturer’s website for how to proceed). It usually helps to wipe the device with a damp cotton cloth and then wipe it well before putting it on to prevent liquid from getting trapped.

The longer the sweat stays on the surface of the skin, the more likely there is a risk of irritation.

The longer the sweat stays on the surface of the skin, the more likely there is a risk of irritation.

Pexels / Sachith Hettigodage

4. Moisturize your skin

After showering, you can apply a moisturizer on your skin. This creates a natural barrier between your skin and the tracker. If you already have a rash, there are suitable products at the pharmacy that will help quickly.

You can find moisturizer that strengthens the skin barrier and helps against itchy feelings at the pharmacy.

You can find moisturizer that strengthens the skin barrier and helps against itchy feelings at the pharmacy.

Linda Prepreza / Pexels

5. Exclude an allergic reaction

An allergy can also be the cause of the rash (allergic contact dermatitis). An allergic reaction can occur within minutes, hours or days after exposure, while irritating contact dermatitis is more likely to occur after repeated use. The rash looks similar, but the allergic version tends to be redder and harder to treat. If you have previously had allergic reactions to certain materials (eg metals in earrings or belt buckles), there is a greater chance that the irritation from the tracker is also due to an allergy. In this case, replacing the tape can only help if this is possible. Not sure if it’s an allergy? If in doubt, dermatological specialists can provide information.

Is your skin already red? In case of severe irritation, it is worth completely avoiding wearing the tracker for two to three days.

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