Fitbit today stopped sales of its Fitbit Force and issued a voluntary recall of the product following multiple consumer complaints of skin irritation.

First released in October of 2013, the Fitbit Force is the company's latest wearable activity tracker, monitoring sleep, steps taken, distance traveled, calories burned, and stairs climbed.

Reports of skin irritation from the Fitbit Force began gaining traction in January after a report from The Consumerist pointed to multiple users experiencing contact dermatitis after prolonged use of the band.

fitbitforce
Fitbit quickly began offering refunds or product replacements to affected customers and suggested the problems could be caused by a nickel allergy, as nickel is an element of the stainless steel used in the band. Fitbit's full recall letter is below, courtesy of TechCrunch:

We wanted to provide an update on our investigation into reports we have received about Force users experiencing skin irritation.

From the beginning, we've taken this matter very seriously. We hired independent labs and medical experts to conduct a thorough investigation, and have now learned enough to take further action. The materials used in Force are commonly found in many consumer products, and affected users are likely experiencing an allergic reaction to these materials.

While only a small percentage of Force users have reported any issue, we care about every one of our customers. We have stopped selling Force and are in the process of conducting a voluntary recall, out of an abundance of caution. We are also offering a refund directly to consumers for full retail price. We want to thank each and every member of the Fitbit community for their continued loyalty and support. We are working on our next-generation tracker and will announce news about it soon.

For additional information, please contact our support line at: 888–656–6381, or visit http://www.fitbit.com/forcesupport.

According to Fitbit co-founder and CEO James Park, only 1.7 percent of Fitbit users have reported skin irritation issues. An independent study did, however, determine the Fitbit is causing allergic contact dermatitis in some users, likely as a result of nickel contact or from the strap materials/glue used in the device's construction.

Fitbit Force owners can request a refund for their devices from the Fitbit website, with the company promising to send a reimbursement check within two to six weeks after a returned device is received. Fitbit is also working on an updated hypoallergenic version of the Force to be released sometime in the near future.

Top Rated Comments

keysofanxiety Avatar
100 months ago
What are these people doing to get skin irritation ?

They're doing the terrible deed of being biologically allergic to some of the materials used. How dare they. :rolleyes:
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Piggie Avatar
100 months ago
My nike fuel can go in the shower and no irritation after almost a year's worth of use....

And I can eat a bag of peanuts with no ill effects.

You point being?
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Plutonius Avatar
100 months ago
What are these people doing to get skin irritation ?
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Razeus Avatar
100 months ago
Everyone trying to beat Apple to the punch these folks aren't even doing proper testing first. :p
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
vjl323 Avatar
100 months ago
This is a cover up by FitBit

There is a long thread at https://community.fitbit.com/t5/Force/Fitbit-burned-arm/m-p/172781 which explains how this is not a nickel allergy reaction. The wound is much more like a burn and takes forever to heal [i'm on my 6th week now]. FitBit has been very silent and doing everything they can to avoid admitting any fault, but this is not a nickel allergy, as many Force users have been tested before and after their injuries, and they are still not allergic to nickel. More than likely this is a battery leak, as I had been wearing mine since November and the issue didn't start until mid-January.

I had been a fan of the company, using their original FitBit Ultra from 2012, but with the way they've handled this problem for the last 3 months, I can't recommend anyone doing business with them.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
IJ Reilly Avatar
100 months ago
A person can get contact dermatitis from nearly anything, especially in hot and humid conditions, so I don't see how this problem can be avoided entirely. I've gotten it from my glasses, and they're made from plastic.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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