How To Avoid Skin Irritation From Your Fitness Tracker

Light-weight and convenient, fitness trackers can monitor everything from our heart rate, step count, and body temperature, to even our quality of sleep (via Popular Science). These handy-dandy gadgets spend all day attached to our wrist, so it's no wonder that after a while, you might start to deal with some unpleasant skin irritation.

Because fitness trackers can supply us with health data throughout all hours of the day and night, they may be spending more time on your body rather than off. This can make it difficult for the skin underneath the device to get the airflow that it needs. Board-certified dermatologist Mona Sadeghpour explains, telling Allure, "Normally, sweat is able to evaporate off the skin, but when you block that ability, you're creating the environment for it to start to irritate the skin and cause inflammation."

Experts at BHSkin Dermatology say that this irritation can lead to the development of a rash known as contact dermatitis involving symptoms of swelling, burning, blisters, redness, or dry patches. Here are some everyday tips you can implement to help keep your skin happy and healthy.

Keep the wristband dry and fitted

Take stock of the quality and fit of your fitness tracker wristband. Silk or cotton materials are optimal for airflow, while leather or aluminum wristbands won't be as breathable (via Allure). Additionally, be sure you're wearing the device as recommended by the manufacturer. Wearing it so loose that it slides around freely can irritate skin from friction. On the other hand, fastening it too tightly to your wrist will trap moisture. This can leave you susceptible to bacterial infection, especially if you rarely take it off (per Byrdie).

In the event that the area becomes damp, dermatological nurse and celebrity aesthetician Natalie Aguilar suggests via Byrdie, "A little dust of cornstarch under the watch plate works wonders [to] absorb moisture and soothe skin."

Additionally, those with a nickel allergy may find that continuously wearing a fitness tracker triggers an allergic response (via Allure). If you suspect you may have a nickel allergy, consult with a doctor to confirm whether it may be the root cause of your skin irritation.

Lastly, you'll want to regularly clean the area as well as the device. In addition to washing your skin with warm water and gentle soap, don't forget to moisturize afterward. Aguilar explains, telling Byrdie, "Irritants actually remove moisture from the outer layer of skin, which allows them to go deeper into the skin and cause inflammation. Look for moisturizers that include lipids and ceramides. These ingredients are vital to maintaining skin barrier integrity."