Is My Watch Giving Me A Rash?

Have you noticed a rash develop on your wrist exactly where your smartwatch happens to sit? A wrist rash from a smartwatch, or a regular watch, is not an uncommon issue. A rash like this is also known as contact dermatitis. Contact dermatitis occurs when your skin comes into contact with an allergen, irritant, or even just from friction alone.


What are the signs of a wrist rash from a smartwatch? 

  • Red rash
  • Itchy skin
  • Dry, cracked skin
  • Bumps or blisters
  • In severe cases, swelling, burning, or tenderness


How can I prevent a wrist rash from a smartwatch? 

  • Keep your watch clean. The band of your smartwatch can quickly become filled with bacteria especially if you sweat while wearing it. Moisture and bacteria become trapped. Regularly clean the watch and bands will help prevent skin irritation
  • Wear your watch a little loose. Wearing your smartwatch too tight can lead to irritation from friction. Find a medium ground between too loose and too tight. This should not affect your watch from taking the measurements it is known for, like heart rate and steps.
  • Give your wrist a break. Smartwatches track everything from heart rate to sleep making them a 24/7 wearable item. Not giving your wrist a break could be a big reason behind your rash. We recommend at least 20 minutes a day and if possible give your wrist a few nights off as well, especially if you are prone to irritation.
  • Buy a new band. Many of the bands that come with a variety of smartwatches are a silicone band. For some individuals, this type of material is irritating on its own. Try out a cloth fabric band to see if it helps the irritation.

If you are experiencing a rash that is not healing or is resulting in swelling, burning, and tenderness, please schedule an appointment with your local board-certified dermatologist to be evaluated and treated.


Do you have a skin, hair, or nail concern?

The board-certified dermatologists at Forefront Dermatology are here to answer and address and your concerns surrounding your skin, hair, and nail health. Find a location nearest you to schedule an appointment.