We were quite impressed with Jawbone Up24 when we reviewed it. But, a few weeks later, things soured a bit when an editor developed a rather unpleasant rash from the device. Turns out it's not all that uncommon a reaction. While the usual list of concerns for gadget buyers focuses on specs, features and in certain cases portability, with the advent of the wearable, consumers need to start worrying about their own skin sensitivity as well. Are you particularly susceptible to bacterial infections? Are you allergic to nickel or latex? Then that's something that you'll have to take into consideration when it comes time to pick out a fitness tracker or smartwatch.
In addition to our anecdotal experience, we've heard similar complaints about past versions of the FuelBand and the Engadget forums are alive with reports of sores and rashes associated with the Fitbit Force. While a sensitivity to nickel would be the most immediate suspect in cases like these, according to dermatologist J. Todd Williams, M.D., it appears something else is to blame. The Force does contain trace amounts of the metal in the surgical-grade stainless steel used on its body, but the position of the rashes would seem to rule out it out in many cases. The same would be true of Up users, as only the cap emblazoned with the Jawbone logo contains nickel plating. And since the Up is coated in a hypoallergenic rubber and the Force forgoes latex as well, it seems an allergy to that particular polymer isn't the culprit either.