Rash-Proof Your Wearable Tech: 3 Tips to Keep Your Skin Safe

By Jiri Kaloc

Wearable technology has become increasingly popular in recent years, offering convenient ways to track cycling performance, overall fitness, and health. While the benefits of wearable tech are undeniable, it’s important to consider the potential risks to your skin. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to protect yourself against rashes and skin irritation.

Wrist rashes caused by wearable technology can be very bothersome and uncomfortable. When left untreated, they can make wearing your device difficult, if not impossible. This can prevent you from tracking your activity regularly and making full use of your wearable. In extreme cases, a rash can get infected, leading to complications. So, it’s best to address the issue early or prevent it altogether. Here’s how.

Choose the right strap material for you

The strap or wristband material is a really important factor when it comes to preventing rashes and irritation. It’s in direct contact with the skin for extended periods of time, which can be problematic. Some materials, such as rubber, silicone, or synthetic fabrics, can cause skin irritation in people with sensitive skin. Leather or natural fabric are more breathable and typically less likely to be a source of an allergic reaction. But in the end, everyone’s skin is different. Most wearables allow you to switch straps, so experiment with different strap materials to find the one that suits you best.

Smart watch
It’s important to consider the potential risks of wearable tech to your skin. © Profimedia

Keep your wearable clean

You might not see any dirt when you casually glance at your wearable. The problem lies underneath. There are two big reasons why not cleaning your wearable regularly may be the cause of skin irritation.

  • Soap, shampoo, body wash, and dish soap. All of these contain chemicals that can be irritating to your skin. These substances get trapped under the strap and wreak havoc on the thin skin on your wrist.
  • Your wristband can block your sweat ducts, especially if you wear it tight to get accurate readings during exercise. This is mainly a problem on hot and humid days or during high-intensity exercise. Your sweat contains a lot of salt, which is also a skin irritant.

The solution is simple: clean your device regularly with a mild, soap-free cleanser. If you use soap to clean a mucky device, make sure to rinse it thoroughly under running water. A dirty band is not only bad for your skin, it may interfere with the sensors and cause less accurate readings.

Let your skin breathe

If you let your skin breathe it will be able to regenerate and stay strong. Here are a few ideas for doing that without missing much of the functionality of your device.

  • Wear your device on the other hand. It may feel strange at first and you will likely look at the wrong hand to check time, but it’s worth it. And you will still get all your health and exercise data.
  • Loosen the strap outside of exercise when you don’t need maximum stability for accurate readings. Your device will then be able to move up and down on your wrist, which will spread the load.
  • Take a break. Choose a week when you don’t need much data and stop wearing your device all together. This may be necessary if you’re starting to notice irritation. Or you can do it for prevention on a holiday, or if you get sick.

If you follow the advice in this article, you should be able to wear your device over the long-term without suffering any consequences on your skin.