Apple lists three things you can do to avoid painful welts on your wrist from the Apple Watch
According to WSOC-TV in Charlotte, North Carolina, a woman by the name of Ann Bracey felt her wrist burning. Her first thought was that a bee had been caught under her Apple Watch and it had stung her. "It hurt. It really hurt," she said while talking with Action 9′s Jason Stoogenke.
The Apple Watch or its band can cause burns and strange reactions to some users' wristss
She said to the reporter, "It hurt. It really hurt." When she awoke the next morning, the mark on her wrist and grown in size. "It had gotten huge," she said, "Three inches." In addition, the welt was big and red. So she spoke with Apple because, as Bracey put it, "I need to know that the watch is safe or they need to make it safe. Lots of people wear these watches and they need to know that this can happen."
Action 9's Stoogenke did some research and discovered that 18 complaints similar to Bracey's had been filed with the Consumer Product Safety Commission records. These complaints stated that the Apple Watch caused "blisters," "burning," "burns and parts of skin to peel away, a "circular red patch," "severe skin redness," an "itchy, dry rash," and "skin irritation." On Apple's own online forum, the reporter found references to "red marks" that looked like "burns."
New York City's WABC-TV ran a story about a woman who claimed that her Apple Watch burned her wrist after heating up. Even though Apple tested the watch and found that it had not reached a temperature which would have caused any injury," she gave the watch owner a full refund.
Apple's website lists the materials it uses on the timepiece and the bands. While it doesn't mention anything about users getting burns from wearing the device, it does say that there could be "potential skin sensitivities." It also notes that a small number of people might "experience reactions to certain materials," Apple blames this on allergies, exposure to irritants like soap or sweat, or environmental factors.
To avoid a rash or welt, Apple suggests that you keep your skin clear and dry, and to be careful when using a band for your Apple Watch that was made by a third-party manufacturer. Make sure that when you have your watch on, the band isn't too tight or too loose.
A dermatologist with Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist in Winston-Salem, Dr. Steven Feldman told Stoogenke that one of his patients had a "skin rash following use of an Apple Watch." He said that such a reaction is rare. "I wouldn’t even worry about this. I think it’s such an uncommon phenomena, I wouldn’t pay it any mind when I was deciding what kind of watch to buy," he said.
Nickel, commonly used in smartwatches like the Apple Watch, can cause reactions on the wrists of users
Dr. Feldman and a medical student teamed up to write a paper about the reactions they were seeing to the Apple Watch. They discovered that many smartwatches, including the Apple Watch, contain nickel which can cause allergic reactions. They also pointed out that smartwatch wearers might wear their timepiece tighter in order to get an accurate reading from the heart rate sensor, and that the bands are likely to be made up of synthetic polymers that create more friction.
So what should you do if you have sensitive skin? Dr. Feldman says that considering the watch and the band are both going to be rubbing up on your skin all day, you might want to find out what materials are being used and whether you are allergic to them. If you believe that something is wrong with your device, you could report it to the manufacturer. But there is a risk if the company asks for the watch back to test as you might never get the device returned to you.
If you are asked to send in the watch, you do have the right to say no. This way you can have the device tested yourself which might be the way to go if you don't trust what the manufacturer will tell you.
Bracey isn't the only Apple Watch user to have a strange reaction to the band or the watch itself. The video that accompanies this story was made by David Cavillo who claims that he was burned by his Series 6 Apple Watch.