Apple Watch Series 4: Skin irritation caused by sensor

deadcantdance

macrumors regular
Original poster
Jun 8, 2009
108
46
Hey,

I've worn a SG Series 2 for two years now, without any problem. Last week, my Series 4 Nike+ was delivered and now I've a little rash (even not visible, but it feels itchy) where the sensor touches my skin.

Anyone else with this problem? I don't won't to return the new watch, but seems possible that I have to keep my Series 2 a little longer.
 

deadcantdance

macrumors regular
Original poster
Jun 8, 2009
108
46
Did you keep it or return it?

I will now stop wearing it for a day and then give it a try again.
 

lclev

macrumors 6502
Jul 29, 2013
288
95
Ohio
I have had skin irritation with both my Series 3 and now Series 4. I found if I rubbed lotion on the skin it helped. I have to add more through out the day as it drys out but it works. I also wear the watch a little looser on my arm which I am not fond of but it does not affect any readings and seems to help my skin.

I don't remember having this issue with my Series 0 or 2 watches though.

Lisa
 
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klymr

macrumors 65816
May 16, 2007
1,448
98
Utah
When I worked for a jeweler we would occasionally see customers come in with rashes on their fingers from their rings. Some metals can cause allergies for some people (I'm looking at you nickel), but even hypoallergenic metals would cause problems for certain folks. My boss said from his experience with this issue, it was typically a ring that didn't allow the finger enough room to "breathe" properly, so to speak.

I wonder if the watches are causing something similar? If sweat is getting trapped between the sapphire and ceramic on the back and your skin, it potentially could be causing irritation. I don't know...just a thought.
 

Pseudo-Fed

macrumors 6502a
Jan 28, 2017
538
307
I've seen this on Fitbit, Garmin, and AW forums. It could be but is not likely an allergy or sensitivity. More than likely the new shape or how it is worn is causing moisture to be retained. Ironically that moisture is sweat, and then salt crystalizes, causing the skin to dry out under there. I currently have a couple pimple like blemishes resembling heat rash--because I haven't taken the thing off except to charge 1.5 hours per day and showering. Take it off for awhile, wash the area good and keep a quality lotion on there for at least a day. My wife recommended Aveeno, and it works for me, but the irritation will recur after long periods of tight wear.

Edited to add: I have more issues over a larger area with my Garmin Fenix 3 and even 5 plus because they have a larger, flatter area that prevents circulation.
 

aviddk

macrumors regular
Oct 18, 2007
163
26
SW Oregon
I never had a problem till I started wearing mine 24/7 so I could sleep track. After a month I started to get a very mild rash. My solution was to switch wrists till it improved and I also purchased a new mattress that came with its own sleep tracking system. My new series four is back on the left wrist with no issues at this point.
 
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Jessica08

macrumors 6502
Nov 2, 2015
329
95
Roll Tide
I wondered about this. I had a Fitbit Alta for about a month, but I started feeling a burning sensation where the sensor was. I have a small scar where it would lay on my wrist, and it wasn’t because I wore it tightly either. I promptly returned it after it kept doing it off and on throughout the day. I’m hoping I don’t have the same issues when I get the Apple Watch.
 

iamasmith

macrumors 6502a
Apr 10, 2015
588
183
Cheshire, UK
If it's anything like my S0 and my S3 there was a tiny film of residue left from when I peeled the sticker off which you didn't notice to touch but did make me itchy until I rubbed the back of the case hard on my T-Shirt. It's worth a try :)
 
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klymr

macrumors 65816
May 16, 2007
1,448
98
Utah
If it's anything like my S0 and my S3 there was a tiny film of residue left from when I peeled the sticker off which you didn't notice to touch but did make me itchy until I rubbed the back of the case hard on my T-Shirt. It's worth a try :)
The Series 4 watches don't come wrapped in those plastic sticker things anymore. They now come in a little cloth sleeve thing.
 

deadcantdance

macrumors regular
Original poster
Jun 8, 2009
108
46
I have had skin irritation with both my Series 3 and now Series 4. I found if I rubbed lotion on the skin it helped. I have to add more through out the day as it drys out but it works. I also wear the watch a little looser on my arm which I am not fond of but it does not affect any readings and seems to help my skin.

I don't remember having this issue with my Series 0 or 2 watches though.

Lisa
I will try that, too. I‘m reall disappointed because I had zero problems with Series 2. I guess using only ceramic would have been better.
 

ZipZap

macrumors 603
Dec 14, 2007
5,503
911
I've seen this on Fitbit, Garmin, and AW forums. It could be but is not likely an allergy or sensitivity. More than likely the new shape or how it is worn is causing moisture to be retained. Ironically that moisture is sweat, and then salt crystalizes, causing the skin to dry out under there. I currently have a couple pimple like blemishes resembling heat rash--because I haven't taken the thing off except to charge 1.5 hours per day and showering. Take it off for awhile, wash the area good and keep a quality lotion on there for at least a day. My wife recommended Aveeno, and it works for me, but the irritation will recur after long periods of tight wear.

Edited to add: I have more issues over a larger area with my Garmin Fenix 3 and even 5 plus because they have a larger, flatter area that prevents circulation.
I cannot imagine why anyone would be wearing a watch so tight that it causes this sweat issue.

Also, consider if the band material is different and also that the bottom of the S4 is a different material that the 3.
 
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deadcantdance

macrumors regular
Original poster
Jun 8, 2009
108
46
I cannot imagine why anyone would be wearing a watch so tight that it causes this sweat issue.

Also, consider if the band material is different and also that the bottom of the S4 is a different material that the 3.
I do not wear my watch very tight, it's the material that causes my skin to sweat. It's caused by the sapphire sensor unfortunately.
 

Dammit Cubs

macrumors 68000
Jul 31, 2007
1,931
502
I am going through the same thing but I have this problem with all watches. It's just worse with apple watches. What I have been doing is giving my skin time to breath so I'm one of those guys who likes to keep their on as you sleep because I like the alarm clock and i won't forget about the watch in the morning. So what I do is I switch arms. I move to the right arm when i sleep and swap it when i want to start my day.

It's a little bit of an inconvenience for sure.
 

Sword86

macrumors 6502
Oct 6, 2012
263
107
My S4 actually woke me up last night with all I can describe as, a little ‘zap’. I thought, WTF? and went right back to sleep. No, I didn’t dream it.
I have worn the watch continuously for sleep tracking since I got it, only taking it off for about 1 1/2 hours a day on charge. Today there is a tiny red mark on my wrist, but I wore it all day anyway with no issues. I live life on the edge.
Tonight I have it off and charging. S
 

demyers

macrumors newbie
May 3, 2015
9
7
Apex, NC
I wore an S1 for two years without issues but feel discomfort with the S4.

Today I've been wearing the S4 turned off and don't feel the same level of discomfort, so I'm beginning to think the problem is the radiation passing through the back of the watch. This is a huge disappointment as I might not be able to wear an S4 at all.

I'd like to know if others experiencing discomfort still feel it with the watch turned off.
 
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Julien

macrumors G4
Jun 30, 2007
11,270
4,223
Atlanta
...think the problem is the electromagnetic radiation passing through the back of the watch.....
Corrected your post since there is NO ionizing radiation. Electromagnetic radiation is just light and frequencies/longer wave lengths below red. The most discomfort electromagnetic radiation can cause is possibly some heat. And this is not likely with the low power used.
 
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annasense

macrumors newbie
Dec 4, 2018
1
0
I had a Series 3 with no issues, but I have an itchy rash (there's a noticeable bump that's there when I take it off; almost looks like a little bug bite) with my Series 4. I only wear it during the day... I started feeling the itch about a week after I started wearing it. I may switch to a different band, as the sports band doesn't allow for any movement during the day. I'm starting to think it's some sort of mild 'sensor burn.' I didn't wear a sports band with my Series 3 at all. I gave that one away the day I got the watch.
 

demyers

macrumors newbie
May 3, 2015
9
7
Apex, NC
I ended up returning the S4 as I just couldn't stand to wear it. Since I had traded in my S1 I bought an S3, which is a letdown after using the S4.
 

darkmatter343

macrumors regular
Sep 18, 2017
237
165
Toronto, Canada
Glad I'm not the only one... I wore the series three this past year with no issues. I got the new S4 LTE, but I've been noticing it's leaving a red patch of skin under the sensor. It doesn't really hurt, or itch, but it's pretty cherry red and only under the sensor. The S3 left no such marks, but also wasn't LTE so I don't know if that factors in.
 
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