Thursday, March 02, 2017

FitBit Dermatitis

The patient is a 54-year-old woman with a history of severe  atopic dermatitis.  She was seen today for evaluation of a dermatitis on the left wrist that began under her Fitbit Alta.  She thought that it might be an infection so she started applying Neosporin and within a day, it was much worse. 
During the intervierw, the patient said, with feeling, "I love my FitBit."

O/E:  The examination shows a localized area of dermatitis with crusting on the left wrist.  It is quite inflamed.


IMPRESSION:  Possible irritant versus allergic reaction to Fitbit followed by application of Neosporin with what appears to be an allergic contact dermatitis.           

PLAN:  She will need to stop the Fitbit for the time being.  Fluocinonide 0.05% ointment twice a day to area.  Wet compresses.  Return as necessary.


Initially, "Fitbit recalled the trackers and blamed rashes on allergic reactions to the nickel and glue in the wristband. However, scientists at the Consumer Product Safety Commission were testing a different theory.

They found that sweat in the charger caused a chemical reaction that produced a toxic compound, saying: "This scenario is supported by one consumer stating their injury occurred after charging... and a skin burn the shape of the charging port in another incident."
See: Possible cause of Fitbit rashes uncovered.

This it is unclear at this point.  Nickel allergy is easy to test for, however.


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