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Why I had to stop wearing the Apple Watch
Posted on 7-Dec-2015 12:45 by Bill Bennett | Tags Filed under: Articles


A few days after†I first tried the Apple Watch†I found myself scratching my irritated wrist. I took a break from wearing it and my wrist got better.

For a while I fell into a pattern of only wearing the watch when I worked away from home. At home, Iíd leave it off. This runs counter to the idea of wearable devices, but it worked for me.

At least I thought it did. I was getting a mild rash and would find myself scratching my wrist and the area around it. But things seemed under control.

It turns out they werenít.

Discomfort

There was still some discomfort. I took to loosening the band in case the problem was to do with it being too tight. My skin didnít improve. In fact the problem got worse. I found the area where my thumb meets my hand was red and itchy.

At home, Johanna says she noticed swelling around my wrist, across the lower part of my hand and thumb. We compared my right and left hands. I wear the watch on the left hand, but am right-handed for most things. The left hand is clearly swollen in comparison with the right.

My instinct was to wear the Watch even less and keep an eye open for more symptoms.

Warning Will Robinson

Ten days ago I visited a medical specialist needing treatment for another medical problem. Like a lot of people he noticed my Apple Watch. I thought he was interested in the technology. He wasnít. Instead he took a closer look at my rash and told me to take the watch off.

He told me I had an allergic reaction to the material. It could be the strap ó my Watch has a black Sports Band. Or it could be the watch itself.

The medical specialist asked if my reaction had worsened over the weeks Iíve been wearing the watch. I couldnít be certain, thereís a boiling frog aspect, you donít notice a slowly worsening skin reaction creeping up on you.

After some thought, I realised it was getting worse.

Potentially serious

He said this could be serious. It turns out some allergic skin reactions have a cumulative effect. They can go on getting worse and reach a point where it is hard to recover. In extreme cases it can lead to anaphylactic shock.

Now, this was the doctorís reaction after seeing the rash. I wasnít there for this condition and we didnít take things further. It wasnít a formal diagnosis, just some friendly, informed advice.

Screen Shot 2015-12-07 at 12.01.20 PM.png

Apple acknowledges some people may have a reaction to the Watch materials. It says it went to great lengths to test and check materials first.†The Apple Watch support website offers some advice on possible allergic reactions.

Material care

It says: ďA great deal of care and research go into choosing materials for all our devices. A small number of people will experience reactions to certain materials.

ďThis can be due to allergies, environmental factors, extended exposure to irritants like soap or sweat, and other causes.

ďIf you know you have allergies or other sensitivities, be aware that Apple Watch and some of its bands contain nickel and methacrylate.í

Apple suggests people who have problems should talk to a doctor before wearing or returning to wearing the Watch. Iíve done that and for me, the long-term review is over.

In the next few days Iíll report my thoughts about my time with the Watch. Top of that list is that the best thing about the Apple Watch is that has made me more aware of my health. Some irony there.


Filed under: Apple Tagged: Health, smartwatch






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