Getting a Garmin Watch Rash? [Need to Know Guide]

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Are you suffering from a Garmin Watch Rash? They are often linked to sweat or humidity between the skin and the smartwatch band. The best cure is to remove your watch or fitness tracker for a couple of days to let the skin breathes. Then, wash the band thoroughly and remember not to wear it too tight and to remove it regularly to avoid new episodes of rashes.

Rashes are not new to the world of fitness trackers. Fitbit made the headlines in 2014 when users complained about skin irritation linked to the Fitbit Force, eventually leading to a recall of the trackers. Unfortunately, other manufacturers also have to deal with this problem, Garmin included.

Why is my Garmin giving rashes, and how to prevent them?

One of the main reasons leading to skin irritation when wearing a smartwatch or fitness tracker is linked to sweat. When exercising, sweat will leave micro crystals of salts that will rub against the band, eventually leading to skin irritation.

Because moisture and bacteria that have become trapped between the parts could also be to blame, it is essential that you clean and dry your watch regularly.

During summer, the issue is even more frequent. One of my tricks is to wear my watch not too tight and regularly clean my wrist. It is also critical to dry the skin thoroughly and not wear the watch too tight, which may induce excessive rubbing, leading to irritations.

Even if Garmin smartwatches are waterproof and will not be bothered if you swim with them, I do not recommend showering while wearing them. Soap residues may get trapped under the band and cause allergies.

Another trick is to wipe the back of the watch with rubbing alcohol. Don’t put too much not to damage the sensors. A thorough clean from time to time is the best way to remove the bacteria and sweat crystals that may accumulate over time. After all, Garmin watches are primarily built for athletes that train regularly.

Some users on the Garmin forum recommend using cream to get rid of the rashes. However, it is always best to consult your doctor or pharmacist before using any medication. So if you experience rashes with your Garmin, your first step should always be to remove it, wash your wrist thoroughly and let your skin breathe naturally.

Could Garmin rashes be linked to allergies?

Apple acknowledged they use small traces of nickel, a known allergen, in their products. However, Garmin do not specifically mention the presence of nickel in the buckle or watch body. Their website only mentions they use components that “comply with applicable international safety standards for skin contact.” We find that a bit short. If you know that you are allergic to nickel and notice a skin reaction while wearing your Garmin, we suggest you contact your doctor and consider removing your device for good or at least switch to a different band.

Some bands, such as the one of the Garmin Vivosmart 5, also contain silicone and other types of plastic material, which can cause allergic reactions. If you experience one, look for another band material. Leather bands, for example, can be difficult to clean thoroughly and are not your best choice if you exercise hard and sweat profusely.

How to deal with Garmin rashed in a nutshell

Below is our list of Dos and Don’ts to consider if you notice skin irritations while wearing your Garmin device


  • Remove your watch and let your skin breathe regularly
  • Wear your Garmin loosely to prevent rubbing
  • Clean your device and your skin
  • Apply moisturizer to the rashes
  • Make sure that you are not allergic to nickel or the band material
  • Switch band


  • Do not shower or bath with your watch on
  • Do not wear your watch too tight
  • Do not wear your watch at night

To wrap up

Skin rashes are a known issue when wearing a watch. Smartwatches and fitness trackers use materials that may lead to more severe reactions. Treat your Garmin device as any watch. Even if the devices have plenty of health benefits to analyze your sleep, heart rhythm, and other vitals, do not hesitate to put them on your night table and remove them. Your skin will thank you for that.