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How to avoid rashes and skin irritation when wearing your Apple Watch

It all starts with a solid fit.
July 13, 2023

Whether you’re rocking a massive Apple Watch Ultra, or an unassuming Apple Watch SE 2, regular wear can take a toll on your skin. While fantastic fitness trackers, these devices can also trap sweat and cause irritation. Read our tips below to find out how to avoid getting a rash from your Apple smartwatch.


To avoid a rash from your Apple Watch, make sure your band is not too tight or too loose and keep both your device and skin clean and dry.


How to avoid an Apple Watch rash

An Apple Watch SE 2 dries on a white towel.
Kaitlyn Cimino / Android Authority
  • Fix your fit: Skin irritation can sometimes be the result of wearing your Apple Watch too tightly or loosely. If your band is too tight it may cause a rash. On the other hand, if your band is too loose, the consequently rubbing may also cause irritation. If the material of your band is irritating, consider purchasing a replacement Apple Watch band.
  • Keep your Apple Watch clean: Regularly clean your Apple Watch to prevent long-term damage to the watch and to avoid an adverse reaction to dirt and debris. A few major offenders when it comes to irritation are sweat, oil, and lotions. Sunblock, for example, can cause itchiness over time if it collects under your device.
  • Dry your device (and wrist): After cleaning your device and skin, make sure the watch and your arm are completely dry. Moisture trapped under a wearable will often cause irritation.

How to clean your Apple Watch

Male hand holds the Apple Watch Series 6 under low-running, warm water to clean the device.
Kaitlyn Cimino / Android Authority

According to Apple, you can disinfect your watch as needed with a Clorox wipe or alcohol wipe. However, warm running water is often enough to keep the device clean.

  • Turn off the device. If your band is not water-resistant, remove it.
  • Wipe down your watch case with a nonabrasive, lint-free cloth, lightly dampening the cloth if needed.
  • Hold your watch case under warm running water for ten to fifteen seconds.
  • Press and spin the Digital Crown under warm running water to clear debris.
  • Dry your entire device with a nonabrasive, lint-free cloth.

Steps for cleaning your band will depend on its material type. It’s best to start with a nonabrasive cloth, lightly dampened as needed.

What to do if you develop a rash from your Apple Watch

If you develop a rash from your Apple Watch, remove the device to allow your skin to recover. Moisturizing lotions or over-the-counter creams such as hydrocortisone may help to reduce itching and irritation. However, if symptoms persist or worsen, contact your dermatologist. For more information about how to handle common Apple Watch problems, check out our dedicated guide.


Your Apple Watch may be leaving a mark on your skin if your band is too snug, or if you have developed an irritation to its build materials. Some people may be allergic to nickel which can be found in certain Apple Watch bands.

If you develop a rash from your Apple Watch, Apple recommends removing the wearable until your skin recovers.

To change your Apple Watch band, remove your current band by pressing the band release buttons on the back of your device and sliding each half of the band out of the case’s grooves. Then, simply slide a new band into place.