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

It all starts with a solid fit.
November 2, 2022

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. Read our tips below to find out how to avoid getting a rash from your Apple Watch.

Read more: Apple Watch buyer’s guide


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 may be the result of wearing your Apple Watch too tightly or loosely. If your band is too tight it may cause skin irritation. 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 band.
  • Keep your Apple Watch clean: Regularly cleaning your Apple Watch not only prevents long-term damage to the watch, but it can also help you 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 can 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.

For directions on how to clean your Apple Watch band, check out our dedicated guide.

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.

Read more: The most common Apple Watch problems and how to fix them


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.

You can remove your Apple Watch 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. For more details, see our dedicated guide.