How to avoid skin irritation when wearing your Polar watch

Polar devices with wrist-based heart rate measurement are meant to be worn throughout the day and during the night, however, in rare cases, users with sensitive skin might experience that their skin gets irritated either by the wrist strap buckle or the strap itself, or by the OHR sensor of the heart rate monitor. In most cases, the reason behind the irritation is either chemical or sweat-induced. User safety is our highest priority, so we've put together some tips on how to avoid skin irritation.

To take care of your skin:

Wash & dry

Regularly wash the device, the wristband and the skin on your arm—especially after you’ve been sweating. If your Polar device has a removable wristband, remove the device from the wristband and wash them separately. Use a mild soap and water solution and running water. Rinse well to remove any soap residue. Dry the band before wearing it again.

It’s ok to wear your water resistant* Polar device during swimming and showering but it’s not good for your skin to keep a wet wristband on your arm for long. When your wearable gets wet or sweaty, clean it, and let it dry or wipe it dry with a soft towel before wearing it again. Also make sure the skin on your arm is dry before you put your Polar device back on.

*Check the water resistance details of your Polar device from the technical specification chapter in the product’s e-manual on our support pages.

Loosen & switch wrists

Remember to regularly let the skin on your arm breathe and have breaks from the tightly worn wristband. It’s a good idea to loosen the wristband every now and then, for example, when your activity is low, to avoid skin irritation.

Switch wrists from time to time. Especially if you wear your device day and night, we recommend you move it to your other wrist before you go to bed (note: do not do this just before going to sleep to avoid confusing the sleep calculation).

You can also change the place of the device on your wrist a bit. From time to time, you should remove the Polar device completely from your wrist.

Other points to consider

Avoid using perfume, lotion, suntan/sunscreen or insect repellent on the area where you wear your watch. If the watch comes into contact with these or any other chemicals, wash it with a mild soap and water solution and rinse well under running water.

Tend to any existing cuts, scratches or sores that might be irritated by sweat before wearing the device.

If you skin is irritated, don’t use your device until your skin has fully healed. If the problem persists or gets worse, please consult a dermatologist.

Perhaps try another strap material?

If it is the silicone wristband that your skin reacts to, and you have a device that takes a standard 20 mm or 22 mm wristband, consider wearing a woven wristband instead of the silicone one. There are some woven wristbands available in the Polar accessory selection, and you can check out other manufacturers, too.

The metallic buckle of the wristband is made of stainless steel, which always contains small amounts of nickel. If it is the buckle that your skin reacts to, and you have a device that takes a standard 20 mm or 22 mm wristband, consider replacing the wristband with one that does not come with a metallic buckle.

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