Author Topic: Fitbit Question - need sleuthing  (Read 167 times)

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Offline Aardvark

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Fitbit Question - need sleuthing
« on: December 21, 2013, 12:29:34 PM »
Ok  you engineers and metallurgists out there..  New problem.  the FITBIT force is out and some of us are getting a unique rash.   .

The thing doesn't itch, doesn't spread and is only located where  the charging port rests against the skin.  Since it doesn't itch or show up anywhere else, it has to be because of contact.  We don't know what the metal is,  but the charging port is indented and those contacts are exposed.  I am wondering if it is an electrical burn, not enough for deep damage, but it happens over a 3 to 5 day period of wearing the band. Starts off with a mild red spot that with continued wearing gets more inflamed and raised.  Steroid cream doesn't do anything to get rid of it, antibiotic cream neither and antihistime no effect.   I have had mine since Thanksgiving so we are going into a month.  Now it  is getting better.  I put it on the other arm and about 3 days later (keeping the band loose, I am noticing it starting again.   Our solution is to put a piece of electrical tape over it  and see if that makes a difference, it should, but not the solution to the mystery.  The company is aware of it, but we haven't got a response back with a solution yet.

My theory is that it is a low grade electrical burn caused by perspiration between the contact point and the arm.  The band itself doesn't cause any problems.

What do you think?   I also posted it over on the Weather display forum with the idea the more brains on it the better.
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Offline SlowModem

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Re: Fitbit Question - need sleuthing
« Reply #1 on: December 21, 2013, 12:45:16 PM »
What's a fitbit?
Greg Whitehead
Ten Mile, TN USA


Offline Aardvark

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Re: Fitbit Question - need sleuthing
« Reply #2 on: December 21, 2013, 01:00:13 PM »
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Offline Dr Obbins

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Re: Fitbit Question - need sleuthing
« Reply #3 on: December 21, 2013, 01:37:11 PM »
Sorry I don't have info about rash, but I was wondering about your FORCE. How do you like it (other than the rash)? Are you getting any support from Fitbit? The reason for the questions is I was looking into one of those, but questioned what would be done with the data collected. How do you use the info that it provides?

I ended up purchasing the Aria wi-fi scale from Fitbit. It arrived yesterday and I finally got it going. The instructions are very simple and straight forward - if they would work.  :mad: I took me 2 hours, 3 computers and 1 iphone to finally set it up. Fitbit has no phone support and all that was available was a support forum full of other people with the same problem.  :roll:

 Now that it is working I like the features. After using the scale, it connects wireless to my online account and tracks the data. I started a diet plan with myfitnesspal.com. There is an app that you can scan the bar codes of you food and it tracks your calories, carbs, fat, etc... Then you can pace your intake for the rest of the day. The fitbit scale links with the myfitnesspal account, so I can track my weight along with BMI. Obviously this is not a good time of the year to start a diet, but I should be all set after the new year.


         

Offline Aardvark

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Re: Fitbit Question - need sleuthing
« Reply #4 on: December 21, 2013, 02:42:36 PM »
Sorry I don't have info about rash, but I was wondering about your FORCE. How do you like it (other than the rash)? Are you getting any support from Fitbit? The reason for the questions is I was looking into one of those, but questioned what would be done with the data collected. How do you use the info that it provides?

I ended up purchasing the Aria wi-fi scale from Fitbit. It arrived yesterday and I finally got it going. The instructions are very simple and straight forward - if they would work.  :mad: I took me 2 hours, 3 computers and 1 iphone to finally set it up. Fitbit has no phone support and all that was available was a support forum full of other people with the same problem.  :roll:

 Now that it is working I like the features. After using the scale, it connects wireless to my online account and tracks the data. I started a diet plan with myfitnesspal.com. There is an app that you can scan the bar codes of you food and it tracks your calories, carbs, fat, etc... Then you can pace your intake for the rest of the day. The fitbit scale links with the myfitnesspal account, so I can track my weight along with BMI. Obviously this is not a good time of the year to start a diet, but I should be all set after the new year.


         

Their website has a data base with it.  I am using http://www.syncmetrics.com/  to link between the things you do.  I also have a Withings blood pressure cuff that has an iphone app.  now that connects to the iphone via the standard 4s cable. There is an iHealth wireless unit that works with all phones.  SInce I am on blood pressure meds, I need to keep track.  my scale is also Withings so the syncmetrics all syncs with the Fitbit.
The FORCE has a clock in it  which I like, as well as counts stairs. It has two tiny ports on the reverse side  ( picture circled) that have an altimiter that counts 1 flight of stairs 10 feet change. 

I like it as i can track my sleep, my heart rate via the Withings or Ihealth, calories in and out, set goals and so forth .    The big problem other than the mystery  rash is that the clasp on the band doesn't fit well with the force, you have to soak the end in hot water and fight to put it on.

Now the Flex doesn't have those problems, no stair climbing and the upcoming software update that it buzzes if your phone rings (I find worthless)  but the band fits well, clasp holds well and it syncs pretty good.  You have to be within 20 feet of the dongle, but the app will sync with your iphone.

Comparing, I am guessing that the Flex is better.  I snagged the FORCe because of the watch function
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Offline Dr Obbins

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Re: Fitbit Question - need sleuthing
« Reply #5 on: December 21, 2013, 02:54:20 PM »
Tracking walking and steps sounds useful. I am wondering also what you do with the sleep data or heart rate data?

Thinking more about the rash - different metals can affect people. Like brass rings can turn your skin green and holding galvanized nails in you mouth can make your lips peal. Being as you think it is the contacts causing the issue, maybe there is copper in them.

Offline Aardvark

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Re: Fitbit Question - need sleuthing
« Reply #6 on: December 21, 2013, 05:02:40 PM »
I suppose I could clean a penny and an nickel and tape them to my arm to see if anything interesting develops.

Heart rate is useful, in exercise to get the heart above a certain rate after exercise. In my case, however, with the use of blood pressure medications the heart rate tends to speed up as the veins and arteries dilate. or unless they go the other way.
Sleep is more efficiently determined. it can track how long it takes to fall asleep, if we toss and turn or how many times it determines we are awake by the amount of movement and duration of movement.

have you tried their website yet? http://www.fitbit.com/?  to see what they offer. Their ultimate deal isn't worth the 49 bucks in my opinion.

I am still wondering about why the "rash" doesn't itch or is noticable unless one looks and sees and exclaims "look a rash".  From reading about metal contact allergy, intense itching.. this has none.
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Offline nincehelser

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Re: Fitbit Question - need sleuthing
« Reply #7 on: December 21, 2013, 05:49:59 PM »
I'm no doctor, but I expect it's contact dermatitis, caused by the nickel plating of the USB connector (or whatever the connector is).  Cobalt in the plating is another possibility.

http://www.webmd.com/allergies/guide/nickel-jewelry-allergy
« Last Edit: December 21, 2013, 06:03:35 PM by nincehelser »

Offline Bushman

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Re: Fitbit Question - need sleuthing
« Reply #8 on: December 21, 2013, 06:32:04 PM »
Presents as typical contact dermatitis.
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Offline piconut

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Re: Fitbit Question - need sleuthing
« Reply #9 on: December 21, 2013, 06:46:57 PM »
I suppose I could clean a penny and an nickel and tape them to my arm to see if anything interesting develops.

Well, if you're actually going to try it, make sure you search for a penny older than 30 years.  For the last 30 years pennies are mostly (97.5%) zinc and only 2.5% copper.  Pre1983 pennies are 95% copper and worth $0.025 (2.5 cents) each!  The funny thing is that the nickle you'll probably use a higher percentage of copper than the penny.  Most nickles in your pocket these days are 75% copper and only 25% nickle!  This makes the nickle worth about 7.5 cents a piece at current copper prices.  Go figure...

So if you're actually going to test yourself, I suggest you go to a hobby store to see if you can find actual copper and nickle (or an allergist).

Scott
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