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Watch Rash: How to Prevent Irritation from the Watch Strap

Watch Rash: How to Prevent Irritation from the Watch Strap

Having a watch rash can cause discomfort and irritation in wearing timepieces. Find out how to prevent and treat watch rash here!
Apr 05, 2024

Comfortability is an essential consideration in wearing watches. No matter how luxurious a timepiece is, it would be such a disaster if it gives discomfort in all-day wearing. Among many concerns, irritation is one of the most common problems. Some might have allergies to certain types of steel while others are caused by sweat or dirt trapped under a wristband. 

The condition is referred to as watch rash where your skin got irritated from wearing a timepiece. Yet, it doesn’t mean that you can’t avoid or heal the irritation. This article will give you a basic guide on how to treat watch rash and prevent them from happening again to you. Let’s get into the discussion.

What is a Watch Rash?

Some of us might still be unfamiliar with the term watch rash but you definitely know when your wrist turns red and feels itchy. That’s what we call a watch rash and it is specifically caused by irritation from using a timepiece. The cause is usually a particular substance in the watch material that triggers the irritation.

Often known as watch irritation, dermatologists would refer to that as contact dermatitis which is a form of Eczema. There are three common stimuli that cause contact dermatitis which are irritants, friction, or allergens. Your skin will most likely feel dry, blistered, and cracked. Therefore, once you feel discomfort while wearing your watch, try to look for professional help.

How to Prevent Watch Rash

As famous words say that prevention is the most powerful medicine, and the same also applies to prevent a watch rash on your skin. Below are some suggestions we offer for a better experience of wearing a timepiece.

Regular Watch Cleaning

Cleaning a timepiece might sound easy for many people – in fact, it’s easier said than done. Regular cleaning is a must to keep your watch clean. Perspiration is inevitable, especially if you have an active lifestyle or frequent workouts. These activities will create salt deposits which cause rashes to form. 

In addition to that, a pile of sweat makes dirt on your watch where bacteria will also build up over time. That definitely will only worsen the condition. Therefore, it is important to properly clean your watch regularly and store them in an appropriate place.

Read more: How to Clean a Stainless Steel Watch with Proper Care?

Adjust the Strap Tension

Both too tight or too loose will never do justice to you. It’s about finding the perfect balance, somewhere just in between. Too tight is definitely uncomfortable as it puts much pressure on your wrist. In line with that, too loose will create many unnecessary movements that lead to skin chafing. 

Adjusting the strap tension for better comfort and avoid watch rash
Adjusting the strap tension for better comfort

Find a proper fit on your hand and how firm the watch should strap on your wrist. It’s better to give enough room for the watch strap to rotate around the wrist lightly. That said, you can have enough grip to avoid skin chafe but loose enough for comfort. 

Swap Wrists

A better recommendation to prevent a watch rash is swapping between your right and left wrist while wearing a timepiece for a whole day. It might be a common norm to wear a watch on the dominant hand – even distro watches are specifically designed for lefties with a crown on the left side. Yet, it might be the time to break the norm for the sake of safety and comfort. 

It’s very much recommended to switch the watch to the opposite wrist. It helps prevent the build-up of bacteria in long-term use throughout the day. In addition to that, it will be much better if you give a simple strap cleaning during the wrist switch to avoid a watch rash.

How to Treat Watch Rash

No need to worry if come in this article with symptoms of having a watch rash. We offer you some essential solutions in the following list.

Refrain from Scratching

Itchy is the first thing that you might notice even before your skin turns red. Yet, avoid any scratching on the affected areas. Itching and scratching will only make the irritation worse and increase the chances of infection.

Apply Aloe Vera Lotion

Instead of scratching, try to apply aloe vera lotion on your wrist. Aloe vera is actually a natural skin moisturizer to relieve irritation and prevent worsening conditions. Giving an immediate lotion application just as you feel itchy on your wrist will be the best prevention. Not only moisturizing, but aloe vera also gives effective protection for your skin from the sun after using sunscreen. 

Visit a Specialist

However, if your rash doesn’t get better in the meantime after trying some self-medications, visit a professional help for conclusive answers. Dermatologists will also help you determine whether it is an irritant or an allergy. Besides, looking for professional help is the best answer to get appropriate treatment.


A watch rash becomes one of the common problems in wearing timepieces, especially if you have it on your wrist throughout the whole day. However, we can always prevent a watch rash, such as regularly cleaning our watch to avoid bacteria and salt deposits. Changing a watch strap will also be a good idea to create comfort in your wearing experience. But if you find yourself getting a watch rash, it’s better to look for professional help for better treatment.

You might also like: How to Clean A Gold Watch At Home: A Solid and Gold Plated One

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