By Manushree Chaumal Last Updated:
Do you feel that the idea of donning your engagement or wedding ring excites you, but not your finger?
Do you feel sore and itchy when you wear your engagement ring?
Well, let us tell you, these are not metaphorical questions! While you love the rock you adorn on your ring finger, you hate to see the skin beneath it. There are many people, especially women, who get allergic to their engagement or wedding rings, over time.
Since this is one ring that you would be donning for life, and would not want to part with it even for a moment, you might end up becoming victim of the skin allergy, commonly known as wedding ring rash or wedding ring dermatitis.
This rash is easily treatable, with some basic remedies, provided you know what is causing it. So, here is everything you need to know behind that rash on your skin under that wedding ring.
If the skin under your ring feels sore and itchy, and looks red, then you might be suffering from wedding ring rash.
A very common reason for the rash is that it may arise simply from an irritation caused by the soap and water trapped under the ring.
Another common reason is that most rings have a very small amount of nickel that is used to harden the malleable gold. Even sterling silver, gold and platinum might contain small amount of this metal. Allergies to nickel are very common, but most people are unaware about it. As Dr. Carolyn Jacobs, a Chicago-based dermatologist, explains, “Gold has other metal alloys mixed in with it to make it hard enough to wear. If you have a 14-karat gold or white gold ring, there could be nickel in there, and nickel is close to the top of the list of allergens your skin can be allergic to.”
People who have sensitive skin, or have a history of metal allergies, eczema or atopic dermatitis, are more to prone to have wedding ring rash.
Another very common cause behind wedding ring dermatitis is wearing a ring that is too tight for your finger. Such a ring does not give your skin enough space to breathe freely. As Kristin Leiferman, M.D., professor of dermatology at the Mayo Medical School in Rochester, Minnesota, says, "Most people wear their rings tight enough to stay put, which causes pressure against the skin and sets it up for problems."
First and foremost thing you must do is, immediately take your ring off. Most skin experts say that you should not wear your ring until and unless the rash is completely gone.
Remove the ring each time you wash your hands. This helps to get rid of any blocked water or residue from the soap. Also, make sure your hand is completely dry before you put it on back again.
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Don't be too harsh on your hands. The chemicals in your soap might be worsening your skin conditions. Better switch to a mild soap and keep your hands clean at all times.
While you might ensure your hands are clean at all times, make sure that you clean the ring often as well. A lot of dust particles settle in the rings that have complex designs.
You can also use jewellery cleaner to clean your ring. But, Dr. Leiferman adds, "If you soak your rings with jewellery cleaner, be especially careful to rinse the rings well with water." Since most cleaners have ammonia in them, they can further leave your skin dry and irritated, if not cleansed well. If your ring is too delicate or complex, then take it to a jeweller for cleaning.
Keep your hands well-moisturised with a good hand cream. If you work often in and out of water, it becomes all the more necessary to protect your hand from getting too dry.
It is best to use a non-greasy, hypoallergenic hand cream after washing your hands. Many skin experts also suggest that you can use a lotion that contains ceramides in it, as that will protect your hands and keep them well-moisturised.
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If the rash persists and you suspect it might be due to nickel allergy, then immediately rush to your jeweller. Get the ring metal tasted. If your jewellers find that the ring has nickel in it, and it has been exposed due to prolonged use, then they can simply get the ring recoated or re-plated with another metal to protect your finger, say rhodium. This would also bring back the shine and colour of your ring.
If you are looking for a quick, temporary fix at home for the nickel allergy, then take some clear nail polish and apply a coat of it on the inside of your ring.
If the rash still persists after taking all these measures, either visit a dermatologist without further delay or change your ring altogether to a metal that is suitable for your skin.
If you are about to get engaged or have recently got that stunning ring adorning your finger, then here are some words for you:
So, now you know that you are not allergic to the ring, it is just your finger. Jokes apart! Use these tips and get rid of the wedding ring rash with any further delay.
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