Experiencing Wedding Ring Rash? Things You Need to Know
If you’ve got a red, itchy or painful patch under and around your wedding band, you might have a common condition known as wedding ring rash. As annoying as it may be, it’s nothing to be too concerned about and it doesn’t necessarily mean you have to banish the ring from your rotation. There are a few things you should know about wedding ring rash to treat and prevent it from happening in the first place.
What Is Wedding Ring Rash?
Wedding ring rash, also known as wedding ring dermatitis, is a rash that occurs due to an allergy or sensitivity to the materials in jewelry. It may also be caused by the accumulation of soap, dirt, sweat and debris beneath a ring. It’s named as such because it tends to happen when wearing rings, especially wedding bands made of precious metals, like gold.
Although it’s most common on the ring finger, this kind of rash can pop up anywhere you wear jewelry. Note that this condition is different from the one that leaves your finger dyed green. The dreadful green finger occurs due to a chemical reaction between the metal in a ring and the acids in your skin. It does not typically indicate an allergy or skin sensitivity.
Things to Know About Wedding Ring Rash
What causes wedding ring rash? What can you do to stop it? Can rocking a silicone wedding ring prevent it from happening? (Hint: definitely) Luckily, it’s not a curse, and when you’re armed with the right information, you should be able to keep it at bay relatively easily.
It May Indicate an Allergy — It’s important to note that rashes on any part of the body can indicate an allergy. With jewelry rash, the reaction is usually associated with a hypersensitivity to the nickel component of the ring. Even if your ring is made of gold, it possesses traces of nickel that could set off an allergic reaction. How do you know if it’s a nickel allergy? Swap it out for a nickel-free material — silicone, surgical-grade stainless steel, sterling silver, platinum or titanium — and see if the rash persists.
Your Ring May Need a Deep Clean — Sometimes, those tiny particles of dirt and soap residue that get trapped between your ring and your skin can trigger irritation. The first thing you should do when dealing with this kind of rash is to give your ring a deep clean and thoroughly dry it before returning it to your finger. If you put it back on and it’s still causing you trouble, you may be dealing with a nickel allergy. Here’s how to clean rings to get rid of all the gross stuff without damaging the materials.
It Doesn’t Indicate Poor Hygiene — A dirty ring may be to blame for your ring rash, but that doesn’t mean you’re dirty. In fact, wedding ring rash tends to happen more frequently among people who wash their hands a lot. The soap residue that builds up under the ring can persistently irritate the skin, while a stubborn itch can cause the rash to worsen over time.
It Can Happen After Years of Wearing the Same Ring — One unexpected thing to note here is that wedding ring rash, especially if caused by a nickel allergy, can occur seemingly out of the blue, even after years of wearing the same ring. It may take repeated exposure to nickel before you notice any symptoms. Don’t rule out an allergy just because it seems to have shown up out of nowhere!
How to Prevent Wedding Ring Rash
There are a couple of simple things you can do to ensure that you don’t develop wedding ring rash or worsen a case you already have.
1. Make sure your ring fits properly, as a ring that’s too tight is much more likely to trap soap and dirt beneath the surface. Your ring should be snug enough that it doesn’t slip off, but not so tight you can’t remove it easily. Reference our ring size chart for more information.
2. Remove your ring when you wash your hands. As much as possible, remove your ring when you’re washing your hands, washing dishes or cleaning. This will help prevent soap and other irritants from getting trapped.
3. Clean your ring often. Don’t let tiny particles beneath the ring wreak havoc on your skin and cause redness, itchiness, patchiness or pain. Make sure to thoroughly dry your ring before putting it back on your finger.
Silicone Wedding Bands Are an Amazing Alternative
Note that these solutions can only prevent ring rashes that are not triggered by an allergy. There's no cure if it’s an allergy, but topical allergy creams — such as a corticosteroid cream — can help. The only real option for an allergy is to choose a nickel-free alternative, such as a silicone wedding ring by QALO. Our silicone is a hypoallergenic material that’s safe for even the most sensitive skin, so you never have to worry about developing a rash again.