Getting engaged or married is one of the most important events in life, but wearing that new ring quickly becomes a pain instead of a pleasure when a painful rash develops. No matter how the rash appears or affects you, there's a few common causes that all create this kind of reaction. Finding the cause and treating the symptoms will allow you to wear your ring again without any irritation.
Start with the easiest elimination steps to see if you're simply experiencing a basic case of contact dermatitis. Many people aren't reacting to the ring, but rather the moisture trapped between the metal and skin after wearing the jewelry while washing dishes or taking a shower. Take your ring off when getting your hands wet and thoroughly dry both the skin and metal before putting it back on. See if this improvement to your routine clears up the rash before visiting a dermatologist.
Aside from getting moisture trapped under the ring, you might be experiencing a rash from soap residue left behind. Shampoo, dish soap, and detergent can all lead to red skin, itchiness, and flaking when it sits on the skin for hours at a time. Rinse your hands without the ring on every time you use soap, and take care to wash the ring itself too so that soap residue doesn't hide in the prongs or decorative etching. Washing the ring with a cleanser that matches the metal type also prevents bacteria and other irritants from building up in the crevices too.
Treat the Symptoms
If you can't eliminate the rash with habit changes alone, you should treat the symptoms to relieve the pain temporarily and see a dermatologist before it clears up so they can get a good look at it. The safest temporary treatments for this kind of contact dermatitis include
If the itching is so bad it's distracting, you can also take oral antihistamines to reduce the overall allergic reaction. Don't use these home treatments for more than three days before going to see a dermatologist for professional help.
Get a Patch Test
Wedding ring rashes that aren't moisture or soap related usually come from the metals used in the ring instead. Most people reacting to their rings or other jewelry suffer from a nickel allergy, and even the finest 24 karat gold rings can include a little nickel for hardness. Allergies to other metals are less common, but there are reported cases of reactions to gold and even platinum, two materials usually considered hypoallergenic.
Your dermatologist can help you determine exactly which metals are causing your rash with a comprehensive patch test. The doctor applies tiny amounts of all the common metals, including nickel and palladium, to your inner arm and records the results to figure out which metals are safe for you to wear.
If it's your wedding ring's metal content causing your rash, you've got a few options for dealing with the problem. Investing in new rings free from allergens is one option, but most people want to keep their original rings instead. You can either use a clear coating product, similar to colorless nail varnish, or get a long lasting layer of rhodium plating added to keep the reactive metals from touching your skin. Both need to be replaced periodically as they wear away so you don't end up with the same irritating rash once again.
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A few years ago, my father visited a dermatologist for the first time in his life. During this visit, he was diagnosed with several skin cancers. Thankfully, my dad’s dermatologist expertly removed these cancerous spots. If you’ve haven’t visited a dermatologist before, consider doing so sooner rather than later. Many forms of skin cancer are completely treatable if they’re detected early. Besides seeing a dermatologist, you should inspect your skin for any changes regularly. This is especially important if you have numerous moles on your body. On this blog, I hope you will discover ingenious tips to help you protect your health. Enjoy!