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Are you allergic to your wedding ring?

wedding rings

Are You Allergic To Your Wedding Ring?

In every part of the world, people celebrate the beginning of one the most important relations in their life with a promise of commitment to their better half. This pre-marriage celebration is popularly known as ‘Engagement.’ The respective bride and groom share wedding rings with each other in order to seal their relationship.

Engagements have now become a tradition and are celebrated before every marriage, regardless of beliefs or practices. As the number of engagements increased, so did the sale of engagements rings. However, the problem aroused when people started complaining about the rashes and allergies they were getting by their wedding rings.

Some superstitious people used believe it to be a warning sign of not to marry the to-be spouse. In reality there can be several causes for a rash from your engagement or wedding ring.

What Is Engagement Ring Allergy?

An engagement ring allergy is a common skin rash and mostly occurs on the skin under the band of the ring. People, who have suffered allergies and sensitive skin problems before, are more exposed to this skin allergy. As it has been analyzed, mostly wedding ring rash is caused by the allergy to Nickel.

Sometimes people do not suffer from the rash for years after carrying that ring, but the rash may occur after wearing the same ring several years, without any distress. To some, the rash starts showing its signs within a few weeks of wearing the wedding ring. In the beginning, the rash might make an appearance for a little while, before disappearing. The engagement ring rash is also known as Engagement Ring Dermatitis. (Dermatitis is a medical condition in which the skin swells and turns red and irritates the skin). Mostly, the women wearing the wedding rings suffer the allergy but typically, anyone who is wearing any ring a long period of time can suffer from the allergy.

white gold wedding rings

What Causes The Engagement Ring Allergy?

Metal Content-One reason you may experience a rash around your engagement ring is that 14 or 18k gold often contains small amounts of Nickel, which is used to harden the material that is too soft by nature. Many people are unaware of their allergies to Nickel, but this metal commonly causes skin rashes.

The metal that contains the highest amount of Nickel is 14k white gold. Often people may wear 14k yellow gold without incident but will be allergic to 14k white gold due to the higher Nickel content. If this is an issue for you, you may want to select Platinum or Palladium White Gold instead as they do not contain any Nickel at all. They are both beautiful, especially Platinum which is a whiter metal all the way around.

The other option would be to Rhodium plate your ring. This is an option that may jewelers suggest and the only downside is that the ring will need to be replated often as plating will always wear off.

The some symptoms that show if a person has a metal allergy such as; red dry patches and irritation, itching, burning, blisters and slight swelling. If a person is suffering from such problems, they probably have a metal allergy and there are certain things that can escalate the allergy.

Sweating or Washing-In this case the culprit is water! It gets inside of the band makes contact with nickel to form a salt, the salt when touches the skin, has a painful reaction and causes itching and irritation. Hence, the moisture, caused by washing, showering, sweating, etc. can cause skin dermatitis.
Piercing- it can cause metal allergies to rise because it involves more skin exposure to the metals, especially the wounds. It is more likely to trigger metal allergies in a person.

Soaps And Lotions- This is one of the most common reasons for an Engagement Ring allergy. It actually is not an allergy to the ring itself. Instead it is caused by the soap or water that is stuck under the ring band for long periods of time. It happens often in humid climates where the skin does not dry out underneath the band. Often it is thicker band that you will see it happen the most.

Wearing the wedding ring on the same finger every day deoxygenate the skin under the band. Wearing the ring on different finger might help. Removing the wedding ring while washing hands and taking bath does not let any soap or water elements to be trapped under the ring, hence relieving the ring rash.

The soaps and lotions that are trapped under the skin along with moisture can cause the bacteria to grow under the band of the ring. Cleaning the ring and the skin thoroughly can solve the problem. People can also take the ring to the jeweler to get it cleaned. Dermatologists also suggest a jewelry cleaning solution.

Some People Are Naturally Allergic To Nickel-Some people are naturally allergic to nickel and can develop this allergy by several means, such as the metal buttons on jeans, metal cases, etc. There are several tests available for people to test if they are allergic to Nickel, they can get it tested by any dermatologist, which would help them confirm the diagnosis. If a person is allergic to nickel, he/she can test the products for nickel contents, by an inexpensive nickel test, which can be used at homes as well. To treat allergies that are caused by nickel, the person does not necessarily have to replace the ring. Such a person can have the ring coated with rhodium by the jeweler, which will form a barrier between the skin and the nickel component of the ring. To fix the problem temporarily, even the clear nail polish can also be applied.

How To Get Rid Of Engagement Ring Allergies:

The easiest way to get rid of engagement ring allergies and rashes is to first determine if it is actually Nickel or moisture that is causing the problem. If it is Nickel then you have two options. You can get your ring re-made in a metal that does not contain Nickel or you can try Rhodium plating your current ring.

The second best thing is to get the ring coated with clear nail polish, nickel-guard or rhodium. To avoid the allergies, people should avoid white gold. White gold relies more on nickel than the yellow gold does. The dermatologists recommend topical steroid cream, whenever they treat severe skin dermatitis. The doctors mostly also suggest the person to stop wearing the ring.

Since the metal allergies have increased over the course so much, jewelers have now invented nickel free jewelry, also known as hypoallergenic jewelry. Such jewelry is made of 18 Karat Gold, Platinum, Palladium White Gold, and Titanium. Although, 18K gold is unlikely to make hypoallergenic jewelry as it does have nickel component, but it is now available in nickel-free form as well. We would be happy to help you with any questions you may have about your rings!

Heather Charlick

Heather Charlick

Hello There! I'm Heather-a jewelry artist living with my beloved husband & horses in the rolling hills of Tennessee. I make vintage inspired engagement rings for the romantic bride. I would love to help you custom design your dream ring, so feel free to contact me anytime.