The effect that so many people unwittingly experience is known as wedding ring rash or wedding ring dermatitis. It is a relatively common skin condition that develops on the surface of the skin underneath a ring. Anybody can develop it and it can develop at any time, but those who have a history of allergies or sensitive skin are particularly prone to the rash. The rash typically results from an allergy to nickel in the ring itself. If wearers are not allergic to nickel, it is still possible to develop the rash while wearing the ring due to soap scum and other debris collecting underneath the band.
The way in which the rash manifests varies for all wearers. Sometimes the rash may appear a week or two after you put the ring on. Sometimes the rash might not even show up until several years of wearing. A small red patch may begin to form underneath the ring on top of the skin as a first warning sign of the damage. The rash may come and go spontaneously, but it may later become constantly present, especially if you do not remove the ring.
Almost all 14 to 18 karat gold jewelry has components of nickel present to harden the gold. Nickel is one of the most common allergies that people can have, and many people are not even aware that they are allergic to the metal until they come in contact with the jewelry. Nickel is a common component of many metal items and alloys. If you are not sure whether you are allergic to nickel or not, you can find out by speaking with a professional and having a simple test performed.
Alleviating nickel allergies varies according to different treatment options, but you should always practice safe maintenance and wear to make sure that you do not damage your skin from wearing the ring. Remember to take your ring off every now and then to allow your skin to breathe. Sometimes even just wearing the ring on a different finger can be enough to help you remember where it is while allowing your ring finger to breathe. Remove the ring, wash your finger as you normally would, and then dry your hands before replacing the ring. Make sure your finger is completely dry before wearing again, as water may lead to harmful rash effects.
Most cases of wedding ring rash are easy to treat. Medical professionals may ask that you avoid wearing the rings for too long, and they may prescribe topical cortisone creams to soothe the skin. Applying a clear coat of nail polish to the wedding ring may also help prevent harmful effects by creating a barrier between the ring and the point of contact with the skin.
There are some nickel free options including nickel free gold, platinum, palladium, titanium or black zirconium.