Friday, September 12, 2008

Jewelry is NOT this Girl's Best Friend

For the last couple weeks, my engagement ring and wedding band have been sadly neglected in my jewelry box while my poor, naked ring finger has been battling some sort of allergic reaction. This picture does not even do it justice...

I guess it doesn't look that bad but it is itchy, annoying, and seemingly here to stay. I hadn't worn it in over two weeks and the rash appeared to be healed, but I wore it out to dinner last night and it flared up again. I immediately googled "allergy to wedding ring" and the results were abundant. Here's what I learned on DermaDoctor:
It can happen a day after your spouse puts the ring on your finger, a month later, a year later, even several years later. Suddenly, one day, you notice that the skin beneath the ring becomes red, itchy and irritated. The bad news is, your skin might be allergic to the metal in the ring. All metallic jewelry still contains some small percentage of nickel. Purity is a pretense. There simply is no such thing as pure gold jewelry. While no one is surprised if they break out to their $9.95 pair of earrings, they are horrified when it happens with the real thing. For finer jewelry, prolonged contact with the object is typically required to cause the rash. Gold and sterling silver molecules invisibly wear away over time allowing nickel to come into contact with the skin. The longer that you wear a good piece of jewelry, the more the microscopic "good" metal molecules are worn away, exposing the nickel molecules to the skin. This is how you can suddenly become allergic to an object worn “forever”.
We joke that maybe my ring finger has expensive platinum taste! hehe :)

I read of many home remedies and did some research on hypoallergenic metals. A test at the dermatoligist could reveal specifically what is causing the allergy - exposure to nickel or the gold itself. I've always had to buy hypoallergenic earrings and can't fall asleep with any costume jewelry or I get little red rashy bumps and the area gets infected. I just didn't think it would be the case with my most expensive bling. Total downer :(

***Update 9/19***

Thanks for all your comments guys. But I am pretty sure it is an allergy. I haven't worn the poor thing in weeks, because it almost immediately flares up when I do :( I think we will get it re-dipped for now and then perhaps consider another metal in the future! ;)

8 comments:

Jen and Bern said...

Yep, you're allergic to nickel all right! I went to the UCI derm center and was metal tested and am allergic two three metals, one including nickel, which I already knew. I think platinum is in your future. I bet Benadryl & Cortisone cream can help in the meantime.. poor girl!

.reese. said...

Oh. My. God! I gasped when I saw your finger! I have the same sensitivity to impure metals, though I can probably stand the mix of metals better than you. FI got so lucky with my ring...the jeweler convinced him to get white gold to which I thought it was for a while until I took a closer look underneath...low and behold, it says 950 Plat inside my ring. Yep, the jeweler gave me a platinum band for the price of white gold. Your finger totally has good taste!

Catherine Tang said...

aw, that's sad! hopefully you find a cure so you can rock the bling.

nita said...

omg!!! are you ok? seriously! i hope you can wear your awesome bling soon!

The Rauths said...

my aunt had that...she's allergic to nickle and cannot wear platinum. good luck!

Anonymous said...

I have a platinum ring and I have the same problem....it may not be that you are allergic. I have a halo style ring and what happens is soap and water gets trapped inside and causes somewhat of a "rash". I just have to take my ring off for a few days and make sure to really clean my ring good. I even get in there with a toothbrush and once my finger is healed it is back to normal. I have only had it happend twice in the year I have been married.

Tiffany said...

oh my! That's not fun. I have metal alleriges as well, but not to my wedding rings. hope you'll be able to figure out and wear your pretty ring again soon!

...love Maegan said...

oh no!....I have an amazing ring of my grandma's {that's white gold} that does the same thing to me so I can only wear it on occasion. I made sure that my wedding band and ring were platinum.

I hope you find a solution because that's YOUR RING!!!! ya know