10 Tips to Stop a Ring From Turning Your Finger Green

Have you ever returned home to a greenish-black pigment around your finger after flaunting your favorite ring all day long? If your answer is ‘yes’ to the question, you’ve come to the right place.

Did you think that you’ve got an allergy to your ring? If not, you might have been bewildered or shocked for sure.

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Well, if it’s only green or black pigmentation on your finger, which is extremely common among ring-wearers, you’ve got nothing to worry about. We’ve got plenty of tips for you to stop your ring from turning your finger green.

Make sure you’re not allergic to the metal

Are you sure it’s just a discoloration on your finger? Or are there some more symptoms? If you feel pain and discomfort, or discover rashes, bumps, and often reddish marks below the ring, you might have an allergy to some type of metal in the ring.

If it is allergy make sure to ask your jeweler about the composition of your ring or you can even surf the internet for the answer.

Rule out the metals that rarely cause allergies such as palladium, platinum, stainless silver, copper. Yellow gold and sterling silver on their own are also known to be hypo-allergenic.

However, the most common allergenic found in rings is nickel followed by cobalt and chromium. If there’s nickel in your ring, you might be having allergies against it. But if you’re unsure of which metal might be your culprit, do not hesitate to visit a dermatologist.

Why does a ring turn your finger green or black?

Now, if it’s not an allergy, take a deep breath since finger discoloration by the rings is very common and does not come with any side-effects. Some people might feel slightly irritated or annoyed but there’s nothing severe to worry about.

The green or black color in your finger might be due to metal abrasion or corrosion.

Metal abrasion

Softer metals, particularly gold, often abrase when it comes in contact with harsher chemicals, mostly found it your cosmetics. This causes tiny particles of the metal to rub-off and forms a black smudge in your finger.

Metal corrosion

Some metals like silver and copper can corrode and form a dark-colored compound under moist conditions. These compounds might color your finger green or black.

What are the major triggers that cause metals in your ring to abrase or corrode?

What are the major triggers that cause metals in your ring to abrase or corrode
Image: something borrowed

What makes the problem of a ring turning your finger green extremely common is that you are most likely to encounter at least some of the triggers, that corrodes or abrase the metal in your ring, daily.

As surprising as it may sound, your sweat releases many fats, fatty acids, and chlorides, that might be corroding the metal in your ring.

Cosmetic, soaps and detergents which is often a mixture of many chemicals, are also major culprits of metal corrosion. Cosmetic contains harder material than gold which might eventually abrase gold or any other softer metals.

Acids and Sulphur compounds in cosmetics might also be corroding your silver jewelry.

Likewise, Chlorine in swimming pools or spa might be eating away your gold and sterling silver rings.

Moisture, saltwater and heat also triggers and aids in oxidation and corrosion of many metals.

Does wearing cheap jewelry make your finger more prone to getting green?

One of the most common advice you’ll hear when you experience green or black fingers due to rings is to stop wearing cheap jewelry. The most common metals used in most costume jewelry are copper, aluminum, brass, silver, and nickel.

Though nickel is the most allergenic of all, copper and silver are very common culprits of turning your finger green. So, in a way, yes cheap jewelry makes your finger prone to turning green once the outer plating degrades.

But does that mean that expensive jewelry will give you no chances for complaint? Absolutely not. Expensive jewelry, mostly gold rings, can equally give that greenish-black tint to your finger.

As 14K gold means the ring had 58% pure gold along with 42% alloys, the alloys in the rings are prone to corrosion which might end up giving a green line around your finger. Even 18K gold, which consists of 75% pure gold and 25% alloys, can also turn your finger green.

What can you do to stop a ring from turning your finger green?

There are many preventions you can take to stop jewelry from turning your skin green. Some of the most helpful tips you can follow are detailed below.

1. Do not expose your ring to water or detergents for long:

Although many metals possess adequate corrosion resistance to moisture, the presence of moisture does speed up the process of corrosion if any other corrosive substance is present. Furthermore, soaps and detergents might be corrosive to metals.

So, make sure to take your ring off every time you wash your hands and face, bath, or do dishes.

2. Keep your ring away from chlorine

Since swimming pools and spas are heavily chlorinated, always take off your rings when you’re swimming or if you’re in for a spa.

3. Make sure you don’t apply your hand creams to your ring

Your hand creams are designed for your hands, not for your rings. So, it obviously makes sense to apply your lotion or any other cosmetics only on your bare hands, doesn’t it?

Make sure to wear your rings only after your skin absorbs the lotion perfectly.

4. Use Zinc-oxide free absorbent powders

If you sweat a lot, you can also try applying absorbent powder to your ring finger every once in a while, such that the oils, acids, and extra moisture in your finger are absorbed and your finger is dry and clean.

5. Keep your rings clean and polished

The more is the ring dirty and tarnished, the higher is the chance that they color your finger. Clean your copper rings very often using lemon juice or vinegar.

If you wear the ring daily, make sure to at least wipe your ring with a soft cloth every time you take off and before you wear your ring. This helps remove any sweat, oil, or moisture present in the rings and prevents further oxidation and corrosion.

You can also use jewelry polish or wax once in a while to maintain the shine of your jewelry and protect it. Eventually, it will prevent your finger from turning green.

6. Store your rings properly

It might be the easiest and cheapest advice of all. Store your rings inside a Ziploc bag to prevent your rings from tarnishing due to humidity at night. It also protects the outer plating (i.e. gold, silver, or rhodium plating) of most cheap jewelry from wearing off.

After all, the safer and cleaner the ring, the more protected your finger is from turning green.

7. Use clear nail polish

This tip is a life-saver! You do have some clear nail polish lying around your home, don’t you? If yes, coat your ring with the nail polish on the inside and let it dry.

The polish creates a barrier between the ring and the surrounding protecting your ring and stopping it from turning your finger green or black.

Though this tip is very effective, you might have to reapply every once in a while, especially if you love wearing the ring every day. Also, make sure to clean your ring properly before applying the polish.

8. Use Jewelry shield

If you don’t have any nail polish lying around and also suffer from allergy from many metals, it might be a better option to invest in a jewelry shield. JewelryShield manufacture by Darice is also an affordable and effective option.

9. Spray your ring with a crystal-clear enamel coat

Many commercial crystal-clear enamel coats are available that are equally effective in creating a barrier between the ring and the skin. What’s more, they even protect your rings for a quite long time than the nail polish or jewelry shield does.

If you have many rings that you are facing this problem with, you can use this option. Since it comes in sprays, you can save yourself from painting on each of your rings tediously. One amazing product for this purpose is Krylon UV-resistant clear acrylic coating.

10. Get your ring rhodium-plated on the inside

If you adore a ring and want a professional solution, you can have the ring rhodium-plated in a nearby jewelry shop. It costs around $30- $50 to get your ring electroplated and the process is also quite quick.

Now that you know how to prevent a ringer form turning your finger green or black, go flaunt that ring you’ve always loved despite the fact that it discolored your finger.

If you’re sick of trying all these tips and your budget allows you, you can always go for high-end platinum rings that won’t turn your fingers green. But if cheap and fashion jewelry has your heart, here are the top 5 places where you can buy cheap jewelry that won’t turn your finger green.

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