I have been married for less than a year and I am no longer wearing my wedding rings. No, my husband and I are not separating. My rings and my skin do not seem to be as compatible as my husband and I are.
A few months ago, I noticed that my finger under my rings was getting red. I thought it was just irritation from the normal swelling that my hands go through when it gets hot outside. Since we were into the warmer months already, my fingers were swelling and squeezing against my rings more than normal. I showed it to my husband a couple of times and he showed me his finger where his ring had dug into his skin, leaving an impression. Mine had an impression but they were also starting to become a bit red. I dealt with it for a while until one day, it started itching. Crazy itching. I couldn't stop fiddling with my ring finger because I wanted to tear through my skin to get to the itch. I ran into this while I was out of town on business and did not want to leave my rings in the hotel. I kept them on until I got home, put them in a safe place and let my finger breathe.
This is what it looked like a few days after I got home from that trip. It had healed some by this point. There was a red ring around my finger, almost like I had taken off my ring and gotten a bad sunburn on the normally unexposed area of my finger. The area in and around the red portion was itchy and dry and scaly. There were also red bumps on the sides of my finger where it meets the other fingers.
Yes, I know I have man hands. Insert Seinfeld jokes here.
It's been two and a half weeks since I took my rings off. I put my wedding band on for travel this past week and within a day, my finger had exploded with red bumps again. I removed it and placed it on a very secure and sturdy necklace so I wouldn't lose it while I was out of town.
When I got home last night, I did some research. This problem appears to be common and even has a name: Wedding Ring Dermatitus. The Wall Street Journal did an article on it that you can read here. I also found out more information about it here, here and here.
I read through this and it appears that the majority of the issues are caused by an allergy to Nickel. While I don't have a large history of my rings, I know they're not gold and I'm guessing they're not just Platinum plated, if that is even possible. They were my Grandmother's engagement and wedding ring from the 1940's. The inscription inside both rings is 10% Irid-Plat. I'm not a scientist but I don't believe there is Nickel in Platinum or Iridium.
I researched Platinum allergies and they're very rare. The only other idea I have is that I am getting water and soap stuck under the rings and that is what is causing the rash. Both rings are tighter than I would prefer. The jeweler who sized them for me sized them a half size smaller than what I asked for. Once that was done, he told me he didn't want to size them again for fear of compromising the integrity of the ring. Well yeah, they are 70 years old and were sized from a 5 to a 7 1/2 but at the same time, they're squishing my finger. The engagement ring has a hollow square that the round diamond is centered into the center of. This box-like section of the ring is hollow and could possibly be retaining soap, water or lotion.
I decided that I'll go to a dermatologist to have her take a look. If I'm allergic to my rings, I'm going to cry. For now I'll wear them around my neck since I'm just not comfortable not having them on me at all times.
Safe and secure around my neck
Have you ever experienced this before? What did you find? Was it an allergy to the metal in the rings or just stuff getting stuck between the ring and your skin?