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topic 33777

Rash from Ring? Fixed by Boiling in Vinegar & Peroxide!

Current question and answers:

January 4, 2021

Q. I am so frustrated! I've been wearing my 14k engagement ring for 3 years without issue, and 14k earrings for 2 years without issue. Well my 14k wedding band caused me a severe rash after 1.5 years of wearing it - tiny fluid filled bumps, and red dry patches, all very itchy and uncomfortable. I've called my wedding band place a few times, and they refuse to do anything about it because they say it's a dermatology problem - but I've never had this issue! Does it make sense that only my 14k band would cause severe issues, but none of my other 14k jewelry!? I even switched fingers and it happened all over again:(
Any advice is appreciated.

Blake C [last name deleted for privacy by Editor]
- New York

Nickel Detection plus Nickel-guard Coating

January 2021

A. Hi Blake. A dermatologist or at least your G.P. really should be your first resource, but if you are sure that it's just the one ring, then my first question is whether it's white gold or yellow gold. Yellow gold has no nickel in it, but white gold may or may not. Nickel allergy is an acquired allergy; so if it's white, it's possible that you were not allergic to it until recently and that your other rings contain no nickel.

You can try a nickel test kit; if nickel is present, you can try a polyurethane or clear nail polish coating on the inside. If the problem is not nickel, have you tried the boiling in vinegar & peroxide process that so many people have suggested here?

Luck & Regards,

pic of Ted Mooney
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
Aloha -- an idea worth spreading
finishing.com - Pine Beach, New Jersey

Synopsis: The most helpful part of this thread is that dozens of women reported elimination of the rash by boiling their gold or platinum rings in vinegar & peroxide. Although we don't expect damage to platinum or gold rings, we certainly can't guarantee it!! And remember that all stones are not the same, and pearls are not stones and may be damaged by chemicals that didn't hurt stones. Do it at your own risk.

The thread also covers anti-fungal & cortisone creams, nickel allergy, aluminum allergy, and more. Read on!

Previous closely related Q&A's starting in:


Q. I had purchased a Platinum Engagement and Wedding ring set from a jeweler in the Downtown LA Jewelry Mart. My wife has had the rings since our wedding in August of 2001. Lately she gets a red rash around her ring finger and it is caused by the rings! Did she develop a sudden and consistent allergic reaction? Is my supposed platinum ring not really platinum? Is the ring merely rhodium coated? What can I do ? Thanks.

Dale J [last name deleted for privacy by Editor]
home owner - Los Angeles, California

A. First of all, get your wife tested by a dermatologist for metal allergies. Once you have determined what she is allergic to, then something can be done about it. Many allergies associated with jewelry are due to nickel, but it is not usual for platinum to have nickel in it, unless it is a cheap platinum alloy. There are a lot of submissions about nickel allergies and jewelry on this site and other information can be obtained from organizations such as NiDI (Nickel Development Institute). If it is a metal allergy, a good deposit of rhodium usually puts pay to its effects, although it is not a permanent coating and will have to be replaced every few years.

trevor crichton
Trevor Crichton
R&D practical scientist
Chesham, Bucks, UK

A. Hopefully someone more knowledgeable about platinum will come by ... but one thing you may want to look into is it being a possible infection (yeast) it sounds gross but it does happen quite a bit, especially if it isn't taken off during bathing. Moisture from sweat, washing hands, etc. will stay under the ring ... and warm wet places are where fungus/yeast like to be.

Jason Aube
- Flint, Michigan

Q. I'm 7 months pregnant. About two months ago, I developed a red, itchy rash under my wedding and engagement rings. I have worn the engagement ring for 2 years and wedding ring for 7 months without a problem. Any idea what might be wrong?

Antoinette R [last name deleted for privacy by Editor]
- New York, New York

A. I suggest you ask your O&G/pediatrics consultant. He/she will be in a better position to answer your problems than people on this site, as he/she will know more about you and your condition than anyone else. If he/she cannot, at least you can be pointed in the right direction.

trevor crichton
Trevor Crichton
R&D practical scientist
Chesham, Bucks, UK

Q. I have been wearing my wedding ring for the past year that is made from platinum and 18 kt yellow gold. Over the past 6-8 months I have been developing a rash only on one side of my finger that I wear the ring on. Everything that I read states that platinum is the metal for skin allergies and I have no problem wearing 14 kt gold so I am wondering if I could be one of the few that could be allergic to platinum or could it be the 18 kt gold as they both come in contact with my finger. Wouldn't 18 kt gold be more pure than 14 kt gold, or do you think that it could possibly be the gold portion that I am allergic too? I am about to have my diamond reset into the original 14 kt gold Tiffany mount so that I can at least enjoy my diamond but I really hate that I cannot wear this 2 tone mount that was rather costly - any suggestions?

LisaJoy G [last name deleted for privacy by Editor]
- Atlanta, Georgia

A. For those of you with repeating rashes such as the rash reappearing on the other hand I would get tested for metal allergies.

For those of you who suddenly develop a rash after having worn something for a long time I would try some cortisone cream and leave the ring off for a week or two.

I had the same thing happen with a plain silver band I had been wearing for months and months. It seemed like I had gotten some moisture and perhaps some bacteria underneath the ring that irritated the skin and made it itchy and then sort of dry and scaly. It would start to clear up a bit, so I figured I could put the ring back on, but once I did it would break out again.

So I had to wait for the "rash" to clear up completely before I could wear my ring again.

Give it a try, so long as your ring doesn't cause the same reaction on your other hand.

Jucstice S [last name deleted for privacy by Editor]
- Bonney Lake, Washington

Q. I have been suffering with a rash on my ring finger for the past 18 months. I have two children ages 5 & 2 years old.
Last weekend my girlfriend showed me her ring finger and she has the same rash. She has a one year old and her rash just started a couple of months ago. She spoke to her Doctor about it and was told that it is a reaction to the gold due to a hormone after having children. Hopefully now that I know what it is something can be done. If I have my ring on for one day I will suffer for two weeks with the rash.

Shawna S [last name deleted for privacy by Editor]
- Kanata, Ontario, Canada


Q. I recently got married and my husband bought me a platinum wedding ring. After some time I started having a rash and dryness around the area where the ring made contact with my finger. I have worn several finishes of rings including silver, gold and junk, my whole life and never had any kind of reaction. In high school I use to where a ring on almost every finger. After doing some research on line I found that platinum is one of the most hypoallergenic metals made and people buy it specifically if they have allergic reactions to metal. The ring is stamped by "Ratani" (the brand) and says PT950, which I have read is the highest quality of platinum that you can buy. I went back to the jewelry store and they suggested that maybe I wasn't drying my hands properly. I knew that wasn't it but I made sure to take particular causation when drying my hands and see if the reaction still persisted. I also had the ring professionally cleaned in case some chemicals or something had some how seeped into the ring. One of my friends told me that platinum is often treated with chemicals that may be causing the reaction. I can't seem to find any information that validates her belief. What could be causing my skin to react in this way? Can anyone help? Thanks

Ruth K [last name deleted for privacy by Editor]
consumer - San Francisco, California

I'm glad I found these postings. I have been suffering from the same rash after about 6 months of wearing my expensive platinum wedding ring, purchased from a fine jewelry store in Santa Monica. We purposely bought from a boutique jewelry store to prevent problems.

I will go to my dermatologist first, then see the store.

My first inclination is that soap got caught inside the open grooves of my eternity lace cut ring, bacteria under the skin is my guess.

I will post back once I get the solution.

Ginnie K [last name deleted for privacy by Editor]
- Santa Monica, California

A. I have worn a platinum wedding ring for two years and I have trouble with a red dry rash underneath it off and on. I find that leaving it off for a while until it goes away and using Neosporin helps. I have also started taking it off at night, since my fingers swell sometimes which also irritates it. I have very sensitive skin and I have no idea why it reacts to the platinum.

Mary S [last name deleted for privacy by Editor]
- Houston, Texas

Q. I just got this ring in January for my 20th and it is more like a callus than a rash. This is a very pricey ring purchased in a store in L.A. as well. I do not want to change metal but I have had the ring on my other hand for about a week and the problem is starting on that hand. Any ideas? I was at my doctor's for another issue and they said it looked like a contact allergy but blew me off. Now it is worse and I am going back.

Catherine J [last name deleted for privacy by Editor]
consumer - San Diego, California

It is good to know that I am not alone, but the wife and I both ran into the problem years after wearing the rings. Our jeweler suggested a good cleaning as soaps get in the grooves on the bottom. That cleared up my wife's, but mine remains. Have not worn the ring in over 5 months and I still have a red mark and some dry flaky skin. The ring was also tight so am having it resized, to see if that relieves it all. Odd how something like that develops over time, I would think that an allergy to the metal would be almost immediate. That makes me think of the soaps, etc., under the ring.

Ray M [last name deleted for privacy by Editor]
- Houston, Texas

After having a blood-type allergy test, I found out I was allergic to many metals. Rhodium was one of them. It is often used to coat jewelry and to make platinum harder. A few years ago I had to have a titanium plate removed from my neck because it was causing other health problems--I lost 30 lbs. Then, after telling my orthopedic surgeon that I was allergic to "metals", he still insisted on putting a stainless steel plate with many screws in my arm and leg when I broke them last year. Now I'm going to have to have another operation to take that hardware out. So I would suggest that anyone with any type of "metal" allergy, take a metal allergy test so you can really know what you can and cannot wear or have implanted in your body. It was the dentist who finally had me get the allergy test before deciding to do implants or dentures. What's wrong with the "doctors"? Why don't they order the test as a matter of procedure before doing anything involving putting any metal in the body?

April B [last name deleted for privacy by Editor]
- San Jose, California

Q. I am having the same exact problem! I have two wedding rings in white gold and a sapphire ring I wear with them my husband got me after the birth of our twins which was 8 months ago. Ever since then I have this horrible red, flaky rash around my finger. I am desperate to find out what this is! Anyone to to a dermatologist and get a diagnosis? Is it in fact allergy or is it just some kind of fungus?

Christy D [last name deleted for privacy by Editor]
- Cedar Grove, New Jersey

I have been wearing my 18k white gold ring with diamonds and sapphires for 5 years and I just started to have an allergic reaction to it. I apply hydrocortisone daily which clears it up but once I start wearing the ring again the rash reappears. I keep hoping it will clear itself but I am beginning to think its like a leaky faucet, so its time to see a dermatologist. I'm glad I found these postings because I thought it was just me. :)

Angela B [last name deleted for privacy by Editor]
- San Diego, California


A. I have developed the same flaky rash after wearing my white gold wedding ring and engagement ring all the time for four years. I also have 2 friends that have the same problem. After a little research, I think I will go home and soak my ring in 2 parts vinegar and 1 part hydrogen peroxide [affil. link to info/product on Amazon] and boil it for about fifteen minutes. This helped many people from mohea.com site. I'll let you know how it goes!

Jennifer G [last name deleted for privacy by Editor]
- Colorado Springs, Colorado

thumbs up signAlright, I tried the before mentioned cure and it worked! I am totally itchy rash free! I think it must have been a bacteria or fungus that built up underneath my ring over the years. Or maybe because I've been cleaning a lot with harsher chemicals my skin broke down and was infected more easily. Either way, I am totally cured! I am glad I didn't waste money on getting my ring re-dipped or buying a platinum ring. Hope this helps!

Jennifer G [returning]
- Colorado Springs, Colorado

Anachronistic editors note: For those who need pictures, in 2009 Melissa Marie wrote a webpage which illustrates the vinegar-peroxide method quite nicely --

Wow, I have the same rash, who knew so many people would be posting this online...I've worn my rings for over 2 years with no problems.
Mine started to clear up after not wearing the rings for about 5 days & applying hydrocortisone & then I wore them overnight the other night & woke up w/ it itching like crazy & it is back...only this time it seems to be more in the area where my wedding band is versus my engagement ring.
I guess I'll get the rings cleaned really well, be more diligent about not wearing them 'til it is gone and also try some yeast creams in case that is what it is... glad to see I'm not the only one out there but I hope I don't have to have my ring dipped! :(

Lisa W [last name deleted for privacy by Editor]
- Charlotte, North Carolina

A. Follow-up
A dermatologist friend basically told me I had developed eczema on the finger where I wear my rings and after research, use of steroidal creams and avoiding washing my hands/showering w/ the ring on as well as not sleeping with it, I think she was definitely right! The symptoms matched, my rash was only on the dorsal side (back) of my hand, not the palm & I have it totally under control by taking them off at night and keeping the finger really dry...
Might be the case for others too :)

Lisa W [last name deleted for privacy by Editor]
- Charlotte, North Carolina


Q. I have recently developed a red rash around the top of my ring finger. I too have a platinum set and have worn it for a little over two years.

Has anyone had the nickel testing done? Was that the cause? How did you solve the problem with the rings/how did you fix them?

Laura L [last name deleted for privacy by Editor]
Tampa, Florida


thumbs up signI posted back in July...I was having the same problem with my platinum rings-the red itchy spot that seemed to get worse each day. I tried one person's post which suggested soaking my rings in hydrogen peroxide. It totally grossed me out to see how long my rings bubbled...that meant that I had dead skin cells and most likely bacteria up in the cut-outs under the diamonds. Well...once I saw this I could not ignore it, so I followed it up with the boiling of my rings for about 10-15 minutes. I was hesitant to throw my rings into a pot of boiling water, but nothing bad happened to them and as they boiled stuff came out from under the diamonds...I also used a toothbrush to wiggle more stuff loose and boiled again. Needless to say, whatever bacteria was living up in there feeding off of my skin cells and irritating my finger was gone-and my rings sparkled like new again! I have not had the problem since and it has been about 10 months. This is something I will do annually if not sooner. Seemed to do the trick for me. I am so glad, I was thinking that we wasted money and would have to get another set of rings. Give it a try!

Laura L [last name deleted for privacy by Editor]
Tampa, Florida

affil. link
Clotrimazole Anti-Fungal Cream

A. I've had the same symptoms for several months. After trying hydrocortisone, Neosporin, etc., I began to suspect a fungal infection, so tried clotrimizole, which seemed to help some. The most helpful thing so far is to rub the cut edge of a clove of garlic (strong antifungal and antibiotic properties) on the area regularly. After 5 days of this, it's almost gone.

Christine G [last name deleted for privacy by Editor]
- Medina, Ohio

Q. I changed my white gold wedding rings to platinum at the end of last year due to a metal allergy and rash, and everything was fine until the summertime. Now I have a red rash with water blisters again. The strange thing is that if I take my platinum rings off at night, the rash actually gets worse. When I leave them on, the rash starts to heal under the rings. Could this be more of a fungal or bacterial infection rather than a metal allergy?

Traci S [last name deleted for privacy by Editor]
Consumer - Chesapeake, Virginia

Me too, me too! I'm jumping on this bandwagon of platinum ring-wearing rash-bearers. I have the same problem. After wearing the ring for 6 years, I suddenly got this awful red, blistery rash that itches. I left the ring off for days and it went away, but returned when I put the ring back on. I tried cleansing the ring thoroughly, then I tried Cortizone cream (no use) and am now trying antifungal cream. I'll let you know if this latest remedy works out...

Ann Marie S [last name deleted for privacy by Editor]
- Austin, Texas

I've had my ring resized at least 3 times thinking that my recurring rash was due to weight gain, causing fungus to grow under my ring. Yet I still continue to get them. I think I will try the vinegar and peroxide solution previously posted above. I've recently been reminded of the excellent way that both vinegar and peroxide individually have of killing bacteria and germs...they've got to be awesome when used together. If this IS the solution, then its pretty simple and cheap.

Sonya C [last name deleted for privacy by Editor]
- Whites Creek, Tennessee

thumbs up signI'm back with my report on the vinegar and peroxide solution. It really works! I didn't even boil it, I just soaked it in 2 parts vinegar and one part peroxide overnight. I then brushed it with a toothbrush to be sure it was thoroughly clean. I even started wearing it before my rash was completely healed and it continued to heal! It's ironic because now my husband is now complaining of the rash for the first time in 10 years...lol. I immediately gave him the solution to the problem. I had tried all the cortisone and antifungal creams on my rash. I even tried vinegar, peroxide, Neosporin on the rash. But it always returned when I put the ring on and the ring would irritate it even further. This vinegar and peroxide really work. Thanks Jennifer for giving us this information.

Sonya C [returning]

- Whites Creek, Tennessee

Q. Hey Sonya, is your ring platinum? I want to try the vinegar/peroxide thing but I don't want to hurt the platinum. Stupid rash. I've been having a constant rash ever since I got my platinum engagement ring over a year ago. I thought it was just soap getting under it so I left the ring off a few days and the rash healed. But then when I got the platinum wedding band a month ago, I started having a MAJOR rash. I've had the rings off for about a week and the rash is still trying to heal. It could be because the rings are really thick too. Who knows. I'm sorry to everyone that shares this same problem! At least we are all in the same boat together.

Rachael S [last name deleted for privacy by Editor]
- San Jose, California

A. To answer the previous question, my ring is gold. If you're afraid of soaking in the suggested solution, try just using a toothbrush to clean the underside of your ring thoroughly with the same solution and rinse.

Sonya C [returning]
- Whites Creek, Tennessee

thumbs up signI just wanted to follow-up and let everyone know that since I've been using the vinegar and peroxide mix, I haven't had any more issues with this nasty rash.

Someone asked what type of vinegar I used...2 parts distilled white vinegar mixed with 1 part hydrogen peroxide [affil. link to info/product on Amazon]. My ring is gold/diamond and I've been able to safely clean my ring with this solution about once a month.

It's worth giving it a try.

Sonya C [last name deleted for privacy by Editor]
- Whites Creek, Tennessee

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