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topic 33777p6

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

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A discussion started in 2005 but continuing through 2020

December 30, 2009

Q. I am so glad I stumbled across this site. I have a similar problem. I have a sterling silver (925) mesh Tiffany ring that I have developed the exact same rash under. It is red, itchy, bumpy, and very painful.

I do have eczema, but hydrocortisone creme does very little. It is not an allergy - I have tried antihistamines. The interesting thing is the rash only occurs on my right index finger. If I wear the ring on any other finger, it is fine. I do believe the soap/ bacteria theory, as moisture absolutely gets trapped under there if I forget to take it off before washing my hands.

My question, does the vinegar/ hydrogen peroxide solution work on silver, or will I ruin my ring? Is it safe to boil silver? Do you boil it in the vinegar solution or in water?


Kara Brown
- Washington, DC

December 30, 2009

Sorry, Kara, I don't know the answer to that one. I suspect the solution would be bad for silver, and especially for any anti-tarnish coatings on the silver -- but I don't know.


Ted Mooney, Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E. - Pine Beach, New Jersey
Striving to live Aloha

January 7, 2010

thumbs up signThank you the vinegar and peroxide did the trick for my ring. I used equal parts of each though. I also poured just peroxide on my irritated finger and to my amazement the next morning it was 75% better than the night before. Thank you

Chrissy Dolores
- new Orleans, Louisiana

January 12, 2010

Boiling your rings isn't needed. I had the most AWFUL rash that went from my ring finger to my middle finger & palm there between. I have 2 10k rings soldered to a 14k to complete a set. I had this rash for a lot of years & am on my third set of rings,nearly giving up on this set of rings as well, this is how I not only cleared up a nasty rash but keep it away. (My husband had the same problems, by the way only after having a heart attack);
I place my rings in a disposable plastic cup, sprinkle baking soda to nearly cover them, pour Hydrogen Peroxide to cover all and SLOWLY cover that with vinegar. I let them sit overnight and use a soft toothbrush and a small dab of toothpaste and scrub the rings inside & out, rinse well, DRY WELL and wash & dry my hands before putting them back on.
I do this once every 2 weeks faithfully and have not had a rash since.
I was told by the jeweler who inspects my rings every 6 mo. that it was not damaging them & he has not seen such a nice shine on a ring even at his store! Double plus! I hope this helps everyone as well. Rings collect a lot of yukky stuff. When your "fizz" settles in the morning, closely look at the "floaters" on the surface of the mixture. It will make you sick! No wonder our fingers were "sick"!

Brenda H [last name deleted for privacy by Editor]
- Fremont, Ohio

Nickel Detection plus Nickel-guard Coating

May 16, 2010

I have nickel allergy, too. I found a kit to test things for nickel at the Athena Allergy web site. It's call "Nickel Solution Detect and Protect." To use Nickel Alert, you rub some on the metal for 15-30 seconds with a cotton swab. If it turns the cotton swab pink, there's nickel in it. To use Nickel Guard, apply 2-3 coats to the item, waiting 15 minutes between coats. Retest with the Nickel Alert every so often to make sure you get the continued protection from the Nickel Guard. It's about $25 on the Athena Allergy Web Site, but I've seen it in other places online. You can probably ask your pharmacist about it.

Crystal Golias
- Seymour, Connecticut United States

May 19, 2010

Well after 2 years the same thing has happened also to me I said my husband bought me a Platinum ring? I thought maybe it was fake...I went to one of the best doctors in Miami, Dr. [name deleted by editor] at Mercy hospital and he said this was impossible for me to be allergic to platinum and not to white gold, so I changed my rings to the other hand and BINGO now I had that red flaky nasty itching on the other finger?
I think we are either ready for new rings or our hubby's picked the wrong rings for us!I can tell you I have put everything on my finger and the best result is just keeping it off!

Alexandra [last name deleted for privacy by Editor]
- Miami, Florida

Ed. note: it was nice of you to compliment the good doctor, but we've deleted his name because some people don't want their names put out on the internet this way.

June 17, 2010

Hi all, just as an FYI, 99% of you here are definitely dealing with a fungal/yeast infection.
Commonly caused by, yes moisture between the ring and the skin. While drying etc is good, you can't really stop it, wider rings are obviously more prone as are rings with notches or cutouts. Sweat under the ring will greatly contribute to the rash. As to why it happens years later, normally rings get a little less round over the years, we tend to flatten the bottoms (palm sides ) a bit and that also contributes. Heres a few hints for you that work nicely. Obviously any anti-fungal, like athletes foot cream or powder work very well on your finger. So does female yeast infection over the counter remedies. Once you have ended the rash, do not just put the ring back on. While some people say boil it, I wouldn't do that, some rings have coatings on the gemstones for specific color effects, so be careful.
However, a brief soak in rubbing alcohol, or hydrogen peroxide and a light wash and dry with soap and water is just fine.
If you find this a recurring issue, visit your jeweler and have him or her round the band out and also see if they can stretch it a bit. Also the very cheap fix is to get a nice clear coat nail polish and coat the inside of the ring. Works great for men's rings especially.

Steve H
- Weymouth, Massachusetts

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No-sting barrier

July 16, 2010

A. Hi
I found this discussion forum out of desperation when, after a year, I suddenly found that I was allergic to my platinum rings. I visited my jewelers and they suggested painting clear nail varnish onto the inside of the rings, which I did. This helped for a couple of days, but then the rash came back...BUT I have accidentally discovered a real solution- Silicone wound barrier spray. You can get it over the counter at chemists and it's usually used for people with things like stoma bags, etc. It forms an invisible, waterproof (so you can wash your hands without any worry of it coming off) barrier for my skin and I've had no more allergic reactions while using the spray. I wash and dry my fingers very carefully every morning, spray on the silicone spray and let it dry- then I put on my rings. I have to take them off at night still, but it's a small price to pay and saves me investing in metallurgy testing which I haven't got either the time or money to have done yet. HOPE THIS HELPS YOU....

Emma Reynolds
- Bham, United Kingdom

September 9, 2010

Q. I am having the same symptoms but now my ring won't come off. Is there something that I can do to start the healing process so I can get them off to clean them?

Stay at home mom - Hay, Virginia, USA

October 1, 2010

Q. What if I am allergic to silver? Would I be allergic to platinum as well?

Denise Stephens
- Warrensville Hts, Ohio USA

November 10, 2010

thumbsdownI have been married for 14 years and have always worn my platinum wedding ring. About 3 weeks ago I got this dark red ring under the ring. It was itchy and it stung. I just finally took my ring off yesterday in hopes that by not wearing it for a while, the rash will go away. It really is irritated. Will try hydrocortisone cream.

Cath Pfeifer
- Denver, Colorado US

November 13, 2010

Q. I have been having the same problems with red, flaky, burning skin on the sides of my finger. The ring is platinum plated Sterling that came from a reputable well known company so I was surprised to have this reaction. I would like to try the peroxide/vinegar solution but does anyone know if this will damage the ring because it is only plated?

Alanna Hayes
- carat, Texas USA

November 23, 2010

I have had the same issue with my wedding ring! I have had my ring for 2 years without any problems and now all of a sudden I have a red itchy rash - my skin flakes, red bumps/water blisters! Crazy that so many people have experienced the same issues! I have tried Neosporin, Benadryl, anti-fungal creams and it will go away and then as soon as I put the ring back on it comes back. Last night it was so itchy that I woke up! Thank you for all the posts! So glad I found this website.

Lisa Fitzpatrick
- Greenville, North Carolina

November 29, 2010

Yes, like almost everyone else I have developed a rash on the "back" of my ring fingers. But I have been wearing jewelry of various metals for over 55 years. I have known for many years that cheap pierced earrings caused intense itching which I suspect is from nickel because when I buy nickel-free cheap earrings I do not have any problems. It was about 10 years ago that I started purchasing 14k gold rings online from the 2 major TV retailers and then about 2 years after wearing the rings, it appeared that some kind of coating must wear off because it is then that I develop a rash. I wear my own wide gold wedding band on my left hand and my husband's (I'm a widow) wide gold wedding band on my right hand. Both these rings are 45 years old.

But I attempt to wear rings I purchased from the TV retailers on the middle fingers of both hands. (These are the rings that cause the problems.) I know these rings are made in China. I suspect that just as China has given us lead in the paint of children's toys and poisoned our pets, that it is virtually impossible to guess what might be in the gold or platinum or any other precious metal that they sell in the US. I would also suspect that many "good" jewelers are also sourcing materials from China - it's just a fact that in order to be competitive merchants are always looking for cheaper sources. It may also be that as the market looks to China for ever cheaper materials, the more reputable sources of quality materials will go out of business because they can't compete. I am going to try the "cleaning" suggestions and the nail varnish and will post back the results.

As to the body of chemistry of the YOUNG women vs the rest of us, I suspect that the younger you are, the more likely that the metals used in your newer rings have come from a source such as China regardless of the retailer you bought them from.

Georgette Cullen
- Phoenix, Arizona, USA

January 12, 2011

A. I have a white gold set of rings that are rhodium plated. I had the same problem, and was trying to find out what to do. I would take them off, clean them good, put triple antibiotic on my finger until it seemed to heal, then put the rings back on and the same thing would happen (a reddish rash under where the rings touched my skin). I have a ring on my right hand that this did not happen with, and I noticed that the rash was confined to the area where the diamonds were (so bacteria could have accumulated there due to moisture and caused a form of athletes foot). To test this possibility, I took off my rings (cleaned them and put them on the dresser to dry all night), put Lotrimin (athletes foot medication) around my ring finger, and put a band aid on it overnight. The next morning the rash was gone, I put my clean and dry rings, and haven't had a problem since. I hope people read this and I hope it helps them.


Kristi Fletcher
- Waukon, Iowa, United States

January 25, 2011

Great to see many others are having the same issues I have been. I developed an allergy just as described here after wearing my platinum wedding rings for 7 years and after having children. I do suspect that there are a variety of reasons this is occurring - environmental with the water and soap ingredient seems to be key. This, combined with having my hands in water far more than I ever did before children may be the true culprit (rather than hormonal as some have suggested). I am washing my hands more frequently than ever. I am going try the peroxide/vinegar solution and see if that works. I went to a dermatologist and was prescribed a steroid cream, but I can't use that forever. It does clear up the redness, but it always comes back after wearing the rings a couple of days. Good luck to everyone here! And thank you for having a forum devoted to this.

Suzanne A. [last name deleted for privacy by Editor]
- Arlington, Virginia, USA

March 3, 2011

A. Hi
I am a bespoke jeweller in the UK and an expert on precious metals. Platinum isn't really a known allergen so real allergies to platinum are very rare indeed. However, most people who think they are allergic to their engagement rings are actually allergic to tiny amounts of detergent (usually liquid soap) which get stuck behind the opening of the stone behind their engagement rings. This causes a nasty contact dermititis which is a nasty, itchy, flaky rash. Here is an article I wrote about this subject. I am a jewellery designer myself and I have sensitive skin and had this exact same reaction myself so I know about this from both sides!
I hope this helps somebody,

Harriet Kelsall
- Hitchin, Herts, UK

April 26, 2011


Margaret Lee
- Dublin, Ireland

April 27, 2011

A. Hi, Margaret.

As you see, we've heard no reports of damage to diamonds from this cleaning process, but that's not a guarantee. And I'd make sure the temperature change was gradual and the ring is not bouncing around hitting stuff.


Ted Mooney, Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E. - Pine Beach, New Jersey
Striving to live Aloha

May 20, 2011

thumbs up signAfter almost 2 months of trying every eczema and rash combination I could find, last night I followed the instructions and cleaned my ring in vinegar & peroxide followed by a 5 minute boil in the same solution. It's amazing!!! I've worn my ring all day with no irritation and in fact the ever present swelling on my ring finger has gone down. This solution works!!!

Liza Corsey
- Los Angeles, California

August 3, 2011

thumbs up signOk so I just wanted to say that this site has been very helpful...I'm not really sure what exact type of metal my ring is but I am having the same thing happen...then it will go away for a little while and come back again. I don't wanna get rid of my ring because it was given to me by a very good friend who passed away. I wear it every day..through everything and I also consider it to be good luck also! I'm not really superstitious but I do know that a lot more good things happen when I'm wearing it then when I'm not! Thanks again this has been very helpful!

Cherry [last name deleted for privacy by Editor]
- las vegas, Nevada, usa

September 7, 2011

thumbs up signI have platinum rings. The rash is just a result of bacteria and whatnot that builds up over time. The solution is to boil the rings in 1 part hydrogen peroxide, 2 parts vinegar for 15 minutes. I do it once a month, and have no issues. Trust me, it's not a metal allergy (I have an allergy to gold, and this is far different). Trust me, this works!!!

Genny De Suave
- Atlanta, Georgia USA

November 16, 2011

I am stunned that there are so many people having the same issue as me. Got married in 2004 and within two years my white gold wedding rings caused a severe reaction and it looked as if something was eating away at my finger. After removing my rings and putting them back on I realized it was them causing the problem. I got rid of the white gold rings and had some amazing yellow gold 18K ones made, now about 4 years later I am getting the same reaction from the yellow gold. We are coming into summer and I wonder if it's the heat that's trapping moisture underneath or if my sensitivity is getting worse with age. It is so disheartening not being able to wear them, I will look at doing the vinegar & peroxide I think. My mother suffers from extreme dermatitis and I have been having the same thing happen with 9K gold rings; life is stressful as well so I am considering a metals sensitivity test.

Erin Hancock
Hobbyist - New Zealand

February 21, 2012

thumbs up signI had the same problem with my platinum engagement ring. The wedding ring wasn't a problem - so I knew it wasn't an allergy. It felt like some sort of flesh-eating bacteria, to be honest, so I found I could clear it up with Bacitracin and Neosporin. BUT the vinegar and peroxide remedy worked WONDERS on my skin and I'm fairly sure boiling the ring in salt water killed whatever else was hiding in the crevices. I noticed as the rash healed that it matches the pattern of crevices on the underside of the ring.

Annie Kelleher
- Canton, Connecticut, USA

February 22, 2012

In response to:

"Yet my understanding is that metal allergy is absolutely skyrocketing in young women, and is not nearly so much of a problem in men or in older women. So, while it is not impossible that young women have a different hormone situation that makes them more subject to problems with aluminum, I personally have been open to believing the reports that strongly link metal allergy to nickel-based body piercings (which seem to match that demographic very well), and slow to ask these young women to blame it on their deodorant or antacid."

I wonder if the problem could be due to birth control pills (which obviously change the hormonal environment). After 8 years, I recently, at 34 years of age, became allergic to my white gold wedding ring. I do not body pierce (finding it rather gross), but I do take a pill. I also have other allergies. It just occurred to me that young women, rather than men, or older women are more likely to be taking birth control pills. Thoughts?

Suzy J [last name deleted for privacy by Editor]
- Detroit, Michigan, USA

February 23, 2012

A. Hi, Suzy. I am not an epidemiologist and I have no medical qualifications whatsoever, so I am unable to comment on your posting except to say thanks for raising a possibility that hadn't occurred to me.


Ted Mooney, Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E. - Pine Beach, New Jersey
Striving to live Aloha

March 13, 2012

thumbs up signI just wanted to say thanks for the advice in this thread - the vinegar and peroxide solution worked wonders for me. You could see the bubbles rising from the ring as the nasties were killed off - really gross but something really satisfying about it too! I soaked in the vinegar and peroxide for about an hour and then boiled it in water in a tea strainer. I boiled it from room temp water for about ten minutes - I think that bringing the water to boil with the ring in it might be a good idea because it won't 'shock' the materials with a temperature change. Finger is all better, ring is really shiny and lovely. I nearly had a heart attack doing it but it seems to have worked!! Thanks for all the help and advice

Brid Dunne
- Limerick, Ireland

April 11, 2012

A. I have a white gold wedding band with about 10 diamonds in it. I wore it for a year and no rash until about 6 months ago. This problem has nothing to do with allergies. The problem is that from wearing our rings as long as we have, we have worn down some of the gold/platinum on the back where the pointy part of the diamond is, leaving our skin unprotected. The reason we are getting these blisters is because the pointy part of the diamond is making small cuts in our skin. Also, if you have gained weight or have bloating in your fingers (which I have) the problem worsens because now your skin is even closer to the sharp part of the diamond or diamonds.

To God be the glory! When doctors/experts can't figure out the real problem, prayer always works. God knows everything! :)

Shelly O'Malley
- Madison, Wisconsin USA

May 1, 2012

I know everyone is saying that Rhodium allergies are very rare and say that you're reacting the nickel that's mixed with the gold, however I know I am allergic to Rhodium. I wear a lot of cheap jewelry and the only thing I've ever reacted to is Rhodium. The 'silver' jewelry by Lia Sophia is triple plated Rhodium over copper. The triple plating is supposed to be an excellent coating, it takes my skin about 2 weeks to eat through it. I purchased a ring in Italy made from Rhodium over nickel and my skin ate through that in about a week.

Sam Price
- St. Paul, Minnesota, USA

affil. link
Ring Cutter

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Ring Cutter

June 7, 2012

Q. Thanks for all of this information. It is good to know that I'm not alone in this weird reaction. The bad news is that now my finger is so red and swollen that I can't get my ring off. It just happened a few weeks ago. I had been taking it off at night and when I was at home but I got fed up with the stupid rash and wanted to wear my beautiful ring and now I can't get it off. I'm so annoyed and in a lot of pain. I'm going to see the doctor tomorrow but if you have any ideas on how to get this off without cutting off my finger than I'd be so grateful!

Amy Hann
- Springfield, Virginia

June 7, 2012

A. Hi Amy. Sorry for your problem. If you can't get it off with soapy water, the doctor will probably cut off your ring or send you somewhere to have it done. Then your ring will have to be repaired by a jeweler, so maybe you should just have the jeweler cut it off before your doctor visit.

If you are losing circulation in that finger, an emergency room or maybe even your fire department can cut it off now.


Ted Mooney, Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E. - Pine Beach, New Jersey
Striving to live Aloha

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