Wedding ring rash occurs commonly when a ring is worn one the same finger for extended periods of time.
Causes of Wedding Ring Rash
Wedding ring rash, or wedding ring dermatitis, is a rash that appears under a ring or wedding band. The rash is more common in those with sensitive skin and may be caused by sensitivity to nickel in the ring or irritation from soap and moisture build-up under the ring.
Rings made of 14K -18K gold often contain a small amount of nickel to strengthen the softer gold. Nickel allergies are common. Rarely, sensitivity to platinum has been associated with wedding ring rash.
Symptoms of Wedding Ring Rash
Symptoms of wedding ring rash may take years to develop and may come and go. The first symptom of the condition is often redness of the skin under the wedding band. Itching may also occur.
Diagnosing Wedding Ring Rash
A dermatologist can often diagnose wedding ring rash through symptom history and visual examination. Skin patch testing may be done to confirm metal allergy. Once a nickel allergy has been confirmed, home test kits are available to check nickel content in jewelry.
Treatment of Wedding Ring Rash
It’s a good idea to remove the ring until the rash resolves. Over-the-counter or prescription strength topical cortisone creams may speed healing and alleviate symptoms. Most cases of wedding ring rash resolve within 5 to 7 days.
To prevent recurrence of the rash, it’s important to remove the ring before hand washing and dry the finger well before replacing the ring.
Coating rings with a thin coat of clear nail polish may reduce irritation. But if wedding ring rash is caused by a true allergy, it may be necessary to avoid nickel and instead opt for rings made of other metals.