An allergic reaction to the wedding ring or called as “wedding ring dermatitis” which can cause the skin below to become reddened, dry and itchy. Wedding ring dermatitis can develop after using rings that are made out of various metals including platinum.
Even though the rash might be an actual allergy to platinum, it can also be an allergic reaction to nickel present in the ring or a skin irritation from any trapped residue. The doctor can help determine if the individual actually has an allergic reaction and to which specific metal.
Is nickel responsible?
A usual cause of wedding ring dermatitis is no other than nickel allergy. Always bear in mind that nickel is one of the most common metals that triggers allergies. This silver-colored metal is oftentimes combined with other metals to produce jewelry.
Although nickel is commonly used in less costly rings such as those made from 10-karat gold, white gold or a base metal that has been gold-plated, the platinum rings can oftentimes include nickel as well. If a particular jeweler could not confirm whether the platinum ring contains nickel, you can test the ring using a nickel test kit that is readily available in the market. An allergic reaction to platinum can occur, but it is rare compared to nickel allergy.
What are the symptoms and testing?
If an individual is highly sensitive or allergic to nickel or platinum, the skin below the ring can appear reddened, dry, itchy and bumpy or look as if it has been burned. In severe cases, the skin can even break out in blisters. Even though the symptoms typically develop 12-48 hours after using the ring, an allergy can develop abruptly years after using the ring.
The symptoms that can last for 2-4 weeks can manifest in other parts of the body as well. The exact cause of the nickel and platinum allergy is still not known. The doctor can confirm an allergy with the help of a patch test that involves placing a small-sized patch using a small amount of metal on the skin for 2 days to check if symptoms develop.
It is sad to note that there is no cure for platinum or nickel allergy. Once the individual develops an allergy, the allergy lasts for a lifetime. Over-the-counter and prescription products such as oral antihistamines and corticosteroid creams can help minimize and improve the symptoms.
The application of a calming lotion such as calamine lotion and a moist compress can also relieve the dryness and itchiness. In case the wedding ring dermatitis continues to persist longer than 4 weeks or becomes worse, a doctor should be consulted right away since this might indicate that the skin is infected.
You can prevent future rashes by buying rings or other jewelry pieces from sellers that can provide confirmation that they do not contain the offending metal.
Instead of an allergic reaction, the rash might simply be an irritation from the confined moisture and soap filtrate. This is commonly called as irritant contact dermatitis which develops once the protective layer of the skin is worn out by the moisture stuck below the ring.
The skin becomes irritated from the remaining soap residue below the ring. In case the rash resolves on its own after it has been washed and thoroughly dried after removal, it is most likely irritant contact dermatitis instead of an allergy.
Removal of the ring before washing hands, showering or cleaning dishes and thoroughly drying after can prevent the condition from recurring again. It is still vital to consult a doctor right away if the symptoms are persistent or become worse.