What does heat rash look like?: Causes and treatment
How to Cure a Skin Rash Under a Ring
If you have developed a rash beneath a ring, don't panic. Ring rash is common and simple to treat. Visit your doctor or dermatologist to identify if the problem is caused by dirt or a nickel allergy. If the the metal is not to blame, you can still wear your ring, as long as you keep your hands clean and moisturized. If you do have an allergy to nickel or another metal, however, you will need to protect your hands by either replacing or plating the ring.
Treating the Rash
Visit your doctor.In most cases, the rash is caused by contact dermatitis. This means that your skin is reacting to something in the ring. Your doctor can diagnose if this is caused by a nickel allergy, dirt and sweat, or another underlying cause.
- Your doctor may do a skin patch test to see if you have a nickel allergy. They will apply patches of nickel, platinum, and other allergens to your skin for 48 hours to see if you react or not.
- If your skin does not react to the nickel, there may be a build-up of dirt or sweat under the ring. In this case, you may just need to clean your ring.
- One way to determine if it might be an allergic reaction is to consider how long you've been wearing the ring. If you've worn the ring for a long time but are just now having a rash, then it is likely not something in the ring. In that case, it is more likely to be an irritant that has gotten trapped under the ring.
Apply a cortisone cream to reduce inflammation.Your doctor may recommend a mild over-the-counter cortisone cream to reduce redness and irritation. In more severe cases, you might get a prescription. Apply this once or twice a day for two to four weeks.
- Prescription hydrocortisone is usually stronger than over the counter creams.
- Always follow the instructions on the label.
- Use the cortisone cream for up to seven days. If your condition does not improve, return to the doctor.
Take an antihistamine pill to reduce itching.Your doctor may recommend an over-the-counter antihistamine, such as Benadryl (diphenhydramine) or Claritin (loratadine), to give you temporary relief.
- Follow the label’s instructions for dosage information.
Try an anti-fungal for a fungal rash.If your rash is peeling and getting larger, then it may be caused by a fungal infection caused by wetness and heat. This may occur if you've been sweating a lot under the ring. Talk to your doctor about this possibility and what they recommend for treatment.
- Your doctor may prescribe an anti-fungal cream, or you can find one over-the-counter.
Wearing the Ring
Place the ring on a different finger.This will allow the rash to heal. If the ring causes a rash on that finger, too, stop wearing the ring.
Remove all rings before getting your hands wet.Rashes can sometimes be caused by soap or water getting trapped under the ring. Take off your rings whenever you swim, shower, bathe, or wash your hands. Dry your hands completely before you put the rings back on.
- Use a mild soap when you wash your hands. Dove, Olay, and Cetaphil are all good choices.
Apply hand lotion daily.Lotion may reduce the friction under your ring. Moisturize your hands after you wash your hands to help avoid irritation. A hypoallergenic cream is the best choice.
Clean your ring.In some cases, dirt and sweat on the ring can irritate your skin, causing a rash. You can take your ring to a jeweler for a professional cleaning, or you can buy a jewelry cleaning solution. Dilute the solution with water according to the package's instructions, and soak your ring for up to 40 minutes. Use a toothbrush to gently scrub the stone.
Dealing with Metal Allergies
Switch to a different band.If the ring is valuable, you may not want to get rid of it. Instead, you can take it to a jeweler and ask them to change the band. Ask your jeweler what metals are used in your ring.
- Titanium, stainless steel, and 18-karat gold are usually safe for nickel allergies.
- It is not uncommon for nickel to be added to gold jewelry. The higher the karat, the less likely the ring contains nickel.
- White gold is more likely than yellow gold to contain nickel.
Plate your band in rhodium.A jeweler can apply a rhodium plate around your ring to protect your fingers. This plate is cheaper than buying a new band, but it will wear off after a few years.
Apply nail polish to the ring.Choose a clear nail polish, and apply it to the inside of the ring. Let it dry completely before you wear the ring. Reapply the nail polish every two to three days.
- This is a good temporary solution for rings until you are able to either replace them or plate them.
- Nickel Guard is a varnish that is designed to protect your skin from jewelry. You can apply it to your ring in the same way as nail polish.
Test all of your rings for nickel.If you are allergic to nickel, buy a nickel testing kit online or from your dermatologist. The kit will come with two chemicals. Apply a drop of each to your ring, and mix it with a cotton swab. If the swab turns pink, there is nickel in the ring. If it is does not, your ring is safe to wear.
- This test will not damage your jewelry.
- Nickel allergies can develop even after years of wearing nickel-based rings.
- This type of rash is most common on people who wear wedding rings. Try to remove your ring for an hour every day.
- Once you develop a nickel allergy, it can follow you for the rest of your life.
Video: Dermatology Treatments : How to Diagnose Skin Rashes
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