There's nothing as depressing as that moment when a cute cocktail ring that you picked up for a few bucks at a department store leaves a telltale green ring around your finger. That "bonus" green ring within the ring that you didn't bargain for can be easy to prevent and avoid with these quick tips.
This common green stain is not harmful, so there is no need to panic. If it does appear, just remove the piece of jewelry causing the problem and it should fade away. If you are not allergic to metal, the reason for this reaction is chemical. It's due to a combination of the metal and the acids in your skin. Experts say that there are several metals that oxidize with your skin to give you a noticeable green ring around your finger. A ring made of copper is a common culprit, but even silver and gold metals can cause discoloration.
OK, so this solution is easier said than done, but it’s a start. In this situation, the saying "You get what you pay for" applies. A cheap ring may look cute and it seems affordable, but it’ll cost you in other ways. This type of jewelry will tarnish quickly and leave behind a green stain when worn.
Stainless steel, platinum and rhodium-plated jewelry, which includes almost all white gold, are less likely to react to your skin. Look for these specific metals when shopping for rings and decrease the chances of buying jewelry that will turn your finger green.
Keep soaps and lotions away from your ring finger if you want to prevent the green-finger effect. Something as simple as removing rings before washing your hands or before taking a shower can help. Avoid wearing rings in the pool as well. The chlorine from the swimming pool will damage your jewelry and leave the annoying stain.
If you can’t stay away from accessories prone to leaving a dark stain, try clear nail polish as a quick fix. Apply a polymer coating to your ring and let dry. This creates a barrier between your skin and the metal so that the ring can’t turn your finger green. Just remember to reapply the coating often because it tends to wear off.
Originally published Aug. 2012. Updated Aug. 2016.
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