When a wedding band or any ring for that matter turns your skin a different color, most often green or black, this is usually not an allergic reaction. It is simply the ring reacting to the air, your finger, and other factors such as perspiration.
Copper jewelry turns your skin green. Most people will say, “I don’t own any copper jewelry.” However, though most people don’t wear pure copper jewelry, it may be present in high enough levels to cause this reaction in other metals, such as 10K gold.
Sterling sliver is usually between 7-8% copper, but most stains are usually black because sterling silver is prone to tarnishing. It can be plated with other metals to help, but eventually these platings wear off exposing the base metal.
Gold rings hardly ever stain our skin, it’s the other metals present within that cause the problem. Often times silver, copper, and nickel are used to strengthen gold and make it more economical. The lower the karat of gold, (10K, 14K, 18K, and 24K are the most common), the lower the concentration of pure gold in the jewelry. In the United States, 10K gold only has to be 41.7% pure gold, making the rest of the ring something that could cause this reaction with your skin. While some people are allergic to 10K gold, they may be able to solve their problems by simply wearing 18K gold instead.
After all is said and done, there are some simple methods to avoid the dreaded green stain on your skin. Here is a list of the best ones we’ve created to fit any budget.
#1 – Platinum rings rarely reacts with skin because they should be 95% pure platinum. Though expensive, platinum is the best there is.
#2 – Try switching to a higher karat gold, such as 18K or 24K gold.
#3 – Stainless steel and titanium are cheap and normally won’t cause allergic reactions or discoloration.
#4 – Look for jewelry specifically labeled hypo-allergenic.
#5 – Coat your jewelry with clear nail polish where it comes in contact with your skin.
#6 – Keep your skin dry and clean where you wear your jewelry.
#7 – Simply don’t wear the pieces of jewelry that offend your skin 24/7.