She wore platinum and developed skin reaction

Dear Friends, a lady came into the shop recently with concerns about
dermatitis on her ring finger. The ring is 900 plat, not cobalt,
likely 10% iridium. Her finger showed redness and some small raised
areas where the ring contacted the finger.

What is this, she wanted to know! Platinum is inert and
hypoallergenic, causing no skin irritation. We played Sherlock
Holmes in going through all the usual things, such as cosmetics,
lotions, changes in prescription medicines and other environmental
factors. She is convinced nothing has changed and since she has
sensitive skin she is careful about cleaning the ring often. I
suspected the “holes” in the setting beside the channel sets might
be holding some problem substance but she assured me she had
examined all environmental concerns of which she was aware.

Platinum and skin problems? This just did not seem right. I told her
we would refinish the ring, give it a good rhodium plate and see
what happens from there.

After she left, a closer exam of the ring showed a shadow of a ring
on the inside, where the peg for the crown was installed. Ok, this
was likely a “semi-mount” ( a ring set with side stones awaiting the
customer choice of center diamond) and the crown was likely soldered
in with high karat white gold solder. The close proximity of the
channel set side stones would eliminate using platinum solders for
center crown installation after the side stones were set.

The best I can tell for now is that the skin reaction might be from
the white gold solder used for crown installation. The ring has been
refinished and given a good, solid rhodium plate. If the solder is
the problem, this will work for a limited time to prevent skin

Have you run into skin problems with platinum rings? Any suggestions
on how to solve this problem with solder possibly being the culprit?
Note, I am not sure that the crown installation solder is the problem
but it does look more likely after elimination of so many other

Could laser work “cover” the peg area inside the ring, perhaps by
recessing the spot a bit and using a platinum fill? I do not use a
laser since our business cannot justify that expense. We do have
access to laser at a local trade shop.

Anyone had such a problem? What was your solution?

Thanks for any input.
Thomas. aka TomDart.

I would be willing to bet that she is suffering from eczema -
specifically contact dermatitis caused by friction - not your basic
allergic reaction. I have the same problem with my platinum
engagement ring - or with any ring, watch or necklace I wear for an
extended period of time. Can’t wear tight-fitting clothes, shirts
with tags, etc. The condition usually worsens with age.
Hydrocortisone cream helps if you don’t mind putting it on all the


Courtney Graham Hipp
cgHipp Jewelry Designs

I would still bet on something other than the Pt being the problem.
Such as simply moisture trapped under the ring.

Most Pt solders have little Pt content, so the high melting gold
solder is perhaps less likely reactive than non plum Pt solder!

I would suggest she tries wearing an inside round “comfort fit” Pt
band for a while. No reaction / Pt is not the problem. A reaction and
yes the Pt band is the problem.

Mark Chapman

I have a similar intermittent problem with my 6mm-wide 18ct yellow
gold wedding ring (which I have worn for over 30 years). The exact
cause is unknown, but it may be a speck of something, maybe even
moisture, that gets trapped under my ring and a very itchy red
blister develops. The only answer is to leave my ring off until it
has completely settled down, using hydrocortisone cream to help it
heal. If I don’t leave my ring off then the blisters can spread right
round my finger.


Continue from:

Always remember that soapand water and other things can get under
the ring and cause a rash.

Mike Mathews