I’ve just gotten e-mail from a friend in another state,
describing a sudden reaction to her jewelry, which is
really troubling her. Unfortunately, I have not seen
the jewelry in question recently, nor the condition of
her finger, as she is 1200 miles away.
Her text follows:
I’m actually very worried. I’ve got a patch of red scaly (and
somewhat itchy) skin on the back of my ring finger, where my
engagement and wedding rings rest. It appeared during that
intensely hot and humid spell we had (heat indexes above 110),
and I attributed it to moisture being caught under the rings and
irritating my skin. I stopped wearing them for about a week, and
the patch mostly cleared up, but now it’s back.
Right now I’m not wearing them 24/7 anymore, and hoping. One
thing that occurs to me is that there’s hard water buildup on the
inside of the engagement ring, and that it might be those salts
(or whatever they are) that are irritating my skin. I’ll try
taking it in to have it cleaned and see if that helps. The thing
is, though, I wore the engagement ring 24/7 for more than a year
before this happened. That doesn’t seem to make sense. What are my
options, if I am allergic? Is it possible to get the insides of
the ring coated with something hypoallergenic? It would kill me
to have to stop wearing them, or to have to get a new ring…
end quoted text.
The rings are white gold.
I'm hoping this situation sounds familiar to someone on
the Orchid list, and that this someone (or someones) will
have a good fix for the problem. So far, all I've
recommended is that she keep the ring off completely until
the irritated skin heals completely, and that she get the
ring cleaned thoroughly at her local jewelers', and that if
it recurs, that she consult with her jeweler on the
possibility of rhodium plating the pieces.
Any other suggestions?
Thanks very much as always to the Orchid community.