Can a pure gold ring cause your skin to become discolored? The short answer is "Absolutely. Even 100% pure metals can sometimes cause skin coloration of some sort." It's often not the answer that people want to hear. It's much easier to believe that the jewelry store stuck them with a cheap alloy than it is to believe that your own body is rejecting a symbol that probably holds some kind of value to you.
Skin discoloration can be caused by a variety of factors, but the truth is that some people's body chemistry reacts poorly with certain metals. What causes these chemical reactions? Is there any way to prevent them from happening? We'll lay it all bare for you as we explore why a pure gold ring might cause skin discoloration and explore some handy hints to circumvent the problem as well.
A 2020 holiday jewelry gift to yourself is a decent solution, but let's explore further.
Why is my skin discolored by my jewelry?
The first suspect of any skin coloring around your jewelry is whether or not you're wearing an alloy of some sort. Copper and bronze can cause allergic reactions in some people, but even the purest 24k gold can cause coloration of the skin in certain cases. It can be a bitter pill to swallow, but looking on the bright side? At least that 24k gold is actually what it claims to be.
So what is it about certain body chemistry compositions that causes pure metals to create skin discoloration? Generally it all comes down to an excess of chlorides and possibly sulfides which are secreted when a person sweats. This can actually be exacerbated in tropical and coastal areas. Extra perspiration is a factor, but so is the environment itself.
So, short of never sweating again or selling your house to live on a mountaintop, what can you do to stop this unsightly skin situation from occurring?
How can I prevent coloration caused by jewelry?
There are at least a couple of options when it comes to combating smudgy stains around your fingers, wrists, and neck. We'll start with the cheapest option first and you can work your way up the list to find what works for you. Please not that products like our protective jewelry coating doesn't serve to combat allergic reactions of any sort. It is means to protect the jewelry, not the wearer.
Clear Nail Polish
One of the cheapest and most simple answers might also turn out to be less than effective, but I have heard some success stories so it gets a mention. A coat of clear nail polish can prevent skin staining when applied to a piece of jewelry wherever it touches the skin. This creates a thin barrier that might circumvent the chemical reactions that cause skin coloration from jewelry.
Petroleum jelly isn't the most permanent solution and it can feel slightly inconvenient until you cement it as part of your jewelry routine, but it definitely works in my experience. This serves the same purpose as clear nail polish by creating a barrier between the jewelry and skin, but it works consistently due to being reapplied often.
Bump Up The Karats
Now we're getting pricey... If you are sure that your reaction is caused by the alloys used in your jewelry then buying something with increased karats can remedy the problem. At the very least, more karats will mean less alloy is used which can result in the staining occurring more slowly. It's not a complete victory for someone who wants to wear a jewelry piece daily, but if you're looking for one day use without getting green skin? It just might be worth the investment.
If you just can't do without the yellow glow of real gold then you'll need to pick one of the above options... But if wearing white gold doesn't bother you then buying white gold or palladium jewelry could be the answer to your skin stain troubles. White gold and palladium are non-reactive metals that won't stain no matter how many chlorides and sulfides it is subjected to.
No matter what sort of grudge you're holding against jewelry that stains your skin, it's important to keep them clean. Eventually you'll decide to sell or gift them to someone, and you'll want to ensure that any jewelry you have is looking its best. Our jewelry cleaner concentrate is affordable and effective. Just because your skin is strained, doesn't mean your jewelry should be! Best of luck.