From the Jeweler's Bench

The official blog of Alix & Company


You have just started to wear the most beautiful and embellished ring you have ever owned - often your engagement ring or wedding band - and you find that the skin under your ring is raw, red and painful.  What is going on?  Are you allergic to your ring? Probably not, probably you have ring rash.

Just what is ring rash anyway?  Ring rash is an irritation of the skin that is usually caused by trapped water and soap.  This breaks down the outermost layer of the bodies' protection resulting in a rash where the broken mantle of the skin allows bacteria to invade the area. 

Why is it happening now?  The ring may have holes cut out on the underside where the gemstones are set, or it may be extremely wide, or it might be the combination of wearing several rings stacked together.  Somehow, irritants are being trapped under your ring and held against your skin and the cure is almost always these three steps:

1. Stop wearing all rings on the irritated finger or fingers.

2. Apply an antibacterial topical cream to the irritated area.

3. Don't wear your rings until the irritation is gone and the finger has completely healed.

To prevent future ring rash keep the area under your ring nice and dry.   You can remove the ring while washing your hands and then dry your fingers completely.  If you don't want to take off your ring, then, after washing and drying your hands, you must spin the ring on your finger - water will come out from underneath the ring and if you keep spinning it eventually all the water will be gone and the skin will be dry underneath.



THE CARE & FEEDING OF JEWELRY: " I'm just a little bit spoiled…" February 26 2015

Gold is rare and platinum even rarer. Not long ago the only people wearing jewelry were the aristocracy.  And guess what - they had servants. Most likely you don't. But your jewelry likes the idea of servants and hopes to avoid the hard objects and grime that go along with:

  • Laundry

  • Dishes

  • Gardening

  • Lifting heavy objects

  • Opening doors: car doors, restaurant doors, the door to your house …

  • Climbing metal ladders

Your jewelry also believes in relaxation. It likes to listen to music, read a good book, or post some photos online. Let's face it - your jewelry is lazy.  It never wants to:

  • Climb granite cliffs, even the fake ones at the gym

  • Sail - on boards or boats

  • Box, even kickboxing

  • Mountain bike, road bike, stationary bike

  • Lift weights, even the tiny ones.

If you can't be parted from your rings when you scale Mt. Everest slip them onto a chain around your neck.   And remember, you may not be a princess but your jewels are fit for one.  Shown below - a place your rings want to avoid!

photo credit: C.M. Watts