I have had sensitive skin for years and as I get older (I'm 31 now), it keeps getting worse. Recent allergy testing revealed several significant concerns (frangrance mix I and II, thimerosol, thimerium were the main offenders -- the latter two reactions were the worst the doctor had seen). I was slightly allergic to nickel as well. I use all unscented/fragrance-free products and so have avoided irritation on all of my body except for my hands. The main source appears to be soap in all bathrooms but my own. I am constantly out of the house with no real access to hypoallergenic soap (I have trouble remembering my alcohol-free, fragrance-free sanitizer or bar of vanicream soap). I also find the same when I use too much time washing dishes even with my special hypoallergenic dish soap.
This brings me to Sunday. I got engaged (yay!!) with a beautiful ring we chose together. Within a few hours, my skin began to get irritated and since Sunday, I have not been able to wear it on that hand. Through my reading, I found that there are two common causes;
(1) Nickel -- 14K white gold jewelry is actually an alloy mixed with zinc/nickel/etc, but then dipped in rhodium. Over several years, the rhodium may wear off, but three hours is too short of a time period for this. Platinum is also a budget buster and a last resort.
(2) Allergens/Moisture trapped beneath the ring -- the picture shows the inside of the ring. The outside has intricate scroll work with a "cathedral style", but I could not upload a second picture for some reason. The wedding band has a similar inside.
I am so bummed! I've started looking at other rings, but want to be sure I can avoid this problem again.
- What should I avoid in a new ring and what should I look for?
- How can I prevent this -- hand washing, drying, lotion, soap, etc.
Thanks so much! I am so excited to be able to wear an engagement ring.