Have you ever had a piece of jewelry turn your skin green, and wondered why it does that? The reason this happens is because of the item’s metal content. It’s either a chemical reaction between the acids in your skin and the type of metal of the jewelry, or it’s a reaction between another substance on your skin, such as hand cream, with the metal.
There are plenty of metals that oxidize or react with your skin, which is what causes the skin discoloration. You might notice a ring around your finger if you were wearing a copper ring. It’s common for fashion jewelry to be made using the metal copper, and many have a plating of a different metal on top. Turning your skin green isn’t harmful, however, some people may experience somewhat of an allergic reaction. An allergic reaction could be symptoms like itchy skin or a rash.
It’s common for silver to have a reaction on skin when it’s used as plating for less expensive jewelry. There is also an alloy metal that is sometimes added to gold jewelry, and sometimes to silver. Acids cause the silver to oxidize, turning the jewelry dark, and producing tarnish. It’s the tarnish that can change the color of your skin.
If you have a skin sensitivity to certain metals, you might see a discoloration if you wear jewelry containing nickel. The color would most likely be a reddish hue, as it’s due to inflammation.
How to avoid green skin
It doesn’t matter how high-end your jewelry is, many people can have a sensitivity to it. Even jewelry made of sterling silver or gold can produce some discoloration for some people. Advice for preventing your skin from turning green isn’t as simple as avoiding less costly jewelry. Keep in mind that cheap metals are more likely to create an allergic reaction. If you have sensitive skin, you may have better luck with stainless steel jewelry, platinum, and rhodium plated jewelry.
Try and keep lotions, soap and other chemicals away from your skin. Remove rings prior to washing your hands, or applying hand cream. Also remove jewelry before bathing as well as swimming, especially if it’s in salt water.
You may find applying a polymer coating to the inside of your jewelry to be helpful. It acts as a barrier between your skin and the metals. Clear nail polish might do the trick, depending on the person. Keep in mind that you’d have to reapply the coating once in a while, as it would wear off.
Luckily, most people have no trouble wearing jewelry created from pure sterling silver or gold. For those who must be careful about the metal they wear against their skin, there are also jewelry items, like stretch bracelets and necklaces with beads strung on silk, leather cord or another fabric.
A choice of quality jewelry from NOVICA can help the person with allergies to find a piece to love that comes with peace of mind. Helping improve the lives of artisans around the world through NOVICA makes the purchase even more meaningful.