Monday, April 8, 2013

Dear ESB: I have a gnarly knuckle rash....


Dear ESB,

I have been married almost a year now, and still continue to be in need of your advice :)

I have developed a nickel allergy and I cannot wear my engagement ring or wedding band without developing a painful rash. My rings are my Grandmother's and this development sucks. I still want to wear some type of wedding band. 

Problem is, from what I read, platinum and titanium are the only 100% nickel free rings. I normally wear yellow or rose gold metals. Also, all the platinum/titanium rings I have found are ugly. Really ugly. 

Any chance you or you readers can help me find a new nickel free that is attractive?

-Gnarly Knuckle

*****

If you search "platinum" on the catbird site, you'll come up with a bunch of options. I'm partial to Satomi Kawakita's eternity band [pictured above]….

15 comments:

  1. Do you know it's definitely a nickel allergy? There's a chance you're getting contact dermatitis from soap getting trapped between your rings and skin, which happens to me. I treated my skin with cortizone or neosporin, and started being really vigilant about taking off my rings when showering/doing dishes/washing hands. (found some lovely ring holders to stash by sinks at home and always tuck them in a bra or safe pocket while washing hands in public) I only put them back on once my hands are nice and dry. It also keeps them sparklier for longer, though I give them an occasional dunk in jewelry cleaner.

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    1. I was going to write exactly the same thing. My white gold wedding ring is similar to the one above and I get contact dermatitis from it from soap getting behind the diamond setting at the back.

      Agree with all of the above - never keep my ring on when washing my hands and it's been fine since (and lessens the need for steroid cream...)

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  2. Catbird does carry really beautiful rings--I went to their store when visting New York and they are even nicer in person-really delicate and pretty. I'm partial to this one by Satomi Kawakita.

    Bittersweets NY, another brand Catbird carries also makes this twig band This particular ring is only on Bittersweets NY site, though I know Catbird used to carry it and carries similar ones from them.

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  3. When in doubt, always go to Catbird. Amen.

    Kate

    www.thrillofthechaise.com

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  4. Sorry, put this in the wrong place.

    I have a nickel allergy and also am prone to contact dermatitis. My experience with soap/water under the ring is similar to kfunk and Lula's above. I keep my rings on for washing hands and dishes but take them off overnight to give my skin a break and that works fine.

    As for the nickel, I'd be surprised if modern yellow gold alloys were a problem, particularly for 18K+. A lot of older gold rings are 10K, which obviously contains a lot more non-gold elements. 22K is almost pure gold(and very pretty, IMO). If you think it's the nickel that's a problem, you could try getting the inside of your grandmother's rings coated with another metal, or find somewhere with a 30-day return policy and try out a high carat gold ring, making sure to give your skin a chance to breathe.

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    1. I also have a nickel allergy and have generally found gold to be fine, although I usually ask first.

      When my allergy worsened in my early twenties, there were a couple of pieces that I could previously wear that started to cause a strong reaction. I couldn't bear to part with them, so I just coated the inside of them with clear nail polish. It worked really well. It tends to wear off every few years for items I wear daily, so I just apply another coat. You can't tell the difference once it's on there, although I've never done it on anything with particularly intricate metal work.

      You could try it on some less sentimental pieces first before deciding if you want to take the plunge with your wedding ring.

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  5. Polly Wales is nickel free! I contacted her regarding a similar issue, and she responded that she is 100% nickel free. I believe there is some sort of "nickel free standard" pertaining to jewelry sold in Europe.

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  6. is there such a thing as having a (very very very good) jeweler put a coat of non-allergic metal on the inside of your ring?
    i imagine this could be done, but am not quite sure. since it's your grandmother's ring and pretty sentimental (i assume) perhaps you could have your ling "lined" with a new metal?

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  7. I have the Satomi ring pictured and it is really beautiful!

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  8. I have a nickel allergy and bought a Satomi Kawakita yellow gold ring and have had no problems in the year I've been wearing it.

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  9. Am I redundant/annoying for chiming in to say I've had a nickle allergy since I was young, but I've been able to wear: gold, silver, sterling silver and rose gold without any issue? Though other than a gold necklace, I take everyone off at night/when washing.

    ...which brings me to another question... married ladies with sensitive skin: do you remove your rings when lounging/washing/sleeping/whatevs? Is this weird? I'm not married but it's something I've always wondered as I just can't bare to keep any finger jewellery on when my hands are getting wet and/or I'm having a lazy Sunday. (Though I wear the same two silver rings consistently at all other times of my life.)

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