Skin allergies are one of the most common types of reported allergies, affecting around 10% of the population. While they are more common in children, anyone can develop skin allergies at any given point in their life. Once triggered, the exposed skin may develop a red, scaly rash that leads to an open wound if left untreated. If you are purchasing a ring for someone with a skin allergy, it’s important to know which metals are suitable for this irritating condition.

Wedding Ring Dermatitis

People with a previous history of eczema, psoriasis or atopic dermatitis are at a greater risk of developing an allergic reaction to their wedding band. The body’s immune system views the metal as a foreign invader and responds with the symptoms associated with skin allergies. Most people with skin allergies will develop a path of red and scaly skin under their ring finger. It’s such a common occurrence that since been dubbed “wedding ring dermatitis.”

So, what causes wedding ring dermatitis? While every case is different, the condition is typically caused from small amounts of nickel in the ring. Even if the wedding ring is made of 14 or 24kt gold, most jewelers add nickel to strengthen the ring. Contrary to what some people may believe, gold is actually relatively soft and scratches easily. To increase the strength and overall durability of gold rings and jewelery, nickel is added.

Dealing with Wedding Ring Dermatitis

If you suffer from wedding ring dermatitis, there are a few things you should know. For starters, the condition is oftentimes amplified by small amounts of trapped moisture under the ring. The wet skin creates the perfect environment for an allergic reaction; therefore, it’s recommended that you remove all of your rings before showering or washing your hands. And when you are finished, thoroughly dry your hands to ensure no moisture is left behind.

Thankfully, you can reduce the chance of wedding ring dermatitis by opting for a more hypoallergenic metal. Tungsten carbide is one such metal that’s known for its hypoallergenic properties. Along with high superior strength and stylish appearance, tungsten is the perfect metal for the construction of wedding bands.

Skin allergies are an all-too-common occurrence that can make it difficult for some people to wear jewelry. The good news, however, is that metals like tungsten carbide offer a safe, hypoallergenic alternative to traditional metals. Whether you suffer from mild or severe skin allergies, you should consider making the switch to tungsten jewelry.