Why does my skin do that?

When I was younger, Claire’s Accessory Store was all the rage. Whether you were there to buy a necklace, earrings, or get your ears pierced, it was the staple  of every preteen’s trip to the mall. The first time I went to Claire’s, I was in awe at the amazing array of chunky jewelry in multitude of colors, I thought I had found my happy place. I purchased a necklace with matching earrings and a very cute ring, I couldn’t wait to go to school and wow everyone with my bling. After about two days though, I noticed that my finger started turning green, I was so confused as to why my mom made me throw out the ring, but later on I learned that your finger turning green was a sign that you were wearing fake jewelry. To this day though, I still don’t understand WHY this happens.

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Turns out, the idea of only cheap jewelry causing the alarming green color is untrue. According to Chemistry expert Anne Marie, the discoloration can happen with sterling silver and gold rings as well, the chances are just a lot lower. The main culprit with finer jewelry is sweat, the mixing of sweat with the metal over time causes a faint discoloration of the finger. The metals that typically cause the biggest problem are silver and copper, which also happen to be among some of the cheapest metals. The reason behind the actual color change can be explained by a chemical reaction between your skin and the metal of the ring. Other factors, like lotion use or sweat, can also explain the change of color. The oxidization through contact with oxygen of the materials on the ring is what causes the discoloration on the skin, and although the color can be alarming there are no real health hazards that arise.

Image result for green finger from ring  Image result for types of metal

So now the question that comes up is can you stop this from happening? And if so, how? Preventing oxidization is probably a bust because well…oxygen is all around us. And even expensive authentic jewelry can cause some discoloration, so what’s the solution? The answer is that although there is no way to completely avoid this, there are ways you can greatly reduce your chances. One piece of advice is to minimize as many liquids from touching your ring as possible, try to remove rings when washing your hands with soap, using lotion, or swimming. Some people repeatedly apply a coating of nail polish on the inside of their rings to prevent the metal from touching their skin.

Whatever you decide to do, just remember that your finger turning green because of a ring is not the end of the world. Wear what you want and what makes you feel good, but following some of these tips can keep you from encountering this problem.


Why Does Your Finger Turn Green (Chemistry)

What Causes the Color Change?

Metal Prices

Define Oxidize

3 thoughts on “Why does my skin do that?

  1. Kateryna Okhrimchuk

    Hey Beza, great blog! I used to love Claire’s as a kid and now have the joy of reliving it again whenever my little sister drags me in with her. I always knew that cheap jewelry turned my fingers green so I tried to avoid buying it as much as possible, but could you imagine my disappointment when I got the most beautiful gold Tiffany ring for Christmas one year and after just a week of wearing it my fingers started turning green too? I was extremely confused because I knew that this brand of jewelry wasn’t cheap at all, so I began to research if anyone else’s Tiffany rings did this. To my shock, they didn’t. Eventually, my mom asked me why I stopped wearing it and I explained to her my situation. It turns out that my uncle bought the ring off of Ebay trying to save some money and the ring was fake. One argument between my mom and uncle later, I got a new ring that never did that again, thankfully. I think its funny, according to this article ( http://www.everafterguide.com/gold-ring-turns-finger-green.html ) that even if a ring is gold plated or even white goal, theres still a chance that the metal, combined with the sweat from your fingers, will oxidize and still turn your fingers green, even if you paid a lot of money for that piece of jewelry.

  2. Abigail Roe

    Very cool blog post! I have had this problem with some of my jewelry in the past. Although, nowadays when I purchase jewelry, I am extremely reluctant to buy it from cheap jewelry companies. I believe that the green discoloring of the skin is due to the cheapness of the jewelry material. However, when I buy jewelry, I smell it first. I noticed over the years that there is a certain smell to the metals that turn your skin green. I wonder what the science is behind that? My good jewelry does not smell and I haven’t had a problem with my finger turning green since I began purchasing top quality metal. This blog was a topic I could relate to…good job!

  3. Gulianna E Garry

    Beza, I found this extremely interesting! When I was younger, I loved Claire’s but I too would hate it when the rings made my hands turned green. One of my favorite part about Claire’s were their earrings; they were tacky, but were every nine year olds dream. Unfortunately for me, Claire’s earrings would cause my ears to blow up and give a reaction. I wonder why certain metals cause people’s ear’s to have allergic reactions.

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