Silver: skin problems,rashes green or black fingers

November 28, 2014

If you have problems wearing our metal you do have the option of returning it for a full refund within 30 days. If you have problems, but like your jewelry so much that you want to keep it, you may be able to minimize the problem if you understand what is happening. The most common metal allergy is to nickel. There is no nickel in our sterling silver or any other readily available sterling silver alloy.

Silver will sometimes cause skin staining, usually black or green. In most cases this causes no physical harm and is an aesthetic rather than a health problem. Silver will naturally turn black when it oxidizes. The amino acids in your skin can accelerate this. When it is hot, two factors occur. The metal is more reactive to oxidation when it is warmer and perspiration can cause a chemically reactive climate. If the jewelry turns color you can polish it, if the skin turns color you have to decide how much this bothers you. In cooler weather the problem might go away but it could be that your chemistry is not compatible with the material.

Since we have gone to using the deoxidizing alloys we have had very few complaints about green fingers but we do still have a few. When silver or the skin it contacts turns green it is a reaction with the copper in the alloy. Some customers have had good luck polishing the inside of their rings daily for the first week or so. As the copper reacts and is polished away there is a gradual depletion of the copper near the surface available to react with the chemistry of the skin. As that copper is depleted the problem lessens.

If you have an actual rash, blistering, irritation or infection by all means take the jewelry off until it clears up. If you have an allergy to the metal you can return it for a refund within 30 days. Other factors besides the metal may be causing the problem. Most frequently soap trapped behind the ring irritates the skin or persistent dampness behind the ring causes a rash. Be sure to rinse well and dry under the ring, especially if the ring is a wide one.

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