Sterling silver jewelry has played a significant role in our lives and serves several purposes that are meaningful to the wearer. Today, sterling silver jewelry is seen as a new fashion accessory that complements a person’s appearance and outfit.
Whether it’s an everyday ring or a cubic zirconia eternity band worn on special occasions, there’s a sterling silver ring for every occasion. However, one downside when you are wearing your favorite silver ring is that silver jewelry might sometimes turn your skin green.
If you’re skeptical whether the green finger is worth the risk of wearing your favorite silver band ring, fear not. Today, we will be looking into the infamous “green finger” myth as well as what you can do to prevent or remove the green stains from your sterling silver rings and fingers.
Debunking the “Green Finger” Myth
Today, we will be debunking a common myth every jewelry-wearer knows about. When your fingers turn green from wearing jewelry rings, it doesn’t mean that you have a rash or an allergy reaction. The green stain is actually a chemical reaction that occurs when your skin comes in contact with certain metals found in jewelry such as gold-plated jewelry.
Coincidentally, green happens to be the stain color you get when copper comes in contact with your skin acids. Various jewelry metals will have different reactions to your skin. For instance, sterling silver jewelry is a common cause for “green fingers” as sterling silver contains a bit of copper abstract and can give you green (and sometimes even black) stains. When sterling silver comes in contact with your skin’s acid, it will cause oxidation and lead to skin discoloration.
Despite the minor inconvenience of the green stains, sterling silver jewelry is relatively harmless and safe to wear. You can always remove the stained mark with warm water and prevent green fingers by caring for your jewelry.
Oxidation and discoloration happens because copper is commonly used to produce nearly all metals used in rings jewelry. Therefore, buying more expensive jewelry made from higher-quality metals might not guarantee you will be free from green fingers.
It is important to remember that if your fingers turn red, have a rash, or feel itchy, then you might be having an allergic reaction to the material your jewelry ring is made out of.
If you wish to know more about how and why your sterling silver jewelry turn green, head over to our blog articles - Everything you need to know: Does sterling silver turns your skin green to find out more!
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How Can I Prevent My Fingers from Turning Green?
Now that you’ve learned a bit more about some of the causes of why your sterling silver jewelry may cause your fingers to turn green, it’s time to learn what you can do to prevent sterling silver from tarnishing. Here are six methods you can use to prevent your fingers from turning green: -
1. Don’t Buy Low-Quality Jewelry
While this may be the sole reason why your fingers may turn green, jewelry rings made from lower quality materials are likely to cause skin discoloration on your fingers. You should always ask about the materials used to make the ring bands you wear. Jewelry rings made from a mix of pure silver and copper such as sterling silver are reliable, but when they do turn your fingers green this is not due to low-quality materials.
Similarly, you should always buy silver rings from a reliable jewelry supplier to avoid buying fake rings. Keep an eye out for signs of jewelry authenticity such as the code ‘925 Sterling Silver’ when buying sterling silver jewelry.
2. Always Keep Your Hands Dry
If you are someone who often wears jewelry rings over their skin that is damp or wet, you will increase the chances of getting a green tint on your skin. It is important to always remove your silver rings before you wash your hands or take a shower.
Moisture can cause oxidation and skin discoloration when water gets between your skin and your jewelry rings. This goes without saying that you should also remember to remove your sterling silver ring bands before getting into a swimming pool, as pool chlorine can cause your fingers to turn green and permanently damage your silver rings.
3. Give Your Rings a Clear Nail Polish Treatment
One of the easiest and practical ways to prevent green fingers is by coating the inside of your sterling silver rings with clear nail polish. Here are a few steps how you can do so: -
Paint the inside of your silver rings with clear nail polish. You can also apply the nail polish to any part of the jewelry ring that touches your finger.
Next, leave your coated sterling silver ring on a flat surface to dry for at least 20 minutes, or until the nail polish has completely dried up.
Now you can finally wear your sparkly ring.
Coat your silver ring band with nail polish when you need it.
4. Apply Some Polymer Barrier
Another way you can protect your fingers from turning green is by applying a polymer barrier around your fingers. Polymer barriers are uniquely designated to seal your jewelry rings metal and prevent staining.
One layer of polymer barrier can usually prevent any occurrence of staining on your sterling silver jewelry for about 2 months. Which means you can apply polymer barrier as much as you require, depending on how often you wear your silver rings.
5. Always Take Off Your Silver Ring When Using Lotions, Perfumes and Soaps
It is important to always remove your band rings whenever you are washing your hands. There are chemicals and acids found in certain cleansers and beauty products that can cause your sterling silver rings to oxidize and worsen their condition.
6. Wear of Sterling Silver Jewelry
If you want to reduce the chances of getting green fingers, you should switch your sterling silver jewelry and avoid wearing silver rings or silver bracelets. This is because we use our hands everyday, which means hand jewelry such as jewelry rings and silver bracelets are more likely to be exposed to harsh hand washing, hand lotion and even hand sanitizers on a daily basis. If you opt for silver necklaces and silver earrings, they are likely to stain your skin less.
How Do I Remove Green Stains from My Sterling Silver Jewelry?
If your sterling silver rings have already turned your fingers green and you wanted to know how to clean sterling silver jewelry, here are three easy ways you can remove the stains from your silver rings: -
1. Use Eye Makeup Remover and/or Rubbing Alcohol
If you often wear sterling silver rings, it is recommended to keep some waterproof eye makeup remover or rubbing alcohol around, just in case you need something to help remove the green stains. Here are the procedures in treating small green stains: -
Apply rubbing alcohol or eye makeup remover on a cotton ball and rub it against the stain gently.
You should also rub in the webbing of your fingers because the green coloring often occurs on the smaller and hard to reach areas of your skin.
Lastly, make sure to wash your hands instantly to prevent drying, especially if you used rubbing alcohol to treat the green stains.
2. Use Non-Acetone Nail Polish Remover
If your sterling silver jewelry has given your skin a more drastic, dark green stain, the best way to remove these stains is by using nail polish remover. In order to remove the stain, try wiping the stained area with a cotton ball dipped with non-acetone nail polish remover gently but firmly.
If your skin is sensitive or you have an open wound, you can try the steps above instead. While this method can be quite harsh, you should only use this remedy once a week only.
3. Massage Your Skin with a Soapy Washcloth
Another tip to remove green stains from your finger is to soak a washcloth with warm water and liquid dish soap. Gently massage the soapy washcloth on the stained area of your skin and then rinse. Once you have completely dried your skin, you can put your sterling silver jewelry back on.
These tips don't just apply to your sterling silver rings. You can also apply the same methods to clean up and prevent any green marks formed around your silver necklaces, silver bracelets, and even silver earrings. The best long-term method to clean your silver rings and be sure to remove your sterling silver jewelry to prevent them from getting wet.
For more details, read here: Sterling Silver Jewelry Care Tips: How to Clean Silver
Your fingers and skin might turn a little green every now and then when you’re wearing sterling silver jewelry, but with the right amount of care, your silver jewelry should continue to uphold its quality even through everyday wear. Once you are familiar with the types of silver jewelry that fits best for you, this will give you more confidence to shop for the perfect sparkling silver jewelry.
Browse our sterling silver jewelry collection at Eleganzia Jewelry today and find high-quality and unique jewelry pieces that will complement your personal style. There is no better feeling than building a collection of sterling silver jewelry that you will love and cherish for many years to come.
To know more about the why your finger turns green of wearing your jewelry and also does 925 sterling silver turn your finger green, head over to our article now: Everything You Need To Know: Does Sterling Silver Turn Your Skin Green