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I have had my weddingΒ band for many years. The skin on my ring finger is red, itchy, scaly, and patchy.Β This hasn't happened to me before. The band is made out of white gold. The rash sometimes spreads to other parts of my hand. What could be causing it?

Gold and white gold wedding bands can contain trace amounts of nickel. This is a very common cause for allergic contact dermatitis. A nickel allergy can develop at any point in life. Even if you weren’t allergic to your wedding band at first, you could have developed a contact allergy over time. It could have caused your skin rash. These rashes can spread to other parts of the hand. They can include nearby fingers or the palms of the hand.

Another possible cause could be a reaction to the buildup of debris, soap, moisture, lotion, or dead skin under the ring. These things can irritate the skin and sometimes cause infections. You would benefit from meeting with an allergist or dermatologist. Patch skin testing can rule out allergic contact dermatitis due to metals such as nickel.

Answered by

John M. James, MD, is a board-certified allergist. He is also President of Food Allergy Consulting and Education Services, LLC. He has worked as a medical specialist in the field of allergy, asthma, and immunology for over 30 years. Dr. James received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Arkansas and his Doctor of Medicine degree from the University of Tennessee. He is board certified by the American Board of Allergy and Immunology.

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