How To Keep Gold Jewelry From Discoloring Your Skin

Posted by JewelryKind

Many people worry about jewelry leaving weird stains on their skin. Luckily, gold is usually one of the metals least likely to cause skin discoloration, so it’s a good choice for anyone who doesn’t want skin discoloration. However, if your gold jewelry is leaving colorful marks on your skin, it’s important to figure out why. Skin discoloration can indicate a lot of different things, depending on the color of the staining.

Black discoloration usually means that your gold has a lot of nickel in it. Nickel is used as a base for most gold-plated jewelry, and sometimes it can become exposed when the plating flakes off. Other times, your gold might be solid but have a high ratio of nickel to gold, particularly with cheap white gold. Nickel can also cause contact dermatitis, or an allergic reaction on your skin. If your skin is red and irritated where the jewelry touched it, you may have a nickel allergy.


If your skin is turning blue or green underneath your jewelry, the chemicals in your sweat and oils may be interacting with the copper or zinc in your gold. This happens a lot in humid areas or when you wear jewelry in a place that gets a lot of exposure to water, such as your hands or wrists. Taking off your jewelry to wash your hands, swim, or shower may help reduce this occurrence.
Other cases of discoloration might not be so straightforward. Sometimes, especially with rings, things like lotion, dust, dirt, cosmetics, and other substances can accumulate between the gold and your skin and stick there. This can lead to alarming-looking discoloration, but it should wash off fairly quickly. In some cases, these trapped substances might interact with the other metals mixed with the gold and cause a different kind of staining, similar to the black or green mentioned above. It’s a good idea to remove and clean jewelry regularly.

The most obvious answer to avoiding skin discoloration is to buy gold jewelry that is very high quality, such as 18 karat gold. Ensuring that your pieces are not gold-plated will make a big difference, too. However, if you notice stains from your jewelry, you can remove them by taking off the jewelry and scrubbing your skin with soap and water. You can use a wash cloth to exfoliate if the stains are stubborn. Whatever you can’t get off with soap and water will naturally go away over the course of a few days, so don’t stress out if you can’t get it all off! If you can’t pinpoint the cause of your skin staining from high quality gold jewelry, consult a doctor or a jeweler for more personalized help.

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