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What to Do if a Ring Becomes Stuck on Your Finger

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Today, we'll discuss an unsightly situation that almost every jewelry lover has encountered: what to do when a ring becomes stuck on your finger.

We'd all like to be perfect, sweat-free unicorn humans who never get hot or swollen anywhere, but that's just not how it works.

Don't be concerned the next time you get the sinking feeling that your finger bling isn't going to come off. Here are some home remedies you can try, as well as what to expect if you do need to have your ring removed.

What to do if a ring gets caught on your finger.

First and foremost, do not panic.

If you yank on a ring that is stuck on your finger, all you will do is irritate your finger and make things worse. Instead, try wiggling and twisting the ring. Pull firmly but not too hard. Instead of holding your hand rigidly, relax it.

If none of this helps, stop. Before you try again, you should try to reduce the swelling in your finger. When a ring becomes stuck on my finger, I immediately run cold water over my hand for 10-30 seconds. After that, I usually have no trouble wriggling the ring off.

If the ring is still stuck on your finger, you can try other methods to reduce swelling, such as raising your hand above your heart to allow excess blood/fluid to drain, or applying ice to your finger for 5-10 minutes at a time.

When a ring becomes stuck on your finger, you can try a variety of slippery substances. Soap, lotion, and petroleum jelly can all make your finger's skin slippery. You can also try Windex; Windex isn't just slippery; it also appears to have some properties that will help slightly shrink your finger. (However, Windex is not recommended for delicate jewelry.)

Another option is to wait. Allow some time to pass to see if whatever your body is doing to keep your ring stuck on your finger will resolve itself - especially if the cause is an immediate environmental one, such as humidity or exertion.

Please keep in mind that all of this advice is for non-urgent situations. If your ring is stuck because your finger or hand is injured, or if your finger/hand begins to tingle or turn strange colors, stop reading this and see a doctor.

  • If the ring remains on your finger.

    If the basic swelling-reduction methods have failed, you can try a few more home remedies.

  • The string/dental floss method:

    The internet's favorite method for removing a ring that has become stuck on your finger involves the use of dental floss or string. Harvard even recommends it. I haven't tried it, but it seems like it could work if done properly.

  • The duct tape/sports tape trick:

    Wrapping the upper part of your finger - the part that the ring needs to slide over - in tape encourages the swelling to reduce/relocate for long enough for the ring to fit over it.

  • The plastic wrap technique:

    This method appeals to me because it appears to pose less risk of further cutting off blood flow.

    Please keep in mind that I strongly advise against using any of these home remedies on an injured finger, as they appear to put additional strain on the skin and digit.

What you should know if you need a ring removed from your finger.

So you'll have to have your ring removed from your finger. That's terrible. But don't give up hope on the ring just yet! It's likely that it can be completely restored, and you won't be able to tell it was sliced - especially if the ring's band is plain, with no stones or engraving.

This is why, if possible, you should have a ring cut off your finger by a skilled jeweler: they will be able to do the cutting in a way that makes the ring easier to repair.

It should be noted that cutting a ring off someone's finger is not something that every jeweler is willing to do. Some jewelers believe that the process is too risky, especially in difficult cases. If you're going to a jeweler to have your ring cut off, call first to make sure they'll be able to assist you.

That brings me to my last piece of advice:

Don't be stupid.

Rings are wonderful, but they are replaceable. Fingers are incapable.

If your finger starts turning strange colors, losing feeling, or doing anything else unusual, stop everything and go to the doctor. You can get a new ring later to commemorate being wise enough to look after yourself.

Bonus!

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