When That Ring Gets a Little too Tight
Last updated: January 2023
I've loved wearing rings since I was a child! My mother has a collection of small gold rings I wore throughout childhood, including my Claddagh ring that had to be cut off during my first juvenile psoriatic arthritis flare. I was swollen from the IV fluids, thankfully not from arthritis.
Even though my PsA got more active through the years, my love of rings has persisted - my most recent obsession is my engagement ring.
Tips for finger swelling and wearing rings
It can be hard to wear rings when your hands are aching and swelling, or when you have psoraisis patches. Your ring might feel too tight or apply too much friction on your skin.
It can even get stuck if your swelling is severe enough. While it might be more comfortable to go without, you may be reluctant to stop wearing rings- especially wedding bands. If your struggling with your rings, here are some options you might consider.
Size your ring up
If you tend to swell a lot but still feel comfortable wearing a ring, you may want to have your ring sized up. This is also helpful if you're trying to avoid putting too much friction on sensitive skin. On days when you want a more secure fit, you can use a ring size adjuster - they're cheap and can be bought online.
My hands will swell a little from time to time. My engagement ring is sized slightly larger than my finger size. So while there are days it slides around, it's more comfortable on achy, swollen days.
If you couldn't bear the thought of adjusting your ring size or need a very loose fit for comfort, you could potentially get a fake bridal set in a larger size to wear when your normal ring is too small. I find coating my fake jewelry in a layer of clear nail polish helps keep it from tarnishing or turning my finger green.
Get a set of silicone bands
Sometimes, a metal ring is just too constricting. A silicone band is much softer and flexible. You can find both smooth and textured finishes; you may have a preferance if you're dealing with PsO around your fingers.
And since they're more affordable, you can also grab a set of different sizes to accommodate a change of swelling or pain levels- some days, you may just want a looser ring. A fun bonus they come in a wide variety of designs and patterns, from metalics to Disney characters!
Put it on a chain
If wearing rings is too painful in general, you might opt to put your band on a chain and wear it as a necklace or a bracelet. It's such a timeless look for both men and women. I find chains with a large lobster claw or magnetic clasp the most arthritis-friendly.
Choose anything but a ring!
Who said wearing a wedding ring is the only way to show your commitment? Instead of a ring, perhaps you and your beloved could select another piece of jewelry to wear.
I would just make sure that whatever you choose, make sure it's something you can get on easily every day. For example, I struggle with clasps and small earring backings first thing in the morning. I can only put those pieces on if someone else helps me or wait until later in the day.
So if I want to wear earrings to work, I make sure to put on a pair of studs comfortable enough to sleep in before going to bed. And if I want to wear costume jewelry, I choose pieces with no clasp or a magnetic one.
Get it tattooed on
And last, but not least, why not get a little ink? Nothing says commitment like a tattoo! I've seen a few men with RA get a band tattooed on their finger when it became too painful to wear their wedding bands.
I will say that this is not a good option for all people with psoriatic arthritis. While I do know people with PsA who have gotten tattoos without issue, getting a tattoo can be a psoriasis trigger for some people. So it's important to talk to your doctor about this first and go to a reputable tattoo saloon. But this might be appealing for some.
What worked best for you?
While the above options have worked for me and others in my life, I know these aren't one-size-fits-all solutions. Have you had to find an alternative solution to wearing your wedding bands?
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