Don't Panic: Getting A Stuck Ring Off Is Easier Than You Think

Whether worn for their aesthetic appeal or the sentimental value they offer as tokens marking important occasions of your life, rings are worn by most people. But when these pretty pieces of jewelry get stuck on your fingers and refuse to come off, they can be very cumbersome to deal with.

There are many situations that cause rings to get stuck on fingers. The most common of these is when you wear the same ring for a long period of time and the size of your fingers changes due to age, weight gain or the onset of a medical condition like arthritis. In case you neglected to measure your ring size at home, you may have erroneously bought a size too small. It could also happen due to an injury on your finger that caused it to swell and tighten the ring. Excessive water retention because of too much salt in your diet or other prevailing medical conditions like kidney disease or thyroid conditions can also cause your fingers to swell and rings to get stuck, per Osmosis.

Don't panic though, because getting a stuck ring off your finger is easier than you think.

How to get a stuck ring off your finger

One easy preventive measure is to take your engagement ring off before bed every night, so you can monitor changes in finger size. If you suspect the ring is stuck due to swelling caused by external temperatures or water retention, the easiest thing to do is to raise your hand and keep it in that position for some time. Primary care physician at Baltimore's Mercy Medical Center Dr. Kathryn Boling tells Health that this simple step lets the blood and fluid in your finger drain away slowly, leading to a reduction in the swelling. A similar result can be achieved by icing your finger or immersing it in cold water, as colder temperatures are known to reduce swelling.

If these methods don't work, try the age-old trick of lubricating it to let it slide off the skin. Any slippery substance can be used for this purpose including soap, petroleum jelly, vegetable oils, butter, lotion, shampoo, or according to experts at the American Society for Surgery of the Hand, Windex, an ammonia-based cleanser.

Another innovative hack is to slip a string of dental floss under your ring, and tightly wrap it around your finger until you cross the knuckle. As you start unwrapping the string from the part at the bottom placed under the ring, the stuck ring is likely to move up and over the string.

What to do when everything else fails

If you have tried all these hacks at home and still haven't been able to get your ring to budge, you can visit a jewelry store, local fire station, or an emergency room. These places are likely to have the instruments which can cut the ring off your finger safely, while also saving it to be resized for you at a later date.

However, be mindful of serious situations that need medical attention. Chair of emergency medicine at Rutgers New Jersey Medical School Dr. Lewis Nelson tells Health that it is important to recognize signs of an emergency. If you are in tremendous pain with a stuck ring, or your finger is swelling up swiftly and your finger is turning blue in the process, or there is a cut or wound on your finger, you should seek help urgently. "As the finger swells, the ring becomes a restrictive band that can cut off blood supply to the finger," Dr. Nelson explains.

If this situation occurs, you could be at risk of losing the finger entirely. Hence, it is very important that you seek medical help before attempting to remove a stuck ring if these signs are visible to you. In some cases, the ring could be acting as a tourniquet holding your finger to your hand, which could cause permanent damage if dealt with incorrectly.