We all know the feeling: a ring that won't budge off your finger. Whatever the reason for it, a too-tight ring can be very uncomfortable, dangerous even.  Find out here how to safely and painlessly remove a ring that is stuck on your finger.

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The safest, easiest way to remove a too-tight ring

How do I remove my ring that won't budge?  BAUNAT can help
Removing a ring that is stuck on your finger should be easy if, at the outset, you apply one of the following 4 techniques.

  1. Hold your hand up in the air and apply an ice pack to your finger
  2. Soak your hand in ice cold water. Then, simultaneously, gently twist and pull the ring.
  3. Use shampoo, shower gel, butter or another lubricant to help the ring slide off your finger. Try not to use caustic lubricants, such as vinegar or detergent. These can damage your ring.
  4. Remove the ring using a thin piece of string, such as dental floss, as shown in this clip.

Have your ring made bigger now

Once you have managed to get the ring off your finger you must also look after the finger itself:

  1. Clean your finger and disinfect any possible nicks you might have suffered when removing the ring.
  2. Regularly apply ice to any swollen parts of your finger and do so until the swelling has gone down
  3. Do not wear any rings on that finger until it has fully healed and all swelling has gone down

How do these techniques work in removing a too-tight ring from your finger?

If you can't get your ring off, immerse your hand in cold water - BAUNAT
All the above techniques have their plus points. Deciding which one to apply depends on the state of your finger. A too-tight ring will cause your finger to rapidly swell, which will exacerbate the problem. This is how to remove a ring stuck on your finger, before and after swelling:

  1. Before any swelling: lubricants, gentle twisting and pulling, and the string technique are the best way to start. Make sure you go gently; remember, even with these techniques your finger is susceptible to swelling.
  2. After any swelling: once your finger starts to swell the first priority is to stop or reduce the swelling. Ideally, hold your hand up in the air, apply an ice pack or immerse your hand in ice-cold water. The string technique will also work in this instance.

You must seek medical advice if the following symptoms manifest themselves:

  1. Disproportionate swelling
  2. Discolouration (angry red, purple, green or blue)
  3. Numbness
  4. The swelling causing your ring to be stuck is caused by trauma, a wound or another medical condition

What if nothing works in removing your ring yourself?

If none of the above techniques remove the ring, it is time to seek professional help.  Depending on the state of your finger, you could hold on for a while, and ask a jeweller to cut it off for you. You can do so under the following provisos:

  1. The ring still fits properly in its original position at the base of your finger
  2. Your finger feels like normal and looks normal too: there is no pain, numbness or discolouration
  3. Your finger isn't, or is only slightly, swollen by your attempts to remove the ring. Any swelling that there is, reduces quickly
  4. Your ring is not stuck due to a medical condition
When a jeweller cuts off a ring they will do their very best to retain the integrity of your ring.  The ring can subsequently be repaired or resized.  Needless to say, medical professionals will primarily assess the impact on your finger after cutting your ring off.
Never bide your time in going to the jeweller to have your ring cut off if it is causing you pain in its original position.

What are the main causes of rings getting stuck?

You are advised to remove your rings if you are pregnant - BAUNAT
There are many reasons why your ring can become stuck. The action you decide to take depends on which of the following reasons have caused the swelling:

  1. You have been wearing your ring for a long time and your fingers have grown (e.g. by physically growing up or during pregnancy)
  2. You wore a ring that was too small in the first place
  3. Your ring usually fits you properly but the finger you wore it on underwent a trauma or injury that caused it to swell
  4. A medical condition such as arthritis or arthrosis caused joint inflammation, which in turn caused your knuckles to swell.
  5. A medical condition, reaction to a diet or weather condition caused oedema, causing your fingers to swell

How do I resize my ring so I can keep wearing it?

Not all rings can be cut off by a jeweller - BAUNAT
Most rings made of gold, silver or platinum can be  resized  (or repaired after being cut off) by your jeweller.

One key exception is the  eternity ring, or a ring that is set all the way around.  The diamonds are set very close to each other on the ring band whilst being crafted, making it impossible to resize it.  So if you choose an eternity ring as say your  engagement ring, be sure you have chosen the  right ring size.

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