Why You Should Remove Jewelry Before Washing Your Hands

Perhaps you already know to shed your jewelry before washing your face; after all, as holistic esthetician Kimberly Yap Tan once demonstrated in a video with mbg, those accessories can drag and pull at your delicate skin, face and hands alike. You also don’t want to scrub your hands with bejeweled fingers—albeit for a slightly different reason. 

As Park explains in her video, those with dyshidrotic eczema may be experiencing their fair share of itchy flare ups. “This is a very irritating rash that can occur when your hands or your feet are exposed to water a lot,” she notes. While other allergens can surely trigger a reaction, “water is the major irritant.” Lo and behold, your hands are likely exposed to more water than usual, as you find yourself washing your hands frequently. That said, Park recommends drying your hands completely after scrubbing to make sure water doesn’t linger on your skin and cause irritation.

Here’s where your jewelry comes in: When you wear rings, water can become trapped under the metal (which happens to be another irritant, according to the National Eczema Association), linger in those crevices, and exacerbate the flare. So if your fingers are itchier and scalier than usual (particularly under those rings), Park suggests removing the jewels, making sure your skin is completely toweled off, and applying a hand cream immediately after washing. 

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