As symbols of love and commitment from a beloved partner, your engagement ring and wedding band are the most important pieces of jewelry you’ll ever wear.
As a timeless symbol of your love, your rings should not only be beautiful but should fit your finger to perfection without being too loose or too tight.
But what if you find some indentations around your finger? Should a ring leave an indent? Even if you’re wearing a ring that fits as well as Cinderella’s shoes, it may still leave a mark.
If you’re concerned about the fit of your ring, what causes finger indentations or how to deal with the indents, our guide will tell you all you need to know.
Why Does a Ring Leave an Indentation?
A ring isn’t supposed to leave a mark on your finger but, if you do find an indent, that doesn’t necessarily mean there is a problem either. There are many reasons why indents occur.
Everyone’s fingers are unique so what may be snug on your fingers can be too loose on someone else’s. Simply put, some people are more prone to indents than others and some rings may be more likely to cause such marks.
Let’s take a look at some of the most common reasons for ring indentations.
The fit is too tight
A tight fitting ring is the most likely cause of an indentation on your finger. As a general rule of thumb, your ring should sit on the surface of your skin, rather than be buried in it.
If your ring won’t turn clockwise or counterclockwise around your finger, it’s too tight and your chances of developing an indentation are pretty high. If this is the case, you should remove the ring from your finger right away to avoid cutting off blood circulation to your finger.
You’ve worn the ring for a long time
Wearing your ring for many years can lead to a ring indentation. Any ring worn daily will rub against your finger and, over time, this can cause indentation to occur. While not everyone is prone to indents, they are still fairly common among anyone who has worn a wedding ring for years.
Your finger size has changed
Your hands and fingers can change in both shape and size due to changes in your weight or due to bloating or swelling. Bloating can be caused by eating salty foods while swelling is due to injury or a chronic condition like arthritis.
How you use your hands can also have a big impact on your finger size and shape. If you get a new job or take up a new hobby that requires you to use your fingers, that can impact their shape. Even something as simple as holding onto a mug can cause your fingers to squeeze and enlarge. When enlarged, they rub against your ring and, as a result, your finger can become indented.
During cooler weather, our skin tends to tighten, research from the University of Copenhagen has found. Skin cells shrink which, in turn, can slightly reduce your ring size. In warmer weather, however, your fingers can be puffier due to the humidity in the air.
Your finger size can change drastically in less than a day if there is a drastic upward shift in temperature, or may just vary a bit between summer and winter.
The type of metal you choose for your ring can be a huge factor in how well it holds its shape. If your ring is white or yellow gold it will warp more easily than a ring made of platinum, a much tougher metal.
Warping typically occurs from everyday wear and tear from getting a ring snagged in fabric and yanking your hand away to dropping your ring on a hard floor to doing housework or gardening.
Small dings and snags from everyday activities can eventually cause your band to become warped which, in turn, can cause your ring to fit poorly and cause an indentation.
Dehydrated skin is more likely to experience indentations than moisturized skin. To test to see if that is the case, pinch your skin. If it appears wrinkled and takes a while to revert back to its original shape, you’re likely dehydrated.
Skin dehydration can be caused by weather and seasonal changes, not eating enough fruit and vegetables and drinking too much alcohol, coffee or caffeinated energy drinks.
During pregnancy your body retains more fluid than usual causing swelling in your legs, feet, hands and fingers. Doctors often recommend pregnant women remove their rings once swelling appears to avoid ring indents and loss of circulation.
A medical condition
Conditions such as arthritis, fibromyalgia and autoimmune disease can all cause your fingers to swell, making your rings too tight.
If your finger joints experience damage or stress due to a health issue, the tissues lining those joints will swell, making your fingers puffier. The increased size of your fingers will likely cause your rings to become ill-fitting and that can lead to an indentation.
A serious health condition known as pitting edema could also be the culprit. This condition is primarily caused by a sedentary lifestyle, a salt-rich diet, and heart disease.
The best way to know whether you have this health issue is by pressing firmly on your arm, then releasing it. If the imprint remains on your skin for more than 15 seconds, then you should visit your doctor immediately.
Exercise gets your heart pumping, causing blood flow to your heart and lungs and muscles, reducing blood flow to your hands. This causes the blood vessels in your hands to open wider, leading to swelling in the fingers.
Experts recommend removing rings prior to exercise to avoid ring indentations and discomfort.
How to Remove a Ring Indentation
Now that you know what causes a ring indentation, let’s talk about how you can get rid of it. Removal of ring indentations varies from person-to-person due to a variety of factors from age to overall skin health.
Here are three tips to help you smooth the skin on your finger.
Step 1: Remove ring
The first step is to get some blood circulation flowing into your fingers. If you’re having a hard time getting the ring off, we suggest using oil or some form of lubricant to help slip it off more easily.
Step 2: Soak the finger
Fill your bathroom sink or a bowl of hot water and soak your hand in it. The heat of the water will expand the constricted blood vessels, helping them return to normal.
Step 3: Exfoliate and massage
Next, use an exfoliator to scrub dead skin cells from your fingers. Once your finger is clean, massage them using hand lotion. Not only will this moisturize your hands, it will help rid them of any residual dead skin.
Step 4: Moisturize regularly
If you’ve worn your ring for a long time, you shouldn’t expect the indentation to disappear immediately.
We recommend massaging your finger consistently with hand lotion for faster results. This will boost your skin’s moisture levels, increasing elasticity. Moisturizing regularly will also help to rid your hands of pigmentation and wrinkles.
How Can You Tell if a Ring Fits Too Tightly?
How can you tell if a ring is simply snug or if it is ill-fitting? If any of the descriptions below match what you’re experiencing, it’s too tight.
1. It’s Hard to Move
A perfect-fitting ring should move around your finger with little effort. If your fingers aren’t swollen from heat or exercise and you still can’t move it up or down or turn it around your finger without struggling, it’s too tight.
2. You Can’t Take it Off
If you can’t get the ring off your finger without going through a lot of effort, it likely needs to be re-sized. If you’re struggling to remove your ring and it won’t come off by pulling, try using a bit of oil to lubricate your skin. This should help ease the process.
3. Your Skin is Bulging
If the skin is puffed out above or below your ring, then it is too small. Your ring should never look like it was stuffed onto your finger. Even if it doesn’t hurt, if you’ve got bulging skin, you need to have the size of your ring adjusted.
4. You Can’t Feel Your Finger
One of the telltale signs of a tight ring is if your fingers are feeling numb or tingly. This means your ring is cutting off blood circulation to your finger.
Even more serious is if the skin is of a white and bluish hue surrounding your ring. If you can’t get the ring off, you may need to have it cut. We suggest visiting the doctor to help you during removal and recovery.
Why the Perfect Fit is Critical
A restricting ring can lead to multiple health issues, ranging from mild to extreme. Let’s review some of the risks below that you should be on the lookout for.
Inflammation is a good indicator that there is a problem. If you notice excessive swelling or ballooning of your finger, remove your ring immediately.
Just like wearing jeans one size too small, a tight-fitting ring will also feel uncomfortable and, in some cases, painful. This pain is mainly coming from the constricted nerves around your ring finger.
This pain can linger after taking off the ring for a day or more, depending on how long you kept the ring on.
Blood circulation issues
A tight ring around your finger can create a tourniquet effect, restricting blood flow to your finger. You’ll likely experience tingling, numbness or swelling in the region from the accumulated blood.
Ring avulsion occurs when you pull too hard on the ring to take it off. When you pull off a tight ring with too much force or pressure, it could seriously injure your finger.
This term may sound familiar to you if you’re a fan of the Tonight Show starring Jimmy Fallon. In one episode, the star recalled a time when he tripped from his braided rug and his ring finger got caught on a counter. He ended up undergoing a six-hour microsurgery.
How Can You Tell if a Ring Fits Too Loosely?
The only good thing about having a ring that fits too tightly is that you know you won’t lose it. On the other hand, a ring that’s too big could slip off the finger unexpectedly. Here are three signs your ring is too loose.
1. It slides off
If your ring is sliding down to your knuckles, then it’s too big. If gravity can easily pull it down then you may want to resize it.
2. It’s too easy to take off
When you take off any ring, there should be a slight resistance. If the ring is sliding off without any tension, then it’s too big.
3. Constantly spins around when you wear it
If your ring spins on your finger — and you’re not twisting it yourself — it’s probably too loose. Rings that twist on their own can sustain damage to both the diamonds or gemstones as well as to the band.
A Ring Indentation You’ll Want
Ring indentations are usually unwanted, but some rings are specifically designed to create a custom indentation.
For instance, Jason of Beverly Hills has provided celebs with a ring that produces an indentation on a wedding ring marked “Married.” You can find other custom options, such as ones with paw print indentations as well as heart-shaped options.
How to Tell Your Ring Fits Correctly
The good news is, you can easily get a properly-sized ring by following a few simple steps.
Before buying any ring, you should:
1. Ensure it fits well
When trying on a ring, think about how your finger feels. Are you in pain or feeling any discomfort? Does it move around your finger too easily?
If the ring isn’t crushing your fingers or sliding around, then you may just have found your perfect fit. To ensure that is the case, however, you should…
2. Have it professionally measured
When choosing a ring, you should have an expert help you find the right size. When searching for a new ring, the optimal time to have it professionally measured is between lunch and dinner, when your fingers are at their largest.
Another factor to consider during sizing is your finger shape. If your knuckles are large, for instance, it’s important to make sure the ring isn’t sized up too much or it might slide around at the base of your finger.
Will my ring indent go away?
With most people, the indent usually disappears the same day, but for others, it can take a couple of weeks or even longer.
Is it normal for rings to deform?
Yes, rings tend to lose their shape over time. They could also become misshapen from activities like working out.
Why is my ring leaving a mark?
When exposed to harsh chemicals such as chlorine, your ring can corrode. Subsequently, the black residue from the corrosion can transfer to the skin underneath the ring.
Can your finger stretch a ring?
A ring will not stretch to accommodate your finger. If a ring is too tight, a jeweler can professionally stretch it if it has a thick enough band.