While experts are still learning about COVID-19 (coronavirus), hand washing is recommended as one of the most effective practices that help prevent the spread.
If wearing jewellery is part of your routine, you could be wondering if you should wear it, what effect constant hand washing and sanitising has (if any) and best practices for keeping yourself and others around you healthy at this time.
Here are a few things to consider:
USE COMMON SENSE
The key advice is to keep your hands washed and not to touch your face. If you’re washing often and wear rings, you may notice some irritation. Consider cutting back on the number of rings worn, and/or reducing the time you wear them.
It’s a good idea to remove your rings when washing or sanitising your hands as the area between your ring and finger is hard to get to and could remain contaminated. If you’re not going to disinfect your rings, you shouldn’t be taking them off and putting them back on. Medical experts suggest using antiseptic wipes to clean your rings.
But what about the jewellery itself? Certainly, hand sanitiser should not be used on any organic gems, such as coral or pearls. The alcohol in the sanitiser may dry out the gems and lead to cracking or surface damage. Avoid hand sanitiser when wearing jewellery with porous stones such as opals and turquoise. When in doubt, it is always better to take your jewellery off before sanitising.
Moisturising plays a critical part in keeping hands germ-free. Hands that are dry or cracked lose their safety barrier, which may make hands unable to absorb the antibacterial benefits of soap and sanitiser. Moisturising lotion can also be problematic for items like engagement rings and other stones. Rings set with gems can collect lotion or other debris behind the stones. It’s important to keep these areas clean for many reasons. The buildup can be a prime place for bacteria or other irritants to collect, which may lead to skin irritations. Decreased airflow behind the stone can trap moisture against the finger, which is also a common cause of irritation. The buildup of debris around a jewel may lead to unnecessary wear, and loosening of the setting, which can result in lost stones.
IF IN DOUBT, SEEK ADVICE FROM EXPERTS
If you do use sanitiser on your hands and notice any change in your jewellery, wash the piece immediately with warm, mild soapy water. This should remove any dirt, grime, residual chemicals left from the sanitiser. Take the piece to an experienced jeweller as soon as possible assess any damage and discuss repairs.
Note: This post is not medical advice, and is intended for general information only
Source: Huffington Post