How to Get a Ring off a Swollen Knuckle: 10 Ways to Remove

Have you ever experienced trouble removing a ring off a bloated knuckle or finger? 


Or, thinking that the ring you wear everyday feels “a little tighter” than usual on some occasions?


It’s strange because the wedding ring which usually fits comfortably on my finger feels impossible to take off on some days. 


So, what is the reason behind this?

Why Does My Ring Get Stuck?

There are several possible reasons why a ring may be difficult to remove.


Knowing possible reasons why it happens can help prevent this from happening.



The most common cause is swollen fingers. 


Hands and fingers, toes and feet all swell under different circumstances and environmental factors. 


Temperature and diet can affect your finger size. 


Cold weather can shrink your fingers, whereas heat and high-sodium foods can make your fingers swell.

Due to changes in hormonal balance in women, swelling may occur occasionally.


Pregnant women may find themselves unable to fit a ring that used to fit due to swelling in the fingers.


This is because of water retention due to changes in hormonal balance.
Stress is another factor that can lead to swelling.


Alcohol and excessive salt intake are also causes of swelling.


Poor blood circulation and swelling of the lymph nodes may also cause the fingers to swell.


Change in Body Shape

Changes in body and hand shape over the years can be a reason why a wedding ring no longer fits anymore.


In this case, don’t try to force it on. 


If it is too tight, consider resizing the ring.


My Ring Is Stuck, What Should I Do?


Here are some quick and easy methods to help you remove a ring that is stuck.


10 Ways to Remove a Ring That is Stuck


#1 Slip Off

In situations like this, soap is your friend. 
Use things you can find lying around at home - a bar of soap, liquid hand soap, kitchen detergent, etc.


Foam up some soap bubbles between the ring and your finger. When it fits in firmly, slowly rotate it and move it towards your fingertips.


If you are doing this over a sink, be careful that the ring doesn’t fly out and fall into the drain.


#2 Push Instead of Pull

From the underside of your ring, push the ring towards your fingertips instead of pulling it off.


#3 Wiggle Ring Off

Twist the ring in a circular motion while moving upwards. 


Do not pull as it may cause the skin to bunch up creating more of a hurdle for the ring to overcome. 


Wiggling it gently upwards will prevent skin from bunching up as you are removing the ring.


#4 Elevation


Elevate your hand to allow fluids to drain. 


Ice will help with swelling, so if available, wrap an ice pack around your hand.  


Hold in position until you feel a tingling sensation in your finger, and remove.


#5 Cold Water


Cold water eases swelling and can cause fingers to shrink in size.


Dip your hand in cold water for a few minutes and remove the ring quickly.


#6 Relax

Remember I mentioned that stress can cause swelling?


Well, if you’ve tried several of these methods and none of them seemed to have worked, you might want to take a break and relax before trying again. 


During this time, you can rest your hand in a bucket of cold water to help ease the swelling of your fingers.


#7 Reduce Swelling

If your fingers are overly swollen, resulting in the ring not being able to come off, try the following methods to ease swelling.


i. Hand Massage


Stick both hands forward, make a fist and pop open. Repeat this several times.


This exercise Improves blood circulation on the back of your hands and fingers which helps to eliminate swelling
ii. Acupressure Points
There is an acupressure point on your hand in the conjoined area between the base of your thumb and the base of your second finger. 
Blood circulation will improve as you slowly press that area and hold for about 10 seconds before releasing it. 

#8 String


Thread a piece of thread between your finger and the ring.
The thread can be of any material - a yarn, a dental floss, a sewing thread, etc. 


Wrap the thread around your finger.


By wrapping it, your finger is pressed and becomes thinner, making it easier to pull out.


However, be careful not to wind the thread too tight.


#9 Plastic Wrap


Fold a little bit of plastic wrap over your finger. 


The plastic wrap acts as a compression tool that makes the finger thinner and skin firmer for easy removal.


#10 Lubricants


Lubricate your finger and ring to allow for easy removal. 
Use items you can find lying around home, such as:


  • Hand lotion
  • Liquid dishwashing soap
  • Cooking spray
  • Vegetable oil
  • Mineral oil
  • Baby oil
  • Butter
  • Coconut oil
  • Lard
  • Hair conditioner or shampoo
  • Petroleum jelly
Apply the lubricant between the ring and your finger as you would with soap.
Rotate it slowly and move it towards your fingertips.


When to Seek Medical Help


If you are starting to lose feeling in your finger, or it’s turning blue, or blood circulation is starting to cut off, it’s time to get medical help.


In this case, reach out to the fire department or a jewelry shop. 


The fire department is a professional and expert in the rescue of various cases. 


If the ring does not come off, a professional at the jewelry shop or fire department can cut it off with a tool called a ring cutter.


Ring cutters are safe and painless way to free your finger from that pesky ring. 


They are found in fire departments and jewelry shops.


What Preventative Measures Should I Take?

The ring is finally off. 


You may need to bring it back to the jewelry for resizing and repairing. 


As a safety precaution, you should always know how to deal with an emergency like this. 


If you think it can’t come off, don’t pull at it and force it off.


When you are starting to feel like the ring is a little tight, it’s safer to remove it immediately. 
To prevent swelling from happening, apply hand cream and massage your fingers, warm your hands and moisturize them periodically.

Ring Resizing

If you notice that your ring is tighter than usual more often, it might be time to resize to a more comfortable size.


Ring resizing involves a jewelry stretching out the material of your ring.


This method only allows for up to a half-size increase.


If you need a size larger than half a size, the jewelry will cut the ring and add in extra material. 



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