Thank God it's not a tattoo
April 12, 2007 7:51 AM   Subscribe

How long does it take to remove a wedding ring dent?

My husband and I are splitting up. I took off my narrow gold band last Friday and noticed a very obvious, red imprint. I gained about 30 pounds since the ceremony, but the ring still slipped off easily enough, so I thought it would look better within a day.

So the fact that I still have a groove (no red left) about 50% the size of the original mark, and that it looks slightly shiny and striated, concerns me. I don't want the pathetic fallacy of a scar on my ring finger following me into a new life. So will this fade on its own? Is there something I can do to speed up the healing?
posted by rosemere to Health & Fitness (9 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I wore a ring for about three years without taking it off at all, through weight gain. If I pinch that finger, the line still stands out. But the visible absence of the ring, the "slightly shiny and striated" skin, will slowly change back. I'd say it will take about a year, though. To speed up the healing, don't wear a ring there. To hide it, wear something that's obviously not a wedding band.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 7:58 AM on April 12, 2007

I managed to lose my wedding ring six or seven years ago when I was playing with it, spinning it on a table top. I didn't replace the ring ("a replacement would never be the same," sayeth Herself).

I'd had the ring for about 13 years at that point, so my ring mark was pretty well entrenched. It took a couple of years for it to go away. There is absolutely no indication of a ring mark now.
posted by briank at 7:59 AM on April 12, 2007

Response by poster: D'oh! I forgot to mention that I wore the ring for almost 12 years. So it looks like at least 1-2 years for a natural fade. Damn.
posted by rosemere at 8:09 AM on April 12, 2007

Best answer: IAAJ. It's going to take at least several months. When I have to cut rings off of people because the ring has grown too tight over time, I ask them to come back in three months to be remeasured for resizing.

Since it sounds like your ring finger grew over time (and it's not just weight - most everyone's fingers and especially their knuckles get larger with age), I'd expect that you need to give it some considerable time. Now, you have the weather on your side (provided tht you're in the Northern Hemisphere). Your fingers swell more in warmer weather, and that will hasten the fleshing out of the finger.

Many women who are divorced after a long time feel "naked" without a ring on their finger, so I usually suggest getting something that's not "marriage looking" for the finger after it's fleshed out.

BTW, you'd be surprised how many people are walking around with the ring ghost issue: construction workers who can't wear rings at work for safety reasons, doctors and nurses who take off their rings for hygiene reasons, teachers who don't want to look "flashy" at work, cooks who aren't allowed to wear any jewelry - the list goes on and on. You'll be in good company.
posted by Flakypastry at 8:13 AM on April 12, 2007 [2 favorites]

Just talking out of my ass here, but... maybe you could see a physical therapist about hand exercises that might tone up your hands. If you end up losing some of those 30 pounds, you might see it decrease a little more quickly, especially if you incorporate some regular hand exercises into it (maybe get a squishy ball to work with?).
posted by smallerdemon at 9:13 AM on April 12, 2007

Best answer: I wore a ring for nearly seven years and it took about a year for the ring dent to go away. I lost weight after I took the ring off and that didn't seem to speed up the process any.

For me, this was something that I was much more aware of than anyone else around me. (Tell me- do you go around looking at people's ring fingers, seeking out tell-tale ring dents? Me neither.)

It will fade on its own, your finger will not be scarred for life. If it makes you feel better, get regular manicures so that you feel good about how your hands look generally. Trust me, no one else will be paying attention to the gradually shrinking dent on your ring finger.
posted by ambrosia at 9:41 AM on April 12, 2007

I wore a ring for 10+ years, I divorced ~4 years ago. The 'ring' is still there, less visible than before, but still there.
posted by patrickje at 12:31 PM on April 12, 2007

I have no idea if this would work, but perhaps you could try vitamin E cream or rose hip oil to aid your skin's recovery?
posted by indienial at 1:29 AM on April 13, 2007

Another suggestion of something to help your skin along: cocoa butter. You have to be fairly consistant with it, but it really does help fade stretch marks and scars, which are not the same thing as a ring dent, but share the "shiny and striated" look.
posted by Juliet Banana at 4:18 AM on April 13, 2007

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