It’s easy to overlook the simplicity of taking your wedding ring off after a long day or slipping off your engagement ring at the gym… until it gets stuck and won’t budge.
Just ask Jason Derulo.
The “Whatcha Say” singer recently went to sleep wearing an Oura ring, a health-tracking device — and couldn’t take it off in the morning.
I bought the Oura ring 😩♬ When Love Sucks (feat. Dido) – Jason Derulo
“Just got swollen overnight and tried to take it off with oil,” Derulo said in a TikTok post. “When I iced it, it came down a little bit. … When I went to the gym, my finger swelled up even more.”
How does a ring get stuck on your finger, and what should you do if this occurs?
Luckily, there are multiple ways to get a ring off when it’s stuck:
- Give it some time.
- Use a lubricant.
- Spray some Windex.
- Tie a string on.
- Cut it off.
Why It Happens
There are several reasons why a ring may get stuck on your finger:
- You Never Clean It. Continuous wear can lead to the buildup of dirt, sweat, and dead skin cells underneath the ring.
This accumulation can create friction between the ring and your skin, making it harder to slide the ring off your finger. Regularly removing and cleaning your ring can help prevent this buildup and ensure it remains easy to remove.
- It’s Warped. Wearing a ring constantly can also lead to changes in the ring itself.
Over time, the metal may become misshapen or worn down, causing it to fit more tightly on your finger. This can make it more challenging to remove the ring without causing discomfort or damage to your finger.
- Weight Gain. When you gain weight, your body stores excess fat and retains water, increasing your overall body size.
This includes your fingers, where the additional fat and water retention can cause them to become larger and puffier.
As a result, a ring that once fit comfortably may now be too tight, making it difficult to remove.
- Bone Changes. As we age, our bones undergo a natural process of change and transformation, which can impact various aspects of our lives, including the fit of a ring.
This process, known as bone remodeling, occurs throughout our lives as old bone tissue is broken down and replaced with new bone.
However, as we get older, the rate of bone remodeling tends to slow down, leading to a decrease in bone density and potential changes in bone shape.
- Inflammation. Inflammation can cause a ring to get stuck on a finger because it leads to swelling and an increase in the size of the affected area.
When a finger becomes inflamed, it can be due to various reasons, such as injury, infection, or an underlying medical condition like arthritis.
7 Ways to Remove a Ring When It’s Stuck
Give It Some Time
If your ring finger is swollen, wait for the swelling to go down — at least 10 minutes — before attempting to remove the ring.
Run It Under Cold Water
Ice water can help get a ring off because it causes the blood vessels in the finger to constrict, reducing the swelling. When the finger is less swollen, it becomes easier to slide the ring on the skin.
Additionally, the cold water temperature also causes the ring’s metal to contract slightly, making it looser and easier to remove.
Use Some Lube
Apply a lubricant such as dish soap, petroleum jelly, baby oil, hand lotion, cooking spray, or vegetable oil to the swollen finger to help the ring slide off more easily.
Spray Some Windex
You read that right: The glass cleaner Windex can act as a lubricant and help the ring slide off your finger.
Try the String Method
Wrap dental floss or a thin string around your finger, starting just above the knuckle and working toward the ring. This can help compress the swelling and allow the ring to slide off.
The RICE Method — Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation — can help reduce additional swelling and make it easier to remove the ring.
Cut It Off
If all else fails, hit up the professionals for ring removal. A jeweler or medical professional can use a ring cutter to remove the ring safely.
That’s what Derulo ultimately had to do with his Oura. The process looked intense, but a relieved Derulo was able to hi-five his medical team afterward.
When to Get Medical Help
Most of the time, you’ll be able to get a stuck ring off with home methods.
However, if it just won’t budge — or it’s seriously swelling, turning colors, or going numb — you need medical attention.
These are all symptoms of ring tourniquet syndrome or strangulation injury, where the blood flow is cut off to your finger. This can potentially cause serious long-term damage to your digit — or even result in the need for amputation.
So, get to the emergency room, stat.
The Bottom Line
While you’ll be able to get a stuck ring off your finger most of the time on your own, it’s essential to get medical attention — pronto — if the ring causes your finger to swell or turn colors seriously.
And the good news? Most of the time, a jeweler can salvage your ring if it has to be cut off, so you won’t have to worry about losing anything with sentimental value.