How to shrink a swollen ring finger

Updated February 21, 2017

Swelling is a common bodily phenomenon that occurs when excess fluids build up in a certain area of the body. Swelling can occur as the result of many underlying factors such as injury, diseases and allergic reactions. Swelling that affects your ring finger can make it difficult to remove any rings you are wearing. If this happens, there are several steps you can take to reduce the swelling in your finger and hand so that you can remove rings.

Take an over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medication if the swelling was caused by an injury. This will help reduce pain and inflammation.

Fill a basin with a mixture of ice and water and set it somewhere higher than head level, such as the top of a refrigerator.

Raise your arm above your head for five minutes. This will help fluid and blood drain out of your hand.

Place your hand into the ice water for 10 minutes. Your hand should still be elevated well above the level of your heart as it rests in the ice water. The cold will constrict your blood vessels, further reducing swelling and making it easier to remove any rings stuck on your finger.


  • Applying lubrication to a finger can help a ring slip off.
  • Do not force a ring off a finger if it is stuck despite reducing swelling and using lubrication. Twisting a ring while pulling can help get it off.
  • If swelling is caused by an injury or allergic reaction, consider waiting for the injury to heal or the reaction to dissipate before attempting to remove a ring.

Things You'll Need

  • Ice
  • Basin
  • Anti-inflammatory medication
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About the Author

Gregory Hamel has been a writer since September 2008 and has also authored three novels. He has a Bachelor of Arts in economics from St. Olaf College. Hamel maintains a blog focused on massive open online courses and computer programming.