Tips on Getting a Ring Off a Swollen Finger

Updated February 21, 2017

Rings can be a nuisance to women and men with swelling or bloating in their fingers. A ring stuck on a swollen finger can even become a danger if the swelling continues and the ring is not removed quickly enough. Removing a ring before swelling occurs is ideal, though it is generally difficult to predict when the swelling might occur. Removing your ring once your finger is swollen is usually not difficult and there are several different ways to remove it.

Limit salt intake and wait for morning to pass.

Oftentimes your hands and fingers are more swollen or bloated early in the morning. If you find that your ring is stuck on your finger and you have just got out of bed, waiting until the afternoon might be all that is needed. Also, your swelling may be caused by an excessive salt intake from your meals the day before. Drink plenty of water to flush the salt from your system and eat as little salt as possible until the afternoon. The swelling in your hands should subside and your ring will be much easier to remove.

Elevate your hand above your heart.

Keeping your arms and hands low and below the line of your heart will allow an excessive amount of blood to flow into them. Keep your arm and hand elevated on a table or any other surface that is slightly above your heart. Try sitting backward on a chair and resting your elbow on the chair's backrest. This method can reduce the excess blood flow to your hand and make the swelling in your fingers subside. Once the swelling decreases, the ring will be easier to remove.

Using soap can lubricate your finger and the ring.

Using liquid hand soap liberally on the finger and ring will help to lubricate them both. Apply the liquid soap to your hand while holding it above a sink. Try to rub the soap under the ring as much as possible as well as completely coating the finger it is stuck to. Rotate the ring back and forth, but never tug or pull on the finger. This will only cause pain and more swelling.

Cooking oils and butters can also help lubricate.

Olive oil, vegetable oil, shortening and butter all have good lubricating qualities. As with the hand soap, apply them liberally to coat the underside of the ring and the finger the ring is stuck on. Rotate the ring to one side, then the other. Keep a light but constant downward pressure toward the end of the finger. The ring should slip over the knuckle and off the finger.

Get professional help to remove the ring.

If all else fails, or is pain is present, the help of a professional may be the best option. Jewellers often have a specialised cutting tool that can split the ring in two pieces, after which the ring will fall off of the swollen finger. If your finger is broken or injured, the swelling probably cannot be treated at home and may require a doctor's care. If injury is the cause of the swelling, or if you are not sure, seek medical attention immediately to avoid damaging the finger due to lack of blood flow.

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About the Author

Jesse Futch began writing professionally in 2008. He writes for various websites, including eHow, specializing in topics such as family, technology, travel, history and science. Futch is self-taught in the field of writing. He studied U.S. history, software engineering and missile and space systems at U.S. Air Force Technical College.