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The sweat and natural oil from your skin can cause a chemical reaction with the metal of some jewelry. Sweat isn’t just water. It also contains tiny amounts of ammonia, urea, salts and sugars. As for sunscreen, perfumes and so forth, those have all sorts of chemicals.
Remember that thing I said about gold (if not read about it now)? Pure gold is soft so other metals, such as copper, tin or nickel, are usually added to make it stronger and more durable. Those other metals are the ones that can react with the acidity in your skin. And it’s not just gold that has those “other” metals. Sterling silver is made from an alloy, copper is one of the metals used in sterling silver. It’s pretty difficult to completely avoid these other metals in jewelry.
Most often this reaction occurs with jewelry that is plated. The gold or silver plating slowly wears off and reveals the other metals that react to your skin.
Thankfully, most gold and silver jewelry won’t cause green or black discoloration of your skin.
But if it does, here are a few things you can do about it: