Copper and Metal Jewelry Facts
Have questions or concerns about wearing copper? Hopefully I can answer some of your concerns.
GENERAL COPPER QUESTIONS
Copper is antimicrobial and doesn't harm the skin in any way. What's "antimicrobial"? An antimicrobial is a substance that kills or inhibits the growth of micro-organisms such as bacteria, fungi, or protozoan's, as well as destroying viruses. Copper is also an antibacterial as well as an antifungal agent and used in the treatment of skin disease and wounds today as it was thousands of years ago. Of course thousands of years ago they didn't know all of this; they simply used it because it helped. Copper is also used in UD's for birth control because of its factors.
Fabrics have been impregnated with copper and used in everyday applications.
Copper bracelets have been worn for hundreds of years in the belief of reducing or helping Arthritic and Rheumatic diseases. People also look to copper for its healing properties in improving the circulation of blood, increasing energy, detoxification, reducing inflammation, stabilizing metabolism and improving oxygen use. While research information I checked numerous medical sites and found that copper is used extensively for the aforementioned.
Understand that I lay no claim to being an expert on the healing properties of copper. I've simply gathered a few reverent facts about copper to help you feel at ease with wearing copper jewelry.
COPPER (AND OTHER METAL) JEWELRY TURNING YOUR SKIN GREEN
Let's review some basic information about copper or any other metal turning your skin green.
If it hasn't happened to you yet, sooner or later a piece of jewelry that you may wear will turn your skin either greenish or some other unsightly color. The worst jewelry that stains your skin is plated jewelry, especially gold plated. It's because base metal (mostly the inexpensive kind) is plated with gold or silver, or copper. The plating will eventually wear off the metal; it's the metal which begins to oxidize. The better or thicker the plating the more time it will take to wear off.
So why can or does your skin turn green while wearing copper? It's known as the oxidation reaction. The copper reacts with oxygen in the air, your sweat and skin oils creating a green layer of copper carbonate on your skin. Relax; it shouldn't be anything to be concerned about, it just looks terrible. Most likely you're not allergic to the copper, very few people are. Simply keep your copper clean and dry and remove any oil or sweat which may be on your jewelry. It's as simple as that.
If your skin does turn color from jewelry, you may notice it more on different parts of your body. Rings which are worn close to the skin are the worst because of no air circulation between your finger and the ring. Your finger sweats and produces oils which are trapped between your finger and the ring.
Bracelets have air circulation between your wrist and the bracelet thus doesn't seem to produce as much discoloration of your skin. If you wear a copper bracelet or cuff that is tight against the skin, then most likely you'll have discoloration much like a ring.
Pendants worn over your clothes won't discolor because they aren't in contact with your sweat or skin oils. Pendants worn against the skin tend to move causing air circulation between the pendant and your skin. Unless you're a sweaty and oily person and jewelry tends to stick to your skin, you shouldn't have any discoloration.
There are plenty of people who wear copper pendants, chains, or bracelets almost every day and everywhere including the shower and seldom take their copper jewelry off. It doesn't turn their skin colors, why? Simply put it's because they are keeping the jewelry clean by showering in it; cleaning off any oxidation caused by your body.
Keeping your jewelry clean will help in the prevention of oxidation turning your skin green. Take off your copper jewelry every night. Wipe your jewelry with a clean soft cloth when you remove it. Doing this will clean any body oils or sweat off your jewelry. The cleaner you keep your copper jewelry the less likely your skin will discolor from oxidation.
PREVENTING YOUR COPPER FROM TURING YOUR SKIN GREEN
There are several recommendations on "coating" copper jewelry to prevent skin discoloration. Here's my opinion on some of them.
Applying a thin coat of clear nail polish to your jewelry
Spray your jewelry with a clear sealer
Wipe your jewelry piece with a soft cloth before you put it on or after you take it off
CLEANING YOUR COPPER JEWELRY
Wet your copper jewelry piece with lemon juice, sprinkle with a bit of table salt then rub with either a soft cloth or your fingers until tarnish is gone. Rinse with water then dry thoroughly. To maintain a beautiful finish and protective coating after cleaning, you can apply a thin coat of car wax, let dry then buff with a soft cloth. The car wax is an excellent method of avoiding tarnish on silver and bronze as well.
Cheap but messy method
IS YOUR COPPER JEWELRY PROTECTED OR COATED TO AVOID SKIN DISCOLORATION?