How to Safely Remove a Ring

By, Andrew J. Nelson, MD and Richard L. Manzo, MD

There are occasions when a ring needs to be removed with some urgency.  Our bodies change over the years causing arthritis of joints which can swell and/or swelling of the tissue under the ring.

When you can’t simply slide your ring off, try one of these techniques:

1. A squirt of Windex - yes Windex - on the finger and ring.

2. Any lubricant such as soap or oils.

3. Elevate overhead for 5-10 minutes with ice around the ring and finger, PLUS #2.

4. Compress the swollen tissue with thread or dental floss. 

a. Slip thread or Floss under the ring with the bulk of it toward the fingertip.

b. Beginning at the ring, snuggly wrap the finger with the thread/floss around and around compressing the tissue—go up and over the joint.

c. With the end that was under the ring, begin to unwrap the thread or floss with the ring sliding over the joint

5. If all else fails, cut the ring off with a ring cutter (below) found in jewelry stores, fire departments and Emergency Rooms.