This Doctor-Approved TikTok Hack Is The Best Way To Remove A Ring From A Swollen Finger

Your fingers can swell up for a number of reasons. The heat can cause the blood vessels in your pinkies to enlarge. Fluid retention because of diet or health conditions can cause your fingers to get all puffy. A sprained digit can be the reason for the swelling, and so can diseases like rheumatoid arthritis, gout, and kidney disease (per WebMD). If you have a ring on any of these swollen fingers, removing it might prove difficult. While health conditions that can cause swollen fingers might require a different approach, removing accessories from swollen fingers caused by less serious reasons can be handled at home. 

You might have tried twisting it loose, lubricating it with lotion, body wash, or butter, or even asking someone else to pry the thing off your finger. Luckily for you, there's another, safer, and doctor-approved method, courtesy of TikTok. 

A board-certified emergency medicine doctor, who goes by the name Dr. Joe on the social media platform, shared, "If a ring gets stuck on your finger, the skin can actually grow around the ring and fuse together, making you half man, half metal. To avoid this, you want to use the string method to remove it." What's the string method? It involves passing a piece of string under the tight ring, wrapping it around your finger, and slowly pulling on the string while unwinding it so the band comes off. Here's how it's done and what you can use to get the job done. 

Use dental floss or a piece of string for this TikTok hack

Dr. Joe's post had visuals of someone using the band that comes in a blood tourniquet to remove a ring from a swollen finger, but the doctor shared that you can use string or dental floss, too. "You want to go underneath the ring and then wrap it around the finger past the ring. And then you slowly unwind the string and the ring pops off." Some additional tips for the doctor-approved TikTok method include making sure that the string or dental floss is wrapped uniformly all the way past the lower knuckle on your finger and doing the unwrapping from the end that was passed under the ring in the same direction downward (via Harvard Health). 

Also, now that you've got the dental floss in hand, there's a slightly different variation of the string method, which is also doctor-approved, per Crisscut Magazine. It starts with trying to reduce the swelling on your finger so the jewelry comes off, according to sexual and reproductive health specialist Dr. Deborah Lee. "Wind a piece of dental floss around the finger firmly, between the ring and the finger joint. This reduces the swelling. Then, as you unwind the dental floss from adjacent to the ring, try to slide the ring towards the joint over the skin that was compressed by the dental floss," she explained. String methods aside, though, when is a ring stuck on a swollen finger a bigger concern that can't be handled with home hacks?

When you should go to the doctor for a swollen finger

If you think the swelling might be from an injury or if there's discoloration and loss of feeling in your finger, you're better off going to a doctor before you try any TikTok hacks at home, per Healthline. It might be wise to get to the real reason your fingers are swollen before you try prying anything off of them. 

Rapid swelling caused by an infection or any other underlying disease can also be a cause for alarm. "As the finger swells, the ring becomes a restrictive band. That can cut off blood supply to the finger," warned Dr. Lewis Nelson, chair of emergency medicine at Rutgers New Jersey Medical School (via Health). 

Finding the right ring size in the first place can also help. Checking if your piece of jewelry can move clockwise and counter-clockwise relatively easily on your finger once it's on and making sure there's no skin bulge between your ring and the finger joint when you slip on your band are some ways to avoid getting a size that's too small for you, per Crisscut Magazine. Lastly, a ring should be seen, not necessarily felt on your finger. If it feels uncomfortable in any way, you're probably wearing the wrong size.