Why Copper May Turn Your Skin Green & How To Prevent It.

Why Copper May Turn Your Skin Green & How To Prevent It.

The chemical symbol for copper is Cu, and its atomic number is 29. Soft, pliable, and ductile, it has excellent thermal and electrical conductivity. Copper can be found in a wide variety of objects, from jewelry and coins to basic kitchenware. On the other hand, copper's potential to cause a greening of the skin is one of its most striking and widely recognized characteristics.

 But why does copper turn skin green, and how does it happen?  Copper's chemical reactions with the skin's natural oils and acids will provide explanation.

Copper can cause skin reactions when it comes into touch with the skin's natural oils and acids. Copper acetate, popularly known as verdigris, is the greenish chemical formed in this reaction. After reacting with acetic acid, which is present in perspiration and other skin oils, copper forms copper acetate, a salt-like molecule.

On the skin, the generation of copper acetate is a fully normal and safe process. Copper acetate has been utilized for millennia as a colorant in paints and inks. However, the reaction can be stronger in some people, causing skin inflammation or discolouration.

To avoid having your skin become green from contact with copper, there are a few precautions you may take.

As a first step, you can try to limit your skin's exposure to the copper. When handling copper, for instance, it's best to use protective gear like gloves or a cloth. Also, you can reduce your risk of an allergic reaction by keeping your skin clean and dry, as these factors contribute to the development of a rash. To avoid skin contact, you can also try painting the underside of the piece with fingernail polish. While effective, this strategy requires frequent applications.

Some people find it helpful to seal their jewelry with Renaissance wax, which helps it to last longer and gives it a brilliant sheen. Almost all of Wired Statements' copper products come sealed and polished.

The chemical reaction between copper and the oils and acids on the skin causes the skin to turn green. However, some people may be more susceptible to the reaction and develop skin irritation or discoloration as a result. Minimize contact, keep your skin clean and dry, and use gloves or a towel to handle copper to avoid greening your skin.

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