Callus Maintenance

If you are a CrossFitter, chances are you have some mean looking callused hands - especially if you did Friday's pull ups and kettlebell WOD madness.  You probably wear them with pride - after all, they show your dedication because they took time to build.  And calluses are good.  They will protect your hands and allow you to handle higher numbers on your barbell and your pull ups.  But in order for them to serve their purpose, you need to maintain them.  This means keeping them thin enough that they don't raise or pinch while using them on a bar or a kettlebell.  And how do you do that, you ask?  Sure, you could pick at them at your desk in your cubicle (yes, you are still in public) - or even better, bite at your palm while on an awkward first date.  But generally you want to shave, grind or file them down as you start to notice them getting a little thick, keeping them thin and smooth.  People use all sorts of tools for this - a Ped Egg, strong nail file, pumice stone, callus shaver, sanitary scissors, or even sand paper at the gym for a quick, pre-WOD fix.

When Your Callus Strikes Back

Sometimes you over-grip, or you forget your callus maintenance, and you tear or get a blood blister.  What then?  If you have a simple blood blister, I recommend you leave it.  After time, it will get pushed to your surface skin, and you can peel it off like a scab (I know, sexy, right?).  If you tear however, there are a few steps you should follow:

First, cut off any flaps of skins and clean out the wound.  Apply some stinger spray or other type of antiseptic. To cover it, I see people using all sorts of different band-aids, liquid band-aids, tape, etc., but I recommend Nexcare Waterproof Tape because you can wear it during a workout and it adheres to the form of your hand better than other types of bandaging.

That night do a hot salt water soaks with Epsom salt.  Then soak a black tea bag in water then tape it to your tear over night.  Ignore the discoloration - it'll go away in a couple days, but the tea will actually help.

Try keep it moist with a salve like Kiehl's "Superbly Restorative Argan Skin Salve" to prevent it from the top layer drying out and cracking open.   Continue to keep it covered -  this is will also speed the healing process.

That's it!  So maintain your calluses... and happy healing!