Removing Calluses

Originally written for: http://www.beastskills.com/

 

Removing Calluses

I’ve had several people ask me about removing calluses from the hands. If you’re doing a lot of gymnastics, weightlifting,  grip training, or hand balancing (my 4 favorite hobbies) then calluses are an inevitability. They raise up and start to get pinched and can eventually rip off. This is a bit painful and a pain to deal with during training. Let me show you what to do to take care of things before you’re leaving quarter size chunks of skin on the gym floor.

Now I tend to get calluses in the areas circled. This would include the base of my fingers, the middle of my fingers, and even the palm of my hands. The ones on my fingers are the ones that pinch, while the callus that forms on the palm of my hand will sometimes press on nerves in my hand. I don’t have to tell you where you get calluses, because they’re probably annoying you already and you’re quite aware of their locations.

The supplies are simple, grab yourself something to scrap the calluses off. I use a butter knife (or other dullknife) that does NOT go back in the silverware drawer (ewww) as well as a small pumice stone. The stone is not essential, but it helps. I also have a bucket of warm water in which to soak my hands. And of course, keep a towel nearby to dry your hands off.

After you’ve soaked your hands for a minute or two, take them out and lightly towel dry them. You’ll notice that your calluses are raised a bit and have turned white – indicating dead skin. I included a blurry picture of what I mean.
Now’s the time to remove the calluses…

Now at this point I’ll take the dull knife at a 90 degree angle to my hand and start scraping at the calluses. You know you’re doing it right when you see the dead skin coming up. This should NOT be painful. If it is then either you’re scraping too much off, or you didn’t have calluses to begin with!!

During this process you can resoak your hands to raise the calluses back up again, as well as rub the pumice stone on your hand to raise up more skin.

If you feel your hands during this process, you’ll notice the calluses start to flatten out and no longer raise up on your hands. Continue shaving off skin until they feel relatively flat to the hand. At this point they’ll no longer pinch and rip when you’re training. Again I repeat, DON’T SHAVE OFF TOO MUCH. Doing so will hurt. So stop that. You should be removing dead skin, not live skin.

Wipe and dry your hands when done. Now you’ll still have tough patches of skin on your hands, but the calluses are level with your hand and won’t catch and rip off.
Repeat this in the future as often as necessary, although a single session will probably keep your hands good for several weeks at a time.

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