By Jack Gaines
While in the gym our hands take a beating. They connect us to almost every implement and exercise we perform. With this said, it is extremely important we take care of them!
For your basic preventative maintenance: Once you’re done with your workout, WASH your hands with soap to get rid of any chalk that may be on them. Chalk’s purpose is to dry your hands, so if you leave it on there it will continue to dry them out. Then if you would like you can put some sort of moisturizer, this step is not necessary, but some folks like to do it. When I say moisturizer, I don’t mean one of the nice smelling bottles at Victoria’s Secret or Bath and Body Works. I use corn huskers lotion, bag balm also works well, just apply this to your calluses/problem areas and then to the rest of your hands. Again, the lotion is just preference, some people are just fine without it, and that’s okay too. A few times a week you should also go over your calluses with a pumice stone, emery board, foot file, or fine grit sand paper. Be careful not to file until your skin is raw. You want to remove the top layer from the callus and try to smooth it out with the rest of your hand. This will help prevent you from tearing on the bars. That should be all you need to do to keep your hands healthy, however, if you do rip a callus or pop a blister, here’s what you do:
Remove all skin from said blister or callus with a pair of grooming scissors or a fingernail clipper. You can apply salt to the wound, rinse off after 30-60 sec, or you can put on New Skin (aka liquid bandage). Both burn like hell and it has to be one of the most unpleasant things to do to yourself, but it helps. I like the New Skin simply because it creates a watertight barrier for the skin underneath to start healing without figuring out how to get a bandaid to stick to the palm of your hand and it helps decrease the time away from training. If you use new skin reapply 2-3x per day until you feel like the skin underneath is no longer tender. If you salted your wound, try to put a bandaid to help keep out any germs and then wait for it to heal.