Tear Your Hands?!?!

Rips of the skin and calluses on the hands are an annoying and painful part of any physical exercise that uses the hands intensively (ie pull ups and toes to bar). Anyone can get them, and there’s no getting around that fact. You can get them from shoveling snow, playing baseball, throwing the javelin, climbing ropes, or swinging on bars. You can get them from doing just about anything involving the hands. Gymnasts have to deal with them all the time, as do weightlifters and, of course, people who do a high volume of kipping pull-ups.

Rip causes and treatment

There are basically two qualities that make your hands susceptible to ripping a) soft hands with little or no callus build-up or b) too much callus buildup that makes bumps or ridges on the surface of your hands. You need the happy medium—deep but smooth and supple calluses that protect the hands but remain intact when working. (Don’t have a happy medium, go get a pumice stone or file)  Once you get a rip, the healing and maintenance process must begin immediately. If you happen to have fairly thin calluses and your rip is “thin”l, I suggest that you carefully pull the hanging skin off by pulling on it directly away from the point at which the skin is still attached. If you can’t get it that way, get some small nail clippers or small scissors and carefully cut as much of the skin as you can away from its point of contact. If the ripped skin is very thick (heavy callus), wait until you can use nail clippers or scissors to remove the loose skin. (we have scissors in the first aide box)

When our athletes get a rip, I usually remove their dead skin myself (if they can’t handle doing it) almost right away. Then I have them wash their hands with soap and water (yes, this stings, burns, sucks, etc) to remove any blood and/or dirt and cleanse the area of possible bacteria. After washing, we apply an triple antibacterial ointment, which also acts like a lubricant to replace the lost natural skin oils that were washed away in the cleansing process.

Reminder: When you go home, remember to do three things before you go to bed that night:

1. Wash your hands with soap and water one more time.
2. Apply a generous amount of RipFix, WODWelder, or Neosporin to the fresh wound.
3. Cover the wound with a small bandage or tape. This will allow the product/neosporin to do its job overnight to keep the area moist and prevent infection.

The next morning, wash your hands again and apply neosporin one more time.  From this point on do not cover the rip.  The sooner air gets to it the more quickly it will heal, which means you can get back to training.

Have questions, just ask!


*Use WODwelder Handcare or RipFix regularly as hand maintenance to prevent tears. This is why we carry these amazing products for they work!! Get yourself a pumice stone as well, which you can find by our retail area for only $1.