Maybe it has happened to you; maybe it hasn’t. It definitely has happened to me on more than one occasion. You know what I am talking about, don’t you? Having a callus ripped off your hand on an obstacle. The first time it happened to me was at the Spartan Race Palmerton Super. I came up to the Twister, hopped on it, and halfway through I felt a chunk of my hand missing. It happened again this past weekend to me at the OCR World Championships, this time happening on Skull Valley during the 3K race. It really makes for a miserable time, and it put a huge damper on my 15K race… I couldn’t grab anything.
It turns out that getting rid of calluses isn’t difficult. In fact, it is so easy that I don’t understand why I let it go this long. I guess a part of me felt that having calluses was “manly;” it made it look like my workouts were that intense. In fact, they are just plain dumb.
As with anything, even basic things, I like to define the issue. A callus is a thickening of the skin on the outermost layer of skin that can develop anywhere there is repeated friction.
First thing first, don’t pick at them. That just tells your body that they aren’t thick enough. Aside from that, its just gross to see people picking at their fingers and their hands.
Second, soak your hands (or feet) in warm water with Epsom salts for 15-30 minutes to soften everything up. Once everything is soft, start shaving off the dead skin with a pumice stone or a microplane. Don’t press hard while shaving as you may damage the affected area and cause scabbing or further buildup. Each day, apply lotion to the affected area to keep it hydrated and ready for tomorrow’s session.
Others have found success with Caster Oil and Apple Cider vinegar in place of Epsom Salts – your mileage may vary.
As far as lotions go, look for something that contains exfoliants urea or ammonium lactate.