Calluses on the hands, a common problem in athletes: how to prevent them and how to cure them

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Calluses are a problem both functional and aesthetic in the hands of many athletes, especially in those sports where the hands are in contact with rackets, handlebars or weights.

In this article, we explain what is the best prevention and the best cure for corns.

Callus or hyperkeratosis is a thickening and hardening of several layers of skin in areas where there is repeated pressure and friction. This thickening is caused by an accumulation of dead skin cells in our epidermis. It is a mechanism of protection of our skin to prevent the appearance of blisters and exposure to the environment of more vulnerable skin layers.

Symptoms of a callus include thick, hard, scaly and dry skin and can often cause pain and bleeding.

How can we prevent them?
If I may, the first thing we can say before continuing is that the best way to prevent them is to stop training. If you are a cyclist, tennis player or habitual weightlifter, you will have to deal with this problem with total security since as much as you apply the recommendations that we will give next in the end the battle will be won by the calluses.

Obviously, we will not stop training so there we go with the recommendations for prevention.

Keep hydrated not only your hands but also your body
The first course of action is to keep our hands and body hydrated. The use of creams like Nivea and drinking the water we need especially if we are athletes are two of the most important measures. If you can’t apply cream constantly, at least take it as a ritual every night before bedtime.

Use gloves to train and handle cleaning products
The use of gloves should be considered according to the sport you practice. Personally, as a powerlifter, I don’t wear gloves because they don’t allow me to grab the bar with the solvency in which my own bare hands do it. A tennis player will surely not agree to wear gloves because they would not allow him to feel the contact of the racket on his skin, but a cyclist could benefit from the use of these.

In addition, the use of gloves should not be limited only to training but also at home when we do the housework. Keeping our hands away from abrasive cleaning products can also help us keep our skin more intact.

Lima and exfoliate your hands
As we have said before, calluses are a measure of protection of our skin, so in most cases having a certain thickening of the skin in some key areas of the hands suits us so as not to cause major evils.

But it is true that when the thickening exceeds the functional benefits it can bring us, it begins to be annoying and painful. In my case this happens when I perform deadlift: my hands can grab the loaded bar but the pain does not allow it.

In these situations, it is convenient to file and exfoliate the calluses to reduce their size a bit and eliminate the most superficial layers of it. This reduction of the callus will reduce the pain that can cause us since it will not stick so much in our skin.

The most common is to use a pumice stone by circular movements and without too much pressure to avoid injuries.