• MDermatology

Weightlifters Hands

When it comes to calluses the thing to always remember is that they are, by definition, reactive growths. This means a callus only develops as a result of some sort of chronic friction or rubbing. It is there to cushion or protect your skin from what your body perceives as a repetitive insult to the skin that could harm your skin. Your skin reacts by thickening. Initially callus formation may help make it less likely for the skin to tear, bruise or feel sore. When they get thicker or bigger, they can actually cause the skin to blister or you may feel pain or discomfort from pressure. When this happens it is important to consider paring down the callus or thinning it out with a pumice stone or nail file. If this doesn’t take away the discomfort, wearing gloves or callus pads can help. Callus pads are shaped like a doughnut and evenly displace pressure away from the center of the callus. Be careful not to pare the skin too aggressively or it will tear or break down easily. 

I personally find it best to try to hold onto the flap of skin as long as possible to serve as its own bandage and comfort the base of the wound. It won’t last long and inevitably it will peel off. Hopefully this will be a time when the base of the wound has healed sufficiently. I love a product called ‘thin duoderm’ to help these heal in quickly. It’s a peel and stick patch that adheres to the wound directly and has a gel base to comfort the wound as it heals. 

If a blister is sore or painful or just in an area that is high risk for repetitive injury, it is worth gently poking the edge of a blister and allowing the fluid to seep out. When doing so, it is helpful to keep the roof of the blister intact and allow it to settle down on top of the base of the blister to protect it as it heals. You can still be active as long as you are comfortable. The fluid in a blister is most commonly serum but some can be blood filled and others can have pus if infected. The fluid doesn’t usually transmit infection unless it’s already infected itself. 

To prevent an infection, keep these wound either covered with white petrolatum as a barrier and a bandage or, in some cases, sealing the area with liquid bandaid or krazy glue can help. 

Wearing gloves helps to prevent blisters by displacing pressure from friction away from focal areas on the skin. It is a good idea to consider wearing gloves to prevent rips or to wear them while rips are healing. 

Moisturizing the hands is helpful to prevent rips as well as to heal them after. The reason why is that well hydrated skin is less likely to be susceptible to the shearing forces from pressure or trauma. 

It can be really difficult for weightlifters to avoid blisters as any methods to prevent them can impact their ability to grip a weight. Easing into a work out routine to allow your skin the chance to adapt to your weightlifting schedule will give your skin the chance to strengthen its integrity over time. 

Heavy lifting can cause callouses and rips in a few ways.

Callouses develop as our skin has, as a natural response to repetitive friction or rubbing, the ability to thicken over time to protect itself. 

Rips are the result of shearing forces that separate the layers of the skin from each other. The heavier the item lifted, the more intense the shearing forces and the more likely to get a blister. 

Montgomery  Dermatology, LLC

A part of Schweiger Dermatology Group

Phone (610) 265-1166

FAX (610) 265-1186

860 1st Ave #8b, King of Prussia, PA 19406
10000 Shannondell Drive, Audubon, PA 19403

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