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Unfortunately, some of us get calluses on hands from pull-ups.
Calluses can be more than annoying; they can sometimes be painful.
All calluses, no matter where they are located, are caused by repetitive motions that produce friction on the skin.
This is why so many pull-up and calisthenic workout beginners experience calluses when they are just getting started.
As a defense mechanism, dead skin begins to pile up over the callused areas to protect them from further damage.
This produces thick patches of hard skin that may stay in place for a long time.
Many workout enthusiasts and personal trainers refer to this as “gym hands”. You will typically find callus development on the ridge of your palms, just below your fingers.
Not everyone gets calluses from pull-ups, but some people are more prone to developing them than others.
Table of Contents
- Are Hand Calluses Good?
- How to Stop Calluses on Hands from the Gym
- Do Hand Calluses Go Away on Their Own?
- Painful Callus on Hand from Weight Lifting (What to Do If Calluses Become Painful)
- Recommended Hand Callus Creams
- Conclusion – Dealing With Calluses on Hands from Pull-Ups
Are Hand Calluses Good?
Some people, especially men, see callused hands as a badge of honor.
They think this means they work hard and play hard and it is their destiny to have tough hands.
The truth is, for those who do pull-ups or lift heavy weights, calluses are actually beneficial.
Some calluses are good because they make your skin rougher and help you grip the pull-up bar more effectively.
As a word of caution, you do not want your calluses to get overly big because they could cause pain and could rupture during a pull-up, which could lead you sidelined until healing takes place.
You must be careful to monitor your calluses and care for them properly. If the callus ridge attaches to the bar and rips open, you will be left with a gaping wound that hurts and stings badly, making it impossible for you to grip anything, much less perform a pull-up.
So, yes, hand calluses can be good for your hands while doing pull-ups regularly, but special care must be taken to ensure they do not become too big.
There are treatment options available that can remove the hardened calluses and make sure your hands remain healthy and strong.
How to Stop Calluses on Hands from the Gym
Working out becomes life for many people.
Having to miss the gym because your hands cannot grip the pull-up bar or dumbbells can be stressful.
As stated above, calluses are not all bad, but some people prefer not to get them.
One of the most effective ways to avoid calluses from the gym is to wear a pair of good gym gloves.
People often have mixed feelings about wearing gloves.
Some say they can interfere with your grip, while others swear by them to get the best grip possible because their hands do not get sweaty.
Gloves help to protect your hands from too much friction.
They are integral for protecting against the formation of unwanted calluses.
Another method of preventing gym calluses from forming is to use the right technique.
You should grip the pull-up bar between your palm and fingers, just along the ridge.
The bar should run along the underside of your knuckles.
If you have been gripping the bar differently, try to change it up and see if it helps.
Grips are another way you can prevent calluses.
Grips are ideal for pull-up bars.
Using grips or gloves correctly can help to protect the sensitive skin of your hands and prevent them from breaking out in calluses that can sometimes rip and become very painful.
Do Hand Calluses Go Away on Their Own?
Calluses will typically not go away on their own until you stop the activity that is causing them.
For most people, skipping workouts entirely is not an option.
It is important to keep in mind that you must immediately start being proactive to protect your callused hands.
Even if you have already developed them, you can still use a pull-up bar, as long as you shield your hands from further damage by using the tips above.
It will take several weeks for the calluses to go away if you stop using a pull-up bar.
By covering your hands with gloves as the calluses are healing, you will find they go away much faster.
Painful Callus on Hand from Weight Lifting (What to Do If Calluses Become Painful)
As stated before, if a calluses rip open, they leave behind a raw wound that can become extremely uncomfortable and could even get infected.
There is no comfortable way to pull up or lift when this issue has occurred.
If you develop a painful callus, quick action must take place.
One of the first things you should do is stop the activity that caused the painful callus to develop.
Do not worry, with the following remedies, you will be back in the gym in no time at all!
One of the best ways to begin treating a painful callus is to soak your hands in warm soapy water.
This will help to gently soothe the skin and soften it, so it can begin to heal much faster.
You can soak your hands for twenty to thirty minutes a couple of times a day, for the best results.
If you develop a ripped callus, it is important to keep the wound clean.
Wash it with soap and water and then apply hydrogen peroxide.
You can then use an over-the-counter antibiotic ointment and a soft bandage to keep germs out as the skin heals.
It can take several days for a scab to form and the skin to begin to regrow.
Take care to ensure the ripped callus does not become infected.
If there is no break in the skin, you can soak your calluses and then gently use a pumice stone or small grit file to file them down.
Use caution when taking this approach because you could end up exposing raw skin, making the callus even more painful!
When calluses begin showing signs of infection, it is time to forego the at-home remedies and seek medical attention.
Signs of infection include the following.
- Localized redness that spreads beyond the border of the callus
- A feeling of heat in the affected area
- Increasing pain that is not relieved with traditional at-home treatments
- Swelling in the callused area
- Pus or drainage coming from the calluses
Once calluses begin to develop and become painful, it is important to stop working out until healing takes place, so the condition does not worsen.
Recommended Hand Callus Creams
Thankfully, some hand callus creams can bring great relief, helping to heal your calluses much faster. The following offers information on the top three hand callus creams we recommend.
1. RipFix by Winnies
This tin of RipFix offers amazing relief for calluses and cracked hands. It is a unique cream because it offers both prevention and treatment for calluses. This brand comes highly recommended by gymnasts and personal trainers. It can even be used to treat ripped calluses, so they heal much faster and are not so painful.
This cream contains a proprietary blend of natural ingredients such as beeswax, camphor, tea tree oil, coconut oil, and petroleum jelly. Apply this cream throughout the day and especially at bedtime.
2. WOD Welder Hand Cream for Athletes
This cream helps to heal rips and tears caused by broken calluses. It helps to soothe the pain of calluses that occur after workouts. This cream is guaranteed to get you back on the bar as soon as possible.
WOD Welder cream uses all-natural ingredients. Unlike water-based creams, this cream helps to moisturize deeply, allowing for complete healing in a short time.
This brand contains ingredients like peppermint oil, lanolin, allantoin, and eucalyptus oil. WOD Welder cream is not overly greasy and dries quickly.
3. SandBar Jumbo Salve
This healing salve is a mess-free way to treat and soothe your painful calluses and help them break down much faster. The company recommends sanding down your calluses and then using their salve to keep them at a manageable size so they do not grow too large or rip.
This healing salve contains ingredients such as Shea Butter, calendula oil, yellow beeswax, moringa seed oil, tea tree oil, and arrowroot powder. Apply liberally to your calluses and see them begin to go down in size and roughness quickly.
Conclusion – Dealing With Calluses on Hands from Pull-Ups
Calluses do not always have to be a part of the life of gymnasts, but they are common.
If you like to work out on the pull-up bar, it is important to protect your sensitive palms from the development of painful calluses.
Yes, some callus formation can be helpful, but take precautions to make sure they do not grow too large or rip.
With the tips above and helpful creams, you can treat your hands with the care they need for full relief, so you can get back on the bar quickly.