Before I started doing CrossFit-style workouts and heavier Olympic lifting, I had no idea just how beat up your hands could be. Or the pain they could cause. Like when you tear a callus that took you months to build up and then go to take a shower. Oh. My. God. The pain. I’ve literally mastered doing the one-handed shower and shampoo. Or the not showering at all. (I’m super good at that.)
So, one day, after a particularly tough workout (The Murphy, for any CrossFitters out there—and I did all 100 pull-ups for reals!), I had a ridiculous amount of tears on my hands. Like eight of them. I Tweeted out a photo, ’cause I’m a proud masochist like that, and got a little Tweet-Tweet back from RIPT Skin Systems, which has a three-phase skin-reinforcement kit to pretty much prevent tearing and help give you some relief when it happens. Did I want to try it? Um, yes. Because, again, in case this wasn’t clear before: ripping a callus (or eight) off hurts like a mother trucker. Even if it is self imposed.
The RIPT Kit includes a Grind Stone, a small tube (the size of a lip balm) of Daily Dose and—my favorite—Quick Fix (also the size of a lip balm). Seeing that I had plenty of torn calluses to test (see photo at right), I tried the Quick Fix first. And it was a godsend. I’m not sure I can say for certain that it sped up my healing, but it certainly gave me some much-needed relief. I smeared the balm, which has natural anti-bacterial and anti-viral ingredients like tea tree and rosemary oil, on my wounds and then immediately sighed with relief. Yes, they still hurt when I touched anything or got water on them, but they protected them from dirt and open air. No infections for me, please!
Then, once I was healed (about a week and a half later), I got to testing the Grind Stone and Daily Dose. Made from a synthetic pumice known as foam glass, you use it in the shower to grind down your calluses so that they’re thin and tough yet flexible. Then you regularly slather on the Daily Dose to keep them hydrated and pliable. Calluses rip when they get thick and hard, so both the grinding (hehe, I said thick, hard and grinding) and the Daily Dose help to prevent it. Totally natural, it’s supposed to work well on everything from cuts to burns to skinned knees and even double as a lip balm.
And my results? After a few months of using all three of the products, I’ll say that I pretty much can’t live without the Quick Fix. I’m not always great about remembering to use the Grinding Stone and Daily Dose regularly, but when I do, the tears do seem to be less frequent and less severe. And I certainly would rather do this than wear gloves or athletic tape (the grip is just never as good and I slip!). If you suffer from torn calluses, it’s definitely worth trying for $22 to see if it’s a fit for you, too.
Do you ever get calluses from lifting weights or other activities? How do you cope with tears? Would you try a kit like this to get relief? —Jenn