Do you have calluses that tear?
Calluses are formed when the skin thickens in response to repeated friction and pressure. Tears often occur when there is an excess buildup of skin that becomes uneven, so keeping them smooth will help prevent tearing. I use a callus remover and pumice stone like in the picture above to shave my calluses and keep them smooth. I usually shave them once a week and use the stone every few days in the shower. This prevents my hands from tearing during pull-ups, kettlebell swings, toes-to-bar and barbell elements that put repeated pressure on the areas where calluses have formed.
But even with diligent care and maintenance tears do sometimes occur. So what should you do when you tear your hands?
First, please wipe down the pull-up bar with bleach. Wash the wound with soap and water. Then carefully remove the excess flap of skin so not to make the tear larger. In jest, I suggest that clients use crushed red peppers and lemon juice to toughen their soft hands, but applying a good amount of Neosporin or vitamin E to the area is definitely the way to go. Finally, cover the cut with tape or a bandage to prevent the Neosporin or vitamin E from rubbing away. I do this before bed to give my torn calluses time to heal while I’m inactive. During the day I apply the liquid form of NuSkin to my tears.
I also recommend moisturizing your hands with lotion or lanolin ointment before tears occur.