Calluses form in response to repeated friction, pressure, or other forms of irritation. Athletes often develop calluses due to the repetitive physical stress their activities place on certain areas of the body, more specifically, the hands. For instance, CrossFitters may develop calluses on their hands from kipping pull-ups and rope climbs, and weightlifters from High repetition movements with barbells.
Calluses are a type of protection: the skin toughens up to protect the underlying tissues from damage. However, despite their protective role, calluses need to be taken care of for several reasons:
- Comfort: Large or poorly managed calluses can be uncomfortable or even painful. This can detract from an athlete's performance and overall quality of life.
- Skin Health: If left untreated, calluses can sometimes split or crack, leading to wounds prone to infection. This is especially true in athletes, whose activities often expose them to various bacteria and fungi (think locker rooms, shared equipment, etc.)
- Performance: In some sports, excessive callusing can interfere with performance. For example, a gymnast needs a good grip on the bars, and too much callus can cause slipping.
It's essential for athletes to regularly care for their calluses, usually by gently filing them down after a bath or shower when the skin is softer and by using Heavy Handed hand cream to keep the skin healthy and hydrated.
Remember, it's always important to address the root cause of the callus, such as ill-fitting equipment or improper technique. Modifying these factors can help prevent the formation of calluses in the first place.
Cheers, HH Team