How To Manage A Torn Callus

Yes! You’ve just finished your last set of deadlifts, and better still, you beat your previous best. But wait a second, everything is not as dreamy as it seems…

You glance down to your left ring finger and nearly lose consciousness. Yup, you’ve torn a callus – blood is oozing down your finger and onto the floor. Your deadlifting days are over…

Before you hang up your soft suit for good, there is hope for you still, read on. Here’s what to do:

Immediately after –

  • Give the area a quick clean under running water to clear out any dirt and blood.
  • Powder some chalk over the broken callus to aid with clotting.
  • Clean up areas of blood spillage around the gym.
  • Finish your workout. Don’t be disheartened if you can do as much as you usually would, this is normal.

When You Get Home –

  • Remove the loose skin flap using scissors. Try to ensure you cut as close as you can to the edge to ensure you don’t leave an area which is likely to catch on things throughout the day.
  • Clean the area with soap to remove dried blood and bacteria. Note – this will sting!
  • Soak the affected area in salt water for 10 minutes. Note – this will also sting.
  • Allow the area to dry out.

Later That Day –

  • Cover the area with a bandaid or taping. Ensure a non-adhesive strip goes over the area of broken skin to allow optimal healing.
  • Be wary of circulation if the torn callus is on your finger. There is no need to tape around the entire circumference of the finger, leave a section open.

Now What?

Continue to clean, soak and tape for the next 3 days, or until it begins to seal. After this, taping is only necessary when lifting or carrying out laborious tasks with your hands. Otherwise, let that baby breathe!

Things To Keep In Mind

Certain lifts, mainly deadlifts, will be impaired in most cases. No matter how much taping, the broken down skin will have an impact on your ability to pull. In order to prevent re-tearing of the area, you should:

  • Reduce overall deadlift volume.
  • Use straps.
  • Re-tape after every work set if necessary as the tape tends to shift.

Preventing Disaster

If you’re one of the lucky few who hasn’t suffered a callus blow out, here are some tips to reduce the likelihood of it occurring.

  • Get your deadlift grip right. Make sure the barbell is sitting as shown in the top two images, right at the base of the fingers as opposed to the ones below, closer to the centre of the palm.
  • Shave down your calluses regularly using a nail file, pumice or similar. Aim to smooth down thickened areas so it is not overly raised or protruding. Once every 2 weeks is a good guideline.

400px-Proper_GripGrab My Strong Hand Child

By following this plan you’ll be able to continue lifting and decrease the chances of it occurring again. Do you have any tips or suggestions? Leave them in the comments section below.

By Andrew Cammarano

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