When you learn more about the art of rappelling and experience this adventurous activity regularly, you will develop calluses on your hands. Whether you like hand calluses or not, it is a well-known fact that irrespective of the type of gloves you use, it is inevitable that calluses will form once on your hands.
It may not be the trendiest thing in the world, but calluses come just like that. You have to care for your hands and keep them in good condition by following a healthy routine.
The problem with hand calluses is that they may rip off and flap while you are toiling on the cliffs. It may inflict pain and distract you while you are rappelling. You have to prevent them at any cost.
The sad part about hand calluses is that they may perhaps happen at any time if they have not formed on your hands so far. Still, if you learn the following easy but useful techniques, it will reduce the chances of any unnecessary discomfort.
But What Is a Callus After All?
It refers to a natural skin reaction to frequent frictional and damaging forces. Humans are exceptionally adaptive. That is why our skin adapts to prevent itself from repetitive damage by becoming harder.
Calluses form during rappelling or similar activities, which plays a crucial part in controlling your pain by making your hands stronger. Even if these calluses may appear a little ugly, it is imperative to take care of them. Let me show you how I usually try to control my calluses.
Use a Climbing Salve or Lotion
It is essential to sufficiently hydrate your skin if you frequently practice rappelling or climbing activities. If you have hydrated or hardened hand skin, it is less likely to crack. You may try different climbing lotions or salves to see what works for you. I prefer using the Joshua Tree Organic Healing Salve.
It does not soften my calluses too much and keeps my skin always ready for rappelling. You may use the salve every night before going to bed. You can wrap your hands with Mueller athletic tape to avoid any mess while sleeping.
Read further our guide on how to tape fingers for climbing blisters.
Avoid Hot Water
Keeping hot water at bay is perhaps the most challenging solution to avoid painful calluses. It may be hard and unpleasant to practice, but please remember that hot water can soften your skin. Your calluses stand for your strength and your hard work.
It is not worth it to lose them by spending extra time in the shower. I recommend that you either take cold showers or spend less time in the hot showers. Moreover, you can use gloves while doing the dishes if you cannot avoid using hot water.
Wash Your Hands After Rappelling
It is essential to clean your grimy hands with soap and cold water after rappelling. This straightforward tip will eliminate any traces of dirt, sweat, grease, and unwanted chalk particles.
If you do not wash your hands after a rappel, it may start damaging the skin. Remember to clean both your hands thoroughly after each rappelling session to allow your skin to recover from the above damaging elements.
File the Calluses
Ensure to remove extra skin by filing your calluses until they match the regular skin around those calluses. However, never rub your calluses too much. Overdoing it may entirely remove your calluses, and I’m sure you will never want that to happen.
Switch up Your Chalk
A few climbers use climbing chalks containing some drying agents because they have sweaty hands. However, if your hands are usually not sweaty, drying agents may damage the skin and cause it to chap.
You may use climbing chalk that works best for you according to your skin type. If you ask for my opinion, I suggest using FrictionLabs loose climbing chalk because it works perfectly in my case.
Let us hope that my views have helped you in taking better care of your hands. As you know, hand calluses are natural and play an important role during your rappel sessions.
They form to improve the strength of your skin and make your hands less prone to damages. Nevertheless, you need to take good care of your hand calluses and your rock climbing hands care.
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