We all come to CrossFit with virgin hands. They are nice and smooth. Pure as the driven snow. Then CrossFit puts us through endless bar work – pull ups, toes to bar, knees to elbows… and over the course of a few weeks our once innocent hands look like we have attempted to climb over the fences at a maximum security prison. Eventually our callused, beat up hands cause us to experience our first tear. It sucks, but in a way it’s a badge of honor. It’s like a rite of passage in the CF fraternity. Aw, my first rip. I remember it well. That’s what she said.
After the “I’m a bad ass” feeling wears off you figure out that a tear sucks. First off it hurts, and second, it limits what you can. What to do when you tear. Do not tear off the flapping skin. you end up pulling away more healthy skin. Get scissors and cut it off. Then use some type of antibacterial spray or iodine to disinfect it. It should take about a week or so to heal up. If the healing skin tends to crack, make sure to keep it moist. It will heal faster. Use antibacterial cream and a band-aid or tape over it. Limit, scale, or avoid bar work. Tape can help protect the rip when you work out, but be smart, you do not want to make it worse.
Taking care of your hands is a must. Tears of rips happen because we have formed raised calluses on our hands and their rough edges catch on the bar. We continue to move, the rough edge of the callus does not, and something has to give. Namely the skin on your palm or fingers. If you do some preventative maintenance on your hands, you will avoid most tears (and tears, like crying tears, when you try to shampoo your hair in the shower after you rip your hands open). If you smooth down your calluses there will be no rough edges to catch on the bar. Now calluses on your hand are there for a reason. They build up to protect your skin, but once they raise up, that's when they cause tears. Smooth down your calluses, the tough skin remains and still protects your hand, but is no longer rough and thus can no longer snag on the bar.