Since the summer of my freshman year in high school, I have had less than flattering hands. This time corresponded to when I started to lift weights. For many, pumping iron doesn’t impact the inside skin of their hands too much. But for me, large callouses develop.
It was wishful thinking to believe that after 16 years my skin might have toughened up a bit and my callouses disappeared. Unfortunately not. The fact that the weight program I do these is by no means intense hasn’t resulted in my callouses going down either. They are still there, plain as day.
On Monday, Wednesday, and Fridays when my exercise regimen calls for an abundance of curls and other work with barbells, the callouses on my hands really flare up. You can see skin peeling and the discoloration is even more evident. They calm down on Tuesdays and Thursdays plus over the weekend but they are always there.
To be honest, my callouses don’t bother me that much. I have had them for more than half my life and I really don’t think twice about them. However, I do realize that to others they look unsightly and provoke questions.
What are those on your hands? Do they hurt? How did that happen? Are you contagious?
Those are all questions I have received, some of them over and over and over again. For young children, callouses are especially alarming. Most have never seen them before so they usually react with curiosity. My 3-year-old nephew and I play a game where he will dodge and run from my touch to avoid my calloused hands (all in good fun). When it comes to strangers, if I shake someone’s hand or hold it (like at church) they always seem to contemplate a bit on the rough skin that was piercing the inside of their palm.
Like I said, I don’t have a problem with my less than beautiful hands. However, I figured that it wouldn’t hurt if I took measures to heal my callouses. Do any of my fellow gym freaks out there have tips for taking care of callouses? I will listen to anything except for wearing gloves. I would love to see some of gigantic callouses that the Olympic weight lifters must develop! Don’t Blink.