Ladies Who Lift Have Calluses
Written By: Jenn Potter
Register Holistic Nutritionist
Ladies, we are pretty badass! We lift, and yes many of us have calluses. Though these patches of thick, hard and dry skin may not be the most attractive they represent hard work and strength. They represent those early mornings you didn’t feel like going to the gym but you showed up anyway. They represent that extra set of bicep curls you pushed yourself through even though you were completely exhausted. So first be proud of these calluses, you earned them! Calluses actually develop to protect your delicate skin. It is a tough area of skin that develops overtime to prevent immediate blistering of the skin. It happens in response to friction, rubbing, pressure and pinching. Most of us get these patches just below the fingers on the palm of the hand after lifting weights on a regular basis. The skin is essentially reinforcing itself with a few protective layers to handle the use and abuse we put it through.
I get it, calluses definitely make your hands feel rough, uncomfortable and even painful if the callus breaks (OUCH!) even though we know our skin is just trying to protect itself. But, we won’t stop lifting, so what do we do?
Here are my top 6 natural remedies to help heal calluses:
1. Don’t pick
The more you pick the worse they will get. It can be very tempting to pick away at calluses. Once you pick, more skin will form to further protect itself. You are also more prone to infection by opening the skin or possibly a wound. You are only making the situation worse. So with all of your might, fight the urge, do not pick your calluses!
2. It’s all about soaking
Instead of picking, soak your hands to promote softness. In a small basin of warm water, add 3 tbsp of epsom salts. Soak hands in basin for about 15-30 minutes until hands feel soft. Use a pumice stone to rub away any rough dry patches. Performing this ritual regularly will help prevent calluses from forming by keep the skin soft.
Take it a step further by soaking a cotton ball with raw unpasteurized apple cider vinegar and rub on affected areas. Apple cider vinegar will keep the area soft, prevent infection and balance the pH of the skin. I like to use this brand of apple cider vinegar.
3. Add some extra healing power
Remember your skin is your largest organ. Read the ingredients in your lotions and moisturizers to see what may be hidden in your personal care. Check this resource to see how safe your products are for your skin. Reduce your toxic load by using cleaner and safer products. My favourite first aid moisturizer to add some extra healing power for my calluses is Nature’s Aid Skin Gel.
The aloe vera and vitamin E will help soothe and speed up the healing process of your skin while the tea tree will help disinfect keeping the area clean. The rosemary and witch hazel act as an anti-inflammatory to help reduce swelling and redness.
4. It’s all about fat
Your skin cells are composed of healthy fats. Nourish each cell by adding more fat into your diet. Add lots of healthy fats such as; coconut oil, avocado oil, extra virgin olive oil and fish oil to your diet. It will help maintain structure of your skin cells and aid in the healing process.
5. Collagen rich foods are your friend
Add collagen to your diet by eating grass-fed meats, eggs, and drinking plenty of bone broth. Collagen will help maintain elasticity integrity and structure of the skin to help treat and further prevent calluses.
6. Drink all the water
This is a no brainer. Your skin has to stay hydrated in order to ensure it’s amazing healing capabilities. Drinking water will also help reduce dryness and will aid in keeping the immune system strong to avoid infection.