Calluses on Hands from Weightlifting? Here’s How to Treat Them

If you’re an avid weightlifter, you know that calluses on your hands are an inevitable part of the process. While they may seem like a badge of honor, they can also be painful and even interfere with your grip. Don’t worry! You can take some procedures to treat calluses and prevent them from worsening.

First, it’s essential to understand what causes calluses. When you lift weights, your skin is subjected to friction and pressure, which can cause the layers of skin to thicken and harden. Over time, these thickened areas can become painful and even crack.

It’s essential to take care of your hands and treat calluses as soon as they appear.

Understanding Calluses

Calluses are areas of thickened, hardened skin that forms due to repeated friction, pressure, or irritation. When you lift weights, constantly rubbing the barbell or dumbbell against your palms can cause calluses to form.

These calluses may appear as small bumps or rough patches on the skin and can range in size and thickness.

Why do Calluses form?

Calluses form as a natural response to protect the skin from damage. When the skin is subjected to repeated friction or pressure, it thickens and hardens to form a protective layer.

This layer seperates the skin and the source of friction or pressure, preventing further damage. In weightlifting, calluses form due to the constant rubbing and pressure of the weights against the palms.

It’s important to note that calluses are not inherently bad or harmful. They can be beneficial in protecting the skin. However, if left untreated, calluses can become too thick and may even cause pain or discomfort.

Preventing Calluses

Even though it’s not necessarily a disease or anything too harmful, it’s always better to prevent getting one rather than having and treating one. Here’s how you prevent them from appearing.

Proper Grip Technique

To prevent calluses when weight lifting is to use the proper grip technique. This means gripping the bar or weight correctly, with your fingers wrapped firmly around the bar but not so tightly that your skin is pinched.

You should also avoid over-gripping or using a death grip, which can cause excessive friction and pressure on your hands.

Using Gloves or Grips

Another way to prevent calluses is to use gloves or grips. Gloves can provide a protective layer between your hands and the bar, while grips can help distribute the weight evenly across your hands.

When choosing gloves or grips, ensure they fit correctly and are made from a breathable material to prevent excessive sweating, which can also contribute to callus formation.

Moisturizing Hands Regularly

Moisturizing your hands regularly is also vital in preventing calluses. Dry, cracked skin is more prone to callus formation, so moisturizing your hands can help prevent this.

Look for a moisturizer with natural ingredients. Some examples are shea butter, coconut oil, or aloe vera, and apply it to your hands after each workout.

You can work with a pumice stone or callus remover to gently remove any dead skin, but gently use the remover and not overdo it, causing further damage.


Treating Calluses

You’ve gone and done it; you got calluses on your hands. Worry not; here’s how you should treat one.

Soaking Hands in Warm Water

One effective way to treat calluses on your hands from weightlifting is to soak them in warm water. This will help soften the calluses, making them easier to remove. Fill a bowl with warm water. Proceed to submerge your hands for ten to fifteen minutes.

You can add Epsom salt or apple cider vinegar to the water to help further soften the calluses.

Using Pumice Stone

After soaking your hands, use a pumice stone to scrub away the calluses gently. Soak the stone and rub it over the calluses in a circular motion. Be careful not to scrub too hard. It can cause pain or bleeding. Rinse off the stone from your hands with warm water and dry them.

Applying Callus Softening Cream

Another option is to use a callus softening cream. Apply the cream on the calupsed areas and let it sit for a few minutes. This will help soften the calluses, making them easier to remove. After a little time, use a pumice stone or callus file to remove the calluses gently.

Trimming Excess Skin

If the calluses are particularly thick, you may have to remove some of the excess skin. Work with a scissors or nail clippers to trim away the excess skin carefully. Take care not to dig too deep or remove too much skin, which can cause pain and bleeding.

By obeying these simple steps, you can effectively treat calluses on your hands from weightlifting. Remember to take care of your hands by wearing gloves or using hand grips while lifting weights to prevent calluses from forming in the first place.

When to Seek Medical Attention

If you identify any of the following changes, you may have to medical attention:

  • Pain that persists even when you’re not lifting weights
  • Redness or swelling around the callus
  • Pus or discharge coming from the callus
  • A feeling of infection, such as fever or chills

If you have diabetes or underlying conditions that affects circulation or immune function, seeking medical attention is essential if you develop calluses on your hands from weightlifting.

Your doctor may recommend treatment options such as:

  • Antibiotics to treat infection
  • Steroid injections to reduce inflammation
  • Surgery to remove the callus if it’s causing significant pain or interfering with your ability to lift weights

Remember, calluses are a normal part of weightlifting, but if you experience any unusual symptoms or have concerns about your calluses, don’t hesitate to seek medical attention.


Calluses are an inevitable part of weightlifting, but they do not have to be a nuisance. By taking proper care of your hands and calluses, you can continue to lift without discomfort or pain.

By following the simple tips listed above, you can keep your hands healthy and callus-free, allowing you to focus on your lifting goals. Don’t let calluses hold you back – take care of your hands and keep pushing yourself to new heights in your weightlifting journey.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I prevent calluses on my hands from weightlifting?

To prevent calluses from weightlifting, make sure you are using the proper form and technique. Use gloves or lifting straps to reduce friction and pressure on your hands.

Additionally, consider using hand moisturizer to keep your skin soft and supple, which can reduce the likelihood of calluses forming.

Should I pop my calluses?

No, you should never pop your calluses. Popping them can lead to infection and further damage to the skin. Instead, gently remove the dead skin with a callus remover tool or pumice stone.

If your calluses are causing pain or discomfort, consider taking a break from weightlifting or modifying your grip to reduce pressure on the affected area.

Can I continue weightlifting with calluses on my hands?

Yes, you can continue weightlifting with calluses on your hands, but taking proper care of them is essential to prevent further damage.

Use a callus remover tool or pumice stone to keep them under control, and consider using gloves or lifting straps to reduce friction and pressure on your hands. If your calluses become painful or infected, take a break from weightlifting until they have healed.

How can I tell if my calluses are infected?

They may be infected if your calluses become red, swollen, or painful. Additionally, if you notice pus or other discharge from the affected area, it is vital to seek medical attention.

Infections can be severe and require antibiotics or other treatments to prevent further complications.

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