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I love having hardened calluses- except when they rip! A while back, I had a callus on each hand rip open whilst doing Parkour. I was told to "grind down" my calluses every once in a while. By this, I take it I am supposed to decrease the size of my calluses, but to keep them hardened so that I can work out at greater intensity. How do I go about doing this?

share|improve this question – Ephraim May 2 '13 at 16:19
up vote 6 down vote accepted

Try a pumice stone.

enter image description here

Or, if they're really tough you can use a Dremel with a sandpaper attachment (seriously).

enter image description here Attribution: eHow

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If I pick at my calluses and manually tear them off, will they grow back harder/smaller? I heard this somewhere a long time ago. – RandomDuck.NET Aug 1 '12 at 0:46
Possibly, but then you wont have any protection until they grow back. Regularly maintaining the size of your calluses will keep them tough enough to protect you, yet small enough to prevent rips and flappers. – jm_hall Aug 1 '12 at 1:14
The pumice stone is awesome! – VPeric Aug 1 '12 at 18:10
+1 for the Dremel tool! – Pancho Villa Aug 2 '12 at 5:44

I have a similar problem. I do two things -

  1. callus rasp I use a "callus rasp" once a week or so to keep the calluses from growing too large. Look for a one that has some convex curvature, so you grind a specific, small area of your finger / palm.
  2. Cuticle Scissors If I've ever let them get way too large, trimming the calluses down with a pair of cuticle scissors seems to be the best way to get rid of large amounts of skin

My experience from rock climbing is that there really isn't an issue with me rasping / cutting my calluses down too small. As long as I only cut / rasp away dead skin, and I stop as soon as I can begin to feel what I'm doing, I'm keeping my calluses about the right size. In climbing, at least, you don't really need a thick callus to protect your hands, the lower layers of skin seem to toughen up enough. Any visible / protruding callus will only get caught and rip off. That's my experience, at least.

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There's a tool calld a Ped Egg that works well for calluses on both hands and feet.

enter image description here

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For a low tech solution, use a curb. :) Pavement is rough enough to rub them away, and it's easy enough, every time you're sitting somewhere, waiting for a bus or for your ride, to gently rub away at it bit by bit.

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  1. Soak you hands in hot water for a few minutes.

  2. gently shave the callus off with a shaver.

  3. Apply cornhuskers.

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