Gymnastics Rips on the Hands
Sept 5, 2003
by Rick McCharles <e-mail>
Sooner or later every gymnast tears skin from their hands. This can be painful but is rarely dangerous. Infection from gymnastics rips is rare. Firstly, we need do everything we can to prevent rips:
Smart coaches & gymnasts have fewer rips.When calluses on the hands get too big there is a chance that the ridge of the callus will catch on the bar causing a rip. Many gymnast shave down their calluses with a Pyrex Corn and Callus Shaver", nail file or pumice stone. It is risky to use a razor blade I dont recommend it.
- cool the hands between turns
- do non-swinging drills between turns of swing
- wear leather hand grips
When a rip occurs, there are dozens of possible treatments.
Immediately wash the rip with soap and warm water. (Alcohol-based disinfectants are no longer recommended by the medical community.)
The wound can then be bandaged with antibiotic ointment (e.g. Neosporin).
Most importantly, I recommend bagging a rip overnight put the hand in a plastic bag while sleeping. For most gymnasts, most rips are healed in one night this way. Apply any moisturizer to the hand before bagging it. (Be careful not to use a tight elastic band to fix the bag on as it may cut off circulation.)
Sometimes healing rips can crack and cracked rips are much worse than the original rip itself. At this point bagging is essential.
What is the best moisturizing cream? I recommend:
Want more information? The best article on the internet on treatment of gymnastics rips is by Larry Nassar.
- udder balm (also called bag balm) used on cattle
- anything with vitamin E