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Epidermally Challenged?

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(@martha)
Eminent Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 35
Topic starter  

Hey :D

I was wondering if you guys know of anybody who is intrinsically unable to form callouses. :? Because I'm starting to think that this may be my case. :(

I've been doing martial arts for a few years, and I've never been able to form the helpful foot-callouses everyone else develops within a month or two. (Which means that every day I still leave bits of my soles on the Dojo floor.)

I thought that was just a foot thing...

But now I'm thinking that I might have the same problem with my fingers - instead of callousing, every three or four days the skin on the tips of my fingers just suddenly peels off, exposing soft skin.

Could I be physically unable to callous-up? Callous impaired? Epidermally challenged?

Quiquid latine dictum sit altum viditur.

(Whatever is said in Latin sounds profound.)


   
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(@pappajohn)
Honorable Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 533
 

This may be just an urban legend, but it is said that Clapton had difficulties maintaining callouses as well. In fact, I think I remember reading some comments here recently.

Sorry, nothing helpful to offer.

-- John

"Hip woman walking on a moving floor, tripping on the escalator.
There's a man in the line and she's blowin' his mind, thinking that he's already made her."

'Coming into Los Angeles' - Arlo Guthrie


   
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(@undercat)
Prominent Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 959
 

Even playing guitar a lot, I don't really build up callouses. Not sure if I don't play hard enough or what. I remember when I started my fingers hurt, and now they don't, but I don't seem to have any hard spots on my finger tips.

I know that I'm fully capable of building callouses too, because when I play drums I get callouses galore, and when I play bass I get callouses on my "picking" hand (fingering hand?) from popping.

So that's my take, maybe it's just that guitar isn't enough to callous you.

Also(!) I think I read on here a few weeks ago that if you wash your hands right before you play, it can hinder callous build up....can't remember the exact thread or context, but it's something to consider.

Do something you love and you'll never work a day in your life...


   
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(@pappajohn)
Honorable Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 533
 

Yeah, I don't like to have my hands in water before I play, it makes my callouses softer.

I have no idea if this will help with your problem, but I do remember getting a lot of rough spots which would peel leaving soft, tender skin. Now, I often run an emery board or light sandpaper over my fingertips eliminating the rough spots. I haven't had any peeling since.

-- John

"Hip woman walking on a moving floor, tripping on the escalator.
There's a man in the line and she's blowin' his mind, thinking that he's already made her."

'Coming into Los Angeles' - Arlo Guthrie


   
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 Narn
(@narn)
Estimable Member
Joined: 20 years ago
Posts: 192
 

Your not alone. I've never developed truly hard callouses either and what I do get will peel off after a few days if I don't play. On the up side though is the fact that playing dosen't hurt anymore. Strangely if I work with my hands for a couple of days (ie. carpentry) my palms callous like all get out.

I gave up woorying about it (you could say I don't fret over it anymore :roll: .

"You want WHAT on the *&%#ing ceiling?" - Michelangelo, 1566


   
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(@tim_madsen)
Prominent Member
Joined: 20 years ago
Posts: 724
 

If you play every day for a half hour or more and don't develop callouses, then you may have a problem. One word of caution never use hand lotion it will kill callouses faster than anything.

Tim Madsen
Nobody cares how much you know,
until they know how much you care.

"What you keep to yourself you lose, what you give away you keep forever." -Axel Munthe


   
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 cnev
(@cnev)
Famed Member
Joined: 20 years ago
Posts: 4459
 

I guess I'm like Narn, I never really developed really hard callouses although the skin is a little harder and I play at least an hour a day.

But my fingers don't hurt ever although they will get a liitle frayed if I play for more than 4 hours or so.

"It's all about stickin it to the man!"
It's a long way to the top if you want to rock n roll!


   
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(@gnease)
Illustrious Member
Joined: 20 years ago
Posts: 5038
 

My finger callouses continually peeled for years. Eventually, I realized the peeling had stopped, and though my fingertips didn't seem too hardened, the skin was definitely more resilient and less sensitive. Seems callouses vary person to person just like everything else.

-=tension & release=-


   
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 R3d
(@r3d)
Trusted Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 45
 

When I first started playing again, I got some really thick calluses. um... But I think it was cause I played too much and actually had blisters. I still get them, just not as thick.


   
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(@noteboat)
Illustrious Member
Joined: 20 years ago
Posts: 4921
 

My finger callouses continually peeled for years. Eventually, I realized the peeling had stopped, and though my fingertips didn't seem too hardened, the skin was definitely more resilient and less sensitive. Seems callouses vary person to person just like everything else.

I've had the identical experience. When I started playing, my callouses developed very hard, and looked almost glassy/transparent... then every once in a while one would sort of shear off, and I'd be left with a sore finger for a while. That probably happened for ten years.

I didn't change anything in my playing, but that doesn't happen anymore. My callouses are still hard enough to make a 'clink' against a coffee cup or whatever, but they're no longer glassy smooth. I'll still have an bit peel off at times, but what comes loose now is paper thin, not a shearing of the whole thing, so it doesn't slow me down at all - and a few hours of playing kind of sand down the rough edge.

Guitar teacher offering lessons in Plainfield IL


   
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(@ericthered)
New Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 4
 

I had similar problems when I was just getting started. My solution was to change to from 6 string acoustics to 12 string guitars. Not only did they sound better, but my callouses wound twice as wide as the ones my friends had with their 6 strings. An added benefit is what happens once you go back to 6 strings. You suddenly have a huge amount of room between your strings to find your next note.


   
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(@nicktorres)
Illustrious Member
Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 5381
 

I halfway agree with the comment on hand lotion, during the initial formation of calluses, but once you have them, find a salve like Burts. Only use it after you have finished playing.


   
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(@wes-inman)
Illustrious Member
Joined: 20 years ago
Posts: 5582
 

First of all, I had to look the spelling up. Callous is singular, but plural it is spelled Calluses. I guess you learn something new every day.

My fingers peel like that sometimes. But whether you see calluses or not, your fingers toughen up good. The tips of all my fretting fingers are flat and have been that way for many years. Now if I was to play an acoustic with higher action and heavier gauge strings, then I would get those tough calluses. But they would peel regular just like your fingers.

Quit worrying about it. If you can play, you're ok. (Poet didn't know it) 8)

And lastly, you get my vote for strangest thread title in quite a while!

If you know something better than Rock and Roll, I'd like to hear it - Jerry Lee Lewis


   
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