UKC

/ Chalk for dry hands?

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Steve Hayward - on 01 Jan 2018
My partner would love to climb more but she has a patch of dry skin/eczema on her thumb that climbing chalk plays merry hell with. We've tried my usual chalk (Metolius Super Chalk) and Dry 5 Liquid chalk but both leave her dry skin patch very sore. Any suggestions for gloves, barrier creams or alternatives that we could try? Thanks all. S
Martin Bennett - on 01 Jan 2018
In reply to Steve Hayward:

It might seem a bit revolutionary to say it but it is possible to climb without chalk. This being the case there is no problem for your partner. If the proximity of existing chalk is a problem you'll need to be a bit selective with crag choices to find suitable routes not already chalked.
bouldery bits - on 01 Jan 2018
In reply to Steve Hayward:

Tape the thumb?
Steve Hayward - on 01 Jan 2018
In reply to Martin Bennett:

For sure. Outside hasn't been a problem, I should have been more clear in that I was referring more to regular training sessions at the indoor wall. With the amounts of everyone else's chalk on the holds there, even if we don't use our own chalk, it's been a problem...
Lion Bakes on 01 Jan 2018
In reply to Steve Hayward:

Get some snug gloves and cut every finger off just leaving the thumb covered.
Steve Hayward - on 01 Jan 2018
In reply to bouldery bits:
That was my first thought, but the skin is so dry and thin I'm concerned it was take the top layer off when we remove it...
Greasy Prusiks on 01 Jan 2018
In reply to Steve Hayward:
Could you put up turned tape over the dry bit then tape over it as normal? That way the tape won't stick to it.
Post edited at 20:31
BrightEyes on 01 Jan 2018
In reply to Steve Hayward:
From my limited experience outdoors (depending on the rock and difficulty/style), chalk is not often required if climbing at lower temps (personally, anything at or under 15 degrees) or avoiding polished rock. Of course, if you're far more skilled climbers the higher grades might need it. Indoors, I suppose the typical answer is that maybe try avoiding chalk altogether. There's probably enough chalk on those holds anyway!

With regards to creams - am sure she already has experience using similar but in case not, how about 'AquaMax' cream? It is a medium-ish/thick-ish cream that stays on after washing the hands. Use it in the morning and then right after washing the hands after climbing. It comes in a massive tub so a small travel pot will be useful. The cream has personally helped in similar situations until it cleared up, but each issue to their own!

Edit: Apologies, I missed the above responses when I wrote the first paragraph.
Post edited at 20:38
Martin Bennett - on 01 Jan 2018
In reply to Greasy Prusiks:

> Could you put up turned tape over the dry bit then tape over it as normal? That way the tape won't stick to it.

Good suggestion. I've seen duck tape used thus in the past. Or a good quality i.e. very sticky band aid plaster with lint over the affected area, maybe.
Tomtom - on 01 Jan 2018
In reply to Steve Hayward:

Super chalk has drying agent in it which will mess with skin conditions. The booze in liquid chalk won't help either.
I use metolius block chalk, good chalk, nice texture, and it's not too harsh on my eczema riddles hands.
tjin - on 01 Jan 2018
As a person with very dry skin; i don't need chalk what so ever?

In winter i found two methode that heals and hydrates the skin properly:
- Apply vaseline so the skin is hydrated (not before climbing), tried all kinds of fancy stuff, but vaseline just works really well.
- Go to the tropics; solved dry hand issues after 3 days. Bit expensive though...
tom_in_edinburgh - on 01 Jan 2018
In reply to Tomtom:

> Super chalk has drying agent in it which will mess with skin conditions. The booze in liquid chalk won't help either.

The liquid chalk will be horrible on dry skin but you can be accurate about where you put it so if there's just a patch of sore skin you could avoid it but still have the rest of your hand chalked.

teh_mark on 02 Jan 2018
In reply to Steve Hayward:
As you've alluded to, the problem will be as much the amount of chalk already about than on finding a chalk for her that doesn't cause issues. I rarely use chalk (in fact, my chalk bag is 200 miles away as I type this), and indoors after doing a couple of problems there's enough on my hands from the holds to not need to even think about using my own. A big part of the solution will probably have to be finding a way to cover the dry skin - creative taping or similar.
Post edited at 01:19
johncook - on 02 Jan 2018
In reply to Steve Hayward:

Put a patch of lint free dressing over the affected area and then tape with good quality athletic tape. I don't have eczema but have used this system to cover a burn on my index finger pad and apart from feeling sore it prevented further damage until the wound was healed enough to dispense with the tape.
DubyaJamesDubya - on 02 Jan 2018
In reply to Steve Hayward:

Try a plaster/bandage type material over the area then secure using finger tape.
I stopped using chalk indoors some years ago as it was causing cracking of the skin.
patsaunders on 02 Jan 2018
In reply to Steve Hayward:

Have you tried Szent X-chalk? https://www.szent.co.uk/climbing-products/climbing-chalk

I know of people that have eczema and been unable to us other chalk have been able to use this, might be worth a try..
Street - on 06 Jan 2018
In reply to Steve Hayward:

Metolius Super Chalk ate my hands! I think it has an extra drying agent in it and it made me break out with contact eczema which I'd never had before. I just use plain old cheap chalk blocks with no additives and make sure I moisturise and I haven't had the problem since.
gerrardo - on 08 Jan 2018
In reply to Steve Hayward:

I have pretty bad eczema all over my hands, (a lot over my body to but wont't get into that!!) and I use BD White Gold Chalk Ball. Saying that when the eczema creeps up on my finger tips I try to give them a break.

But when I can't which is most of the time I put a Band Aid around the tip and then I wrap tape around them so it stays. I've done this for about the past year and the chalk doesn't seem to effect, I know from experience we're all unique snowflakes, but hopefully it'll work!

I've also found https://skinourishment.com/collections/climbon/products/climb-on-original-bar is nice to put n my hands after a session and it seems to calm them down too.

Hope this helps!

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