/ Skin pain when climbing indoors

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Gabe Oliver - on 13 Jul 2017

I'm currently experiencing really bad, crippling skin pain when I climb indoors. I've found it really frustrating lately that I've tried to go climbing and had to stop not cause I'm tired or have tried particularly hard but because I can't stand the pain! I do mostly climb outdoors so my hands are really not used to pulling on plastic and I know the hot weather doesn't help cause your hands sweat more. Had recommendations of using 100% chalk instead of anything with drying agent (e.g. Metolius)

Anyone had similar experiences and have any tips? (Pun fully intended!)
Post edited at 08:48
UrbanSteve - on 13 Jul 2017
In reply to Gabe Oliver:

Try sanding your skin down using P180 paper. This should remove the hard skin which causes the pain.
Then after climbing use something like Rescue Cream from Bach, available from Boots.
It encourages skin growth but doesn't make it calloused.
Gabe Oliver - on 13 Jul 2017
In reply to UrbanSteve:

Thanks Steve. Do you reckon it's the callouses than cause the pain then? Cause it's my finger tips that are probably the most painful and they feel the softest of my whole hand. Will definitely give the Rescue Cream a go though, thanks
markwynneuk - on 13 Jul 2017
In reply to Gabe Oliver:

How often are you climbing and are are you giving your skin long enough to heal? Most people end up with sore tips that are sensitive to touching the holds after a very long session as well.
3leggeddog on 13 Jul 2017
In reply to Gabe Oliver:

Wash your hands after climbing and use handcrafted, it makes no difference if you use granny's nivea or some posh marketed cool climby brand. Avoid the homoerotic remedy recommended above, waste of money.

Antihydral cream can be used to control sweating and toughen your skin but tread carefully, it is in effect embalming fluid in a tube.
UrbanSteve - on 13 Jul 2017
In reply to Gabe Oliver:

It could be the callouses that cause the pain. I find that if your skin is too hard then it causes pain. If it's supple then it tends to be ok.
Rescue cream is organic and goes off if not used inside of about 3 months. Also, not aimed at the climbing market at all. I also use it for tattoo healing and it reduces that healing time to about 6 days with no scabbing.
I also sand my skin down before I climb just to take the top off and expose the softer stuff underneath, but don't over do it on the tips. Do get rid of callouses though. Skin is essentially like tyres of a car. Softish and smooth equals more friction.

This is what I do and it works for my skin and I climb 3/4 sessions a week, mixing in and outdoors. Good luck.
Gabe Oliver - on 13 Jul 2017
In reply to markwynneuk:

Typically actually find that it's worse when I've not been indoors as much. At be moment I climb indoors maybe once a week and outdoors 2 or 3 times. I guess when I'm climbing indoors more in winter 3 or 4 times, then they get more used to it but I'm not sure.
Gabe Oliver - on 13 Jul 2017
In reply to UrbanSteve:

Thanks mate I'll give all that a try. Much appreciated!

stp - on 21 Jul 2017
In reply to Gabe Oliver:

I tried the Friction Labs chalk at a crag on a hot day with two friends and none of us really noticed any difference so I'd hesitate on that.

Climbing walls in summer can be really hot at times so I assume that's probably the reason compared to winter sessions. Best things are try to keep cool - is there a fan you can climb near for instance, or open windows, shaded areas etc.. Try to vary the hold type and size so you're not wearing the same bit of your hands over and over again. Try climbing very statically which is also good for building strength. Dynoing for stuff certainly wears through skin much quicker.

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