Causes and Treatment of Hand Calluses

Calluses are thickenings in the skin which occurs purposefully in reaction to increased resistance, friction or else persistent irritations. The appearance will depend on the causative elements and most often these are not painful but, will have the potential to become ulcerated or else infected.

It should be remembered that, in the initial phase of development, the calluses will be preceded by blisters in instances where the frictional damage to the skin is too fast and frequent for the cells to be re-generated. But, eventually with time, the skin will be able to overcome these differences through adaption and will form a thickened area so as to prevent further damage to the area and thus could be considered as a protective mechanism.

Most often, these calluses will be formed in the foot as it will be the area which is most liable for frictional forces through walking and running. But, the hands will also get involved if such forces are applied continuously to a designated place in the hand. Such, following categories of people are liable to develop calluses due to their nature of work.


These people will rub their fingers against the strings of the instrument repetitively as well as frequently and in most instances, they will develop calluses in their fingers. By developing these calluses, they will actually be at ease and would be in a better position to handle the instrument due to hardened skin over the playing fingers.

Bowlers and players of racket sports:

Such sportsmen will also develop calluses in their fingers in case of bowlers whereas individuals involved in racket sports will develop calluses in the upper portion of the palms. The development of calluses will depend on the grip used by a player as well as the playing style among many other deciding factors.


Holding the sticks, especially older ones, would make them develop calluses and as with guitarists this will positively influence their playing ability rather than making it difficult.

Apart from the above group, there are many others who could develop calluses in their hands based on the work that they were involved with. Therefore, cooks, sailors and other such workers will also develop this condition along with cyclists and rowers.

In certain instances, the calluses can develop without a frictional force or rubbing movements. These instances can be genetic or else could be due to chemical irritants.

When considering the treatment options, many will want to leave it alone in order to gain its potential usefulness. But, for others, it can be disfiguring or else can be susceptible for ulceration and infections. Thus, several treatment options are available for those calluses which will not disappear spontaneously.

One of the options in the treatment process would be to apply keratolytics in order to dissolve the keratin in the thickened skin and thus relieve the callus. It will also be possible for a podiatrist to scrape and remove the callus surgically or else you yourself can administer a keratolytic followed by sanding off using a pumice stone. Apart from these, it will be possible to make use of cryotherapy in which extreme colds are being used to destroy the overgrown tissues and thus the thickened tissues.