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Vinegar, To Toughen And Thicken Hands?


dennisb

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I recently read that if you pour or soak your hands in vinegar that it will thicken and toughen the skin.I myself find this to be interesting and if anyone has done this fill me in on the procedure.Thanks

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Where did you read that? Never heard about it myself. Why don't you try it for awhile and see what happens?

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I think you'll find that vinegar will soften your hands. I recall as a child immersing old dried bones and even eggs in a jar of vinegar for a few days. They'd turn to rubber! A la Google: http://frugalliving.about.com/cs/tips/a/blvinpers.htm.

I'd look instead at using salt baths followed by alchohol. Do a Google and I'm sure you'll find something.

Edited by gottabend
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Dennis-

I find just working my hands toughens them up a lot. So much I have rough callouses, and I am a surgery nurse, so that's not exactly a good thing. I tear right through a lot of gloves, and it's getting harder to fit in the largest size we stock. At the GGC, callouses weren't a good thing to have when pulling heavy weights on the v-bar; I saw Dave Thornton rip callouses right off his hand when pulling world class v-bar weights....soooo, I wouldn't go out of my way to torture my hands with anything except a lot of grip-work. That's just my .02 worth. For the record, I didn't lose any skin at the GGC- as a newbie to all this, I only pulled 185# on the v-bar. But I'm working it now like a madman, and have a goal of 230# for next year. I think the guys I work out with actually use Cornhuskers Lotion to keep the skin on their hands more pliable. Maybe if I'm real good, and train hard, I'll need to do that next year!! BTW, if you want a real easy way to toughen the skin on your hands, take about a 3/8" thick stack of regular "note paper" squares (the 3"-4" square kind) and work on crumpling it up in your hand into the smallest ball you can. Sounds easy, huh? Not so easy. I do this when sitting in the OR for hours on long cases, and after awhile it dries out your skin to a lobster-claw texture, and works your fingers and thumb to death. :yikes

John Scribner

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climber511

I've never understood the whole "callous" thing. I've done manual labor most of my life, and while callous's are fine, dried out, torn up skin is not. And all the lotions and potions applied to the outside won't change much of anything. You take care of your skin from the inside out. Add additional oils to your diet - fish, flax, olive, etc. and increase the amounts until your skin starts smoothing out and looking better. Plenty of water in your diet and good nutrition will give you healthy skin that will callous up but not dry out tear up all the time.

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Ok i found varied topics online to demystify this a little more. It seems some MLB players believe if they "urinate" on there hands it toughens them up. Same with martial artists.They soak there faces and hands in vinegar for many months with the belief that this actually toughens the skin and face to make it less prone to opening in a competition. However i stumbled across a M.D. site that stated vinegar is used to soften and cure some skin disorders. So thats why i posted the original post just to get a better perspective from you guys. I should have know better....lol Thanks guys. :trout

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And that bit of advice, (from Climber), is from someone who walked home from the GGC with a whole armful of goodies (a la the Diesel Award) , and a a fantastic grip and strength performance. Besides all that, he is one of the most knowledgable strength lifters I've ever run into. :bow If he says you don't need callouses, you can believe it. Geezers, rule, Chris!!

John Scribner

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I always used vinegar to wash my hands off when I was a mason tender, never heard of it toughening up the hands.

vinegar is acetic acid

(pnuemonic acid is what they use to clean the mortar off of the brick; this is also strong enough to strip off your fingerprints, thus some skin)

acetic acid is hygroscopic and will leave your hands dry and more prone to cracking

I am not sure, but I don't think it is a good way to build up the thinkness of the skin

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i lift weights and use grippers often, and my hands just look normal like everyone else's but when i squeeze a gripper for reps or lift heavy weights my hands are fine...BUT when my mate steve does the same thing its a different story. when i took my #2 to zante. steve tried it. he ripped half his little finger off (not litrally!) so to have tough skin i dont think it needs to look all 'rough etc..'

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I view it like this. Callouses are a bodies short term defence again heavy loads and as we all know if left to build up they can potentially rip off :(

I think that callouses should be filed often and not left to build up. Good hand care very important.

The long term bodies defence against high heavy loads is to condition the hand to accept that force and a reduction in nerve sensitivity. Tough hands are only really tough through conditioning. Crusty hands are not neccessarily tough, and can lead to skin breakage and negatively affect training.

Rydini

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I try to do the oppsite. I thought a long time ago that hard hands were to best hands. Boy was I wrong. This might seem weird but the softer my hands are the better they work. I work to get all the callouses off filing them off even as I am training in between sets or biting them off too. The best way I have found is hit a hot tub for about 1hr. (get prune hands) then rub your hands together (palm to palm) and this removes a lot of dead skin. Then at night rub my hands down with ICY HOT in the 3.5 oz little tub. Takes swelling down and softens hands too. The secret is healing the hands fast for the next day on training. I did 201 60d nails without one blister on Tuesday and never missed a beat the rest of the week. I think having hard hands under your skin is the key. If this makes sence.

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StalwartSentinel
I try to do the oppsite. I thought a long time ago that hard hands were to best hands. Boy was I wrong. This might seem weird but the softer my hands are the better they work. I work to get all the callouses off filing them off even as I am training in between sets or biting them off too. The best way I have found is hit a hot tub for about 1hr. (get prune hands) then rub your hands together (palm to palm) and this removes a lot of dead skin. Then at night rub my hands down with ICY HOT in the 3.5 oz little tub. Takes swelling down and softens hands too. The secret is healing the hands fast for the next day on training. I did 201 60d nails without one blister on Tuesday and never missed a beat the rest of the week. I think having hard hands under your skin is the key. If this makes sence.

This works great!

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Steve-

201 60d nails!!!

that is awesome!

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Good advice from Big Steve. A lot of martial artists who practice Iron Palm talk about having hands of steel, but wrapped in cotton skin. I think this is a good goal. Keep your callouses filed so they don't rip, use lotion, liniment, whatever. There was a construction worker that used to eat at a barbeque restaurant that I worked at. When he'd come to the cash register to pay and I dropped the change in his hands, it would thunk. His hands were that hard. But he could barely use them other than for his job because the callouses that covered his entire palm made it difficult to move his hands, open and close them, etc.

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David Horne

Yes Gazza and Steve, I have taken the dead skin off my hands in the bath for years, and applied dry-skin lotion to my hands at night. Keeps the skin perfect.

David

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Matt Van Weele

Pickle brine will thoughen the hands to a point. Animal piss (a cow or horse I understand works the best) will do the same only faster.

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Number Ten Ox

201 60d?!? That boggles my mind.

Hoof maker, arnica gel, and tincture are all you need. And contrast baths. And sandpaper to sand off the really big callouses so they don't rip. And Krazy glue to glue them back down if they do. Yup that's all you need. Oh and lots of gripping.

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Properly moisturized skin is stronger than dry skin. And I don't care if the end result was Carmen Electra naked in my bed, I'm not gonna get into golden showers, animal or human. Listen to yourselves, for God's sake.

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They also sell little things similar to cheese graters for filing off callouses on the feet, buy it and use it on your hands. I was a gymnast for 4 years and had really tough hands. The worst rip/tear was when someone had a very large callouse and the whole thing game off. I've seem people basically rip off their whole palm.

I would use the cheese grater thing on each hand at night and then put oil based lotion on (vaseline or bagbalm), and then put socks over my hands. This was only during the hardest training times. Otherwise the cheese grater and just some regular hand lotion works wonders for every day. You want tough skin like leather, but not real dry or have huge lumy callouses that easily get ripped off.

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Hey, I haven't been active mostly just reading all the great wisdom this site has to offer. I just wanted to say that I have tried the vinegar thing. For a while it seems to make your hands though, but they ends up getting really dry and cracking, plus every one can smell it even after washing lol. I agree that the best way to get tough hands is just work them, but take care at the same time.

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Tom of Iowa2
Properly moisturized skin is stronger than dry skin. And I don't care if the end result was Carmen Electra naked in my bed, I'm not gonna get into golden showers, animal or human.  Listen to yourselves, for God's sake.

:laugh:laugh:laugh:laugh:laugh

I was told the great Joe Frazier dunked his face in "pickle brine" to toughen it up. :blink He didn't get cut often-even with the old school 15 round fights with Muhamad Ali(those 15 rounders were REAL championships...but thats another subject)...but maybe he wouldn't have got cut very often anyway? without the pickle brine.

Who knows? :shifty

A lot of farmers around here have very tough hands...they feel like shoe leather- a few I've met feel like there hands are as hard as wood...and they seem to have good dexterity (and reasonable untrained strength).

A good combination to toughen up hands:Work hard(labor) with your hands in various temperature extremes,turn a wrench,lift weights and squeeze a gripper a few times ...i suspect your hands will toughen up.

Edited by Tom of Iowa2
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