How To Heal A Hand Rip | Gymnastics GL
How To Heal A Hand Rip
Most gymnasts who practice the uneven bars will experience a hand rip. Many newcomers to the sport of gymnastics are unfamiliar with the term ‘rip’ and much less know how to prevent and heal them.
How To Treat A Hand Rip
When treating a hand rip, always ensure that it has been carefully washed with warm water and soap. This will remove the bacteria and prevent any infection from setting in. If a rip becomes infected, the gymnast may be forced to take some time off to allow the wound to heal. Whether the rip is large or small, never apply hydrogen peroxide or Betadine to it. These products will kill the cells that are healing, and would make it take much longer for them to heal. It’s better to stick to cleaning it with soap and warm water and putting a clean bandage on it.
Bagging A Hand Rip
Some coaches recommend putting the wounded hand in a plastic bag while sleeping. Most of the time rips will heal overnight if treated this way. Apply some sort of a moisturizer before bagging it; I recommend udder balm or a vitamin E cream. If using some sort of an elastic bandage to fix it, be careful not to wrap it too tight and cut off the circulation.
Another product that has had success with many gymnasts is Duoderm. Duoderm is a hydrocolloid moisture retentive wound dressing. It produces a much faster healing time than a typical bandaide because the moist environment it creates is most favorable for cell regrowth.
Shaving Down Calluses Before They Rip
Another option to explore is shaving down the calluses before they rip. When calluses begin to appear on the hands, I suggest shaving them down with a Pyrex corn and callus shaver. Don’t try to do this with a razor blade, as it can be very risky. The effectiveness of this method will depend on the size of the callus and for how long the athlete has had it.
Grips Will Prevent Rips
Many high level gymnasts wear grips on their hands to help prevent rips. While they are worn by female gymnasts on the uneven bars, males wear them on the high bars and the rings. There are two types of grips: dowel and palm. Palm grips are composed of a strip of leather that covers the palm of the hand. Dowel grips incorporate a dowel rod, which creates a sort of bump on the outside of the grip. This serves to control the gymnasts hold on the bars and ease hand pressure and reduce the risk of slipping off the bars. Both types are secured at the wrist by either a buckle or a Velcro strap.
Another option is to create a grip made of tape and to wrap it around the hand with either trainer’s tape or elastic tape. This will cover any existing rips or calluses that haven’t been infected. This method is one of the best because it can be used both before and after rips occur without having to use any chemicals disinfectants or ointments.
Even though hand rips can be very painful, they are an expected part of gymnastics. If possible, take the gymnast to see a doctor before the infection sets in. Always consult with a certified doctor if you have any questions about treating your hand rips.