My recent split tips have caused me blood and pain, but more importantly, delay on my projects. So in order to get my skin in shape, I quickly had to learn how to heal these annoying things, and for the future, learn how to prevent them.
1. Sand the tip down as much as you can bear until the skin is really smooth. If the tear is deep enough, this will mean blood and pain but it really helps… You want to sand the tear completely away so it can not re-tear when you climb again. Sanding not only prevents skin from catching on the rock but also promotes faster skin growth.
3. Once the split is fully healed and a new callous is formed, do the test: press your thumb nail directly into the sanded area. You want to experience NO pain. This way you know enough callous has grown. If there’s pain, wait a bit longer for new skin to grow. It’s always nice to climb without pain and the worry of it possibly re-tearing. If you’re pain free, you’re ready to climb! Remove the cream and tape and let the skin dry out the night before you intend to climb so allowing the skin to harden.
Noah is an emergency doctor and long time climber. Being a “big guy”, he has ample experience with split tips. He suggest using “Precision Clippers” over sanding.
1. After a shower when the skin is soft (it’s easier and hurts less) clip off the edges of the canyon of the splitto make more of a smooth valley. Re-wash hands. After clipping, let it dry and proceed to the next step.
2. Noah reckons that a wet environment is not always the best. He suggest putting on Desitin or Pentene cream which is the baby diaper ointment that I use, and has a high percentage of zinc oxide which helps with healing. Put a Band-Aid on for four hours and then let it air dry for about four hours. Alternate between the two every four hours.
3. Taping is recommend on the third day, but after that you should be good to go with a little sanding to even out the edges. You can always continue on with step 3 of Peters method- the thumb nail test. Noah says that though his method is anal, splits usually heal in two days this way with an effective strength of the heal.
As I said at the beginning, a huge part of healing those annoying split tips is self control and patience. So with that, I wish you all the control you need!! The next post on split tips will cover climbing with a split tip, prevention and the curiosity of crazy glue. Stay tuned!