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Exfoliative Keratolysis and Climbing
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LukeW


Mar 24, 2014, 6:08 PM
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Exfoliative Keratolysis and Climbing
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Hey climbers, bit of a stretch but I'm wondering if anyone else has this condition and still tries to climb? The gist of EK is that it's essentially perpetually peeling skin on the hands that is aggravated by drying and friction; this of course makes life for a climber with this condition quite difficult. I've been climbing hard for over a year now and have made zero progress in terms of hand sensitivity. Constantly peeling and raw skin makes it nearly impossible to build endurance because you only get a few routes in before your hands are raw as hell.

I fucking love climbing and this condition makes it so difficult to do. Does anyone have these symptoms?

Side note: Every other condition has been ruled out, rest has been taken, ointments have been applied, and chalk has been given up.


dagibbs


Mar 25, 2014, 1:15 PM
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Re: [LukeW] Exfoliative Keratolysis and Climbing [In reply to]
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Would wearing thin tight leather gloves to protect your skin help?


LukeW


Mar 25, 2014, 1:22 PM
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Re: [dagibbs] Exfoliative Keratolysis and Climbing [In reply to]
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Potentially yes! Though then you lose the grip necessary for smaller holds. I'm just trying to find other climbers with this issue.


dagibbs


Mar 25, 2014, 1:27 PM
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Re: [LukeW] Exfoliative Keratolysis and Climbing [In reply to]
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I don't have the issue, but was thinking about what I do to protect my hands when climbing in colder weather and stuff like that. What I've actually found worked pretty well was finger-tip-less gloves (they end half-way between my knuckles), leaving me fingertips for small holds, but protecting the rest of my hand from cold. (And, they work pretty well for hand-jams, too.)


LukeW


Mar 25, 2014, 1:35 PM
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Re: [dagibbs] Exfoliative Keratolysis and Climbing [In reply to]
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The issue is that my hands are so raw from the skin constantly peeling that I can't really touch any of the holds. There's nothing I can really do climbing wise, i'm just trying to fix this skin issue. But thank you very much for the advice, i'll certainly look into thin gloves!


lena_chita
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Mar 26, 2014, 11:30 AM
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Re: [LukeW] Exfoliative Keratolysis and Climbing [In reply to]
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I am assuming that you have seen a dermatologist about it, and you are using some kind of cream, maybe containing urea or acids, for your hands?

I would suggest talking to a dermatologist about it. Most people, when they want to get relief from a skin condition like this, are not asking to have their hands tough, they want the hands to look smooth and soft. And that's what those creams do. But you want your hands to toughen up, and any sort of water-based cream would not be good for it, and especially not extra exfoliation you get with the acid or urea-containing creams, on top of mechanically exfoliating your hands while climbing.

I am not a doctor, so my advice to use greasy hand balms after climbing, like Climb On, or Burt's bee's Badger balm, should be taken with a huge grain of salt.

Other things to consider-- maybe go climbing outside. Plastic gym holds can be rougher on skin than real rock, and you are climbing a lot in a short period of time. outside, you can spend a whole day enjoying your favorite activity, and spread out the same amount of climbing you get indoors in an hour over many hours.

Sometimes there aren't magic fixes for everything, you know? You climb to the extent that your skin allows you to climb, and enjoy what you can do.


stagg54


Mar 26, 2014, 12:15 PM
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Re: [LukeW] Exfoliative Keratolysis and Climbing [In reply to]
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No idea if this would apply to you but:

I found that my hands got really chewed up gym climbing. A friend recommended this technique and it works very well. I simply soak my hands in vinegar diluted in warm water every night. It makes the skin on my hands pretty tough. It seems to work.

It might work...


troutboy


Mar 26, 2014, 12:31 PM
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Re: [LukeW] Exfoliative Keratolysis and Climbing [In reply to]
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check this link

http://www.medhelp.org/...atolysis/show/301185

Scroll down to July 11 2012 (or 2013, I forget) to an article from a climber with the same issues.

Might be of some help.

EDIT: It is 2012, post by auroravk

TS


(This post was edited by troutboy on Mar 26, 2014, 12:33 PM)


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