01 02 03 thomasina pidgeon: Tips on Splits. Part two. 04 05 15 16 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 31 32 33

Tips on Splits. Part two.


This is part two of “Tips on Splits”.

For part one, click here.


There are some things you can do to prevent a split for occurring, skin care and self-control on the rock being the most important. If you feel a tear is pending, yet you can't seem to stop, again, really consider stopping and try thinking long term. (You'll also probably send your project faster…!!!) If it is impossible to stop climbing, definitely tape up and change problems. The rock will still be there in a week’s time. Climbing with tape sucks but waiting a week or two for a tear to heal is worse.

If your skin is being pushed into a small wad on one side: sand it down!! I never used to sand my tips but have since become fanatic. An even layer of skin means the rock is less likely to catch on it, eventually tearing it.

Change the chalk
Try changing the type of chalk you use. Some chalks are more drying than others. If you have dry skin like myself, (a blessing in the summer yet a curse when it gets cold), a more drying chalk can dry your skin out too much thus increasing the chances of a split happening. I like to keep things simple with Metolius block chalk.

Wash your Hands! 
Wash the chalk off your hands after climbing so the drying effect of chalk doesn’t continue beyond necessity.

Chalk is a drying agent and dry skin can lead to split tips so consider moisturizing after climbing. (For obviously reasons, not before... You don’t want to grease up the holds on the problem…) Consider using a moisturizing salve like Metolius hand balm or Climb On. On cold dry days moisturizer can really help save your skin not to mention help prevent those dry painful cracks that can happen between the nail bed.

No to Antihydral
Antihydral is a drying agent and can be very helpful to those with greasy, sweaty skin. For me however, it would be the opposite as it is not recommended if you already have dry skin. Antihydral seriously dries out the skin thus increasing the chances of getting split tips. I have some friends who used it and ended up getting more split tips than warranted.

If you must climb before the tip is fully healed: 
(totally understandable…!)

-put cream on the spilt to keep it moist and help speed healing. I suggest Peneten for the healing properties of zinc oxide
-tape the finger up really well (see below photos)
-avoid the culprit holds or project so not to aggravate or delay healing
-once the skin is dry, sand!
-repeat the cream/tape process throughout the day and night

The curiosity of crazy glue:

Some people swear by it, some don't. The theory is that the glue will prevent the split from opening while the body heals. The new skin will eventually push the glue out. I tried it multiple times in the last month, was told different things, and finally, after some experimentation, decided against it. Unless you’re using the very expensive medical grade glue, I don't recommended putting this chemical directly into your split/ blood stream. But again, that's just my opinion. Some folks swear by it. As with the first mentioned method that I found works, (see part one) sanding, cream and patience are still required for the crazy glue method.

What gluing method didn't work:
It was my first time using crazy glue so a friend suggested his method which was to put glue on the split in a closed position and hold it that way so it dried closed. This seemed to help as there was now no opening which meant no pain. But this method did not work. The split immediately re-opened the next climbing day and thus set me back a couple days of healing.

What gluing method might work:
I say might because I didn't see any difference between the times I used it and did not use it. The 'maybe' method is to put glue on the split but don't close it. Let the glue/split dry open. This way it is less likely to re-tear when back at climbing. That said, I don't understand the logic of putting cream on if the glue is there. The glue is relatively impermeable to water and salves so how would the cream break through that glue barrier to reach the skin opening...? If anything, I would assume a healing cream/salve has higher healing properties than crazy glue. But I guess if you goal is to keep the split from moving, perhaps, glue is ideal.

As I said at the beginning in part one, 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!!

Thanks for reading!!

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