Finger Care

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    I just read all the posts on this thread for the first time. Interesting comments. It seems that different people’s skin, and finger tips, do different things. When I’m practicing a lot, I get very thick callus on my finger tips that can become too thick to be able to control the release of the string. The thick callus forms into a ridge as I practice. I use 150 grit black finishing sandpaper to (carefully) sand down the callus and especially the ridge until it’s the way I want it. I will sometimes use hand cream, especially in winter, to keep the skin from getting so hard that it can crack(ouch!).

    Jessica A

    Sam, if you read above where I posted the PREVIOUS COMMENTS link from the forum, you’ll see over 100



    I’ve read that thread several times, even before you posted it. That thread deals with people whose fingers are already damaged, which is not what I’m asking about. Thanks for the link, though.


    For ordinary moisturising, Bigelow’s Quince hand lotion. Kind that sinks in quickly and easily. For heavy-duty, Corn Husker’s Lotion, glycerine-based and takes a while to sink in.

    Karen Johns

    About once a week I apply pure shea butter to my fingertips, seems to keep them softened up pretty well. I remember one time over the winter when I stopped using shea butter and let my fingertips get dry, squeak, squeak, squeak went those strings!



    I have a Venus Classic and I have horses, so my hands can be rough, dried out, always in need of care. My strings squeak occasionally, for me it seems when I have recently used lotion.
    Karen U


    I have never formed calusses, probably because violin is my first professional instrument, begun at age 3 1/2, and harp my second, begun over 30 years ago. However, if you go to or read about aloe vera, you will see evidence that this moisturizer gets deeper under the epidermis than other lotions. Putting some on your hands, or any other rough place on your body just before bedtime, it absorbs very quickly. In the morning the result will be a welcome surprise. An 8 oz. tube of 99% “aloe vera Gelly” is reasonably priced, and soothes burns also so that if used quickly there is no scar, I found.


    I thought I’d give this thread a bump because apparently I missed it when it was started…Anyway, interesting topic for me as well. I don’t have callouses on my right hand since I play with nails on the right; that does mean filing and applying a strengthening nail polish every week…it’s a routine but it feels kinda lady like 😉
    I do have callouses on my left hand but I already had that before I started playing harp, because I play guitar since the age of 11. The callouses don’t need much maintenance for me, they don’t grow too big so they don’t bother me while playing.

    And after all, different skin types require different treatments I guess…it’s definitely fun to read what you guys do to keep your fingers in good condition.


    well then it seems to me after reading you comments, that going to bed doused with hand cream and white gloves is a good idea and not just for cosmetic reasons.


    I use cocoa butter because I have baby sensitive skin & most Laotians seem to bother my sensitive skin
    I’ve bean playing harp for about 8 years & have never gotten calluses

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