Avoiding Gymnastics Rips – Hand Care and Rip Treatment Products

There are many products for avoiding gymnastics rips. We’ve collected the best hand care, rip prevention and rip treatment products we know of for you to protect your hands.

Cleaning Products

Mild Anti-bacterial Soap
Warm Water
Hibiclens Soap

Specialized Rip Products

GMR TEN.O Rip Kit is a rip kit packaged in a plastic zipper pouch with a variety of rip solutions. At $39.50, it includes Skin Prep, Triple Antibiotic Cream packets, 2nd Skin’s Blister Pad,  hydrophilic pads, absorbent polyurethane foam patch, 2nd Skin’s Smart wound dressing, natural hydrocollaid ingredient based adhesive wound dressing, 2nd Skin’s Moist Pads,  “skin like” hydrogel dressing and Spenco Blister Relief pads.

Duoderm hydrocolloid dressings are opaque dressing used in medicine to protect rips from contamination and provide a moist rip-healing environment. They are biodegradeable and adhere to the skin so no separate taping is needed.
It not only protects wounds but allows them to heal faster and adds a layer of protection.

GMR Mini Rip Kit Hydrogel Skin Pads combines hydro gel with a support mesh and vitamin E which cools and soothes already damaged and irritated skin from Rips and Blisters. At $7.95, it includes:

  • Six 1″x1″ Hydrogel Skin pads
  • 11 Precut Pads
  • One 3″x5″ Adhesive Mesh Sheet
  • Six 1.5″x3″ Strips

GMR 10.0 Hydrogel Skin Pads (24 for $7.95 and 200 for $33.95)

DAT Callus Sticks are three hand care sticks which includes the DAT Rip Stickâ„¢ and the DAT Callous Stickâ„¢ and the DAT Condition Stickâ„¢ in a package deal currently costing $21.50.

  • The DAT Rip Stickâ„¢ is designed to reduces pain and heal rips. It uses the soothing effect of benzocaine to reduce the discomfort of rips, blisters and cuts without any burning effect. One application forms a soothing white film over the rip area allowing the natural healing process to begin.
  • The DAT Callous Stickâ„¢ helps protect sensitive skin and is formulated to promote callusing to the epidermal tissues thus toughening the hands. Used on a regular basis during callus inducing athletic activity, DAT Callous Stickâ„¢ strengthens the callus structures making calluses stronger so gymnasts can have greater resistance to ripping on bars.
  • The DAT Condition Stickâ„¢ helps maintain the condition of a gymnast’s hands and contains a high percentage of skin conditioners (Lanolin, Aloe, and Vitamins A, D, and E). They allow hard, dry calluses to become more pliable and apply without greasiness.

Preventative Hand Care

Tape Grips
GMR 10.0 Perfect Balance “Golden Hands” Pineapple Kiwi Hand Care Formula. Use “Perfect Balance Golden Hands” on a daily basis to help to get the skin into shape. Golden Hands Pineapple Kiwi Formula composition includes distilled water, shea butter, sweet almond oil, grapeseed oil, emulsifying wax, xanthan gum, grapefruit seed extract and essentials oils.  $11.50 for 5 ounces and $18.75 for 10 ounces.

HandeBalm Rip Care is used for skin protection using Dimethicome, Lanolin, Beeswax and Petrolatum

The TEN.O HAND BAG includes a small bottle of Perfect Balance Peppermint hand lotion, two pairs of cotton gloves (use each night after applying lotion), a small blue pumice sponge and a bag. Promotes taking care of your hands everyday wait to instead of waiting get a rip. Current price: $13.00

G.A. Deitch makes two versions of a lanolin protective glove, a regular undergrip and an extra protection undergrip with a leather pad, both of  which are worn underneath the regular grip as a “undergrip”. Some gymnasts report they feel greasy.

DAT Callous Stickâ„¢
DAT Condition Stickâ„¢
Ped Egg
Nail File – used to file down calluses.
Callus Razor – used to cut down calluses.
Corn and Callus Shaver – – used to shave down calluses.
Knife – used to cut down callus
Plain Tincture of Benzoin is used to toughen skin.
Emery Board
Athletic Tape can be used to wrap the hands under grips to provide and additional layer of protection against rips.
Neoprene Rubber Wrist Bands are used to prevent rips on the wrists from dowel grips.
Tape Scissors
A Dremel Multipro tool can be used with a variety of its attachments to file down calluses.
Exfoliating Stone File
SandBlaster Flexible Sanding Pad (#180)


“O”-shaped Moleskin Pads can fit over both blisters and rips to help pad them from further contact with a gymnast’s grips or other gymnastics equipment.

Gauze pads


Fabric knuckle band-aids

Medicated Healing Ointments, Creams and Oils

Tea Tree Oil is the best product I have found to heal rips in as little as two to three days.

HandeBalm Rip Care is used for pain relief and fast healing of rips, blisters and severe dry skin. Helps speed the healing process. Helps to make skin healthy again.
Pain relief: Menthol, Phenol, Methyl Salicylate
Healing: Aloe Vera, Vitamin E, Vitamin A, Eucalyptus oil
Skin Protection: Dimethicome, Lanolin, Beeswax, Petrolatum
Antiseptic: Phenol

Preparation H – I know, I know, it’s a hemorrhoid treatment ointment but it does work effectively both to heal rips, to reduce any swelling around the rip and as a topical anesthetic to help numb the rip.

Bag Balm is a salve designed to soothe irritation on cows’ udders after milking. This USDA product is officially approved only for animals but it’s often used as a treatment for rips and blisters and can be found in drug stores, online and farm and feed stores. Bag Balm is known for its characteristic ten-ounce green square tins featuring red clovers and a cow’s head on the lid.


Salt water is really painful to put rips into but is said to help heal rips faster or if you really like pain, hold salt in you hand on the rip. You can also soak your hands in salt water on a regular basis when they are sore and you are anticipating a rip and even before they get sore. In the event of a rip, the salt water aids in healing and callus formation.

Mix ibuprofen (Advil) and water into a paste and put it on rips to make them feel better.

Gauze wrap
Antibiotic ointment
Corn Huskers Lotion
Bacitracin Antibiotic Ointment
Burt’s Bees Miracle Hand Salve $7.00

Rip Products

Fingernail clippers
Small, sharp scissors
Super Glue

Dunlap makes a skin protector called “Compeed” which can be used in gymnastics practice to protect a fresh rip and to help heal these rips. Compeed can be found in sporting goods stores and bicycle shops.

Second Skin Products

New Skin® liquid bandage dries rapidly to form a tough protective cover that is antiseptic, flexible, waterproof, and lets your skin breathe.

New Skin® spray is designed for very large rips.  New Skin is also available at CVS pharmacies.

Spenco 2nd Skin® products are leading gymnastics first aid solutions for rips.

Gymnastics Hand Products

Grip Shield is a scientifically-formulated non-sticky, fast drying, clear, sweat repellent gel which is applied to hands and wrists, which provides a perspiration and moisture repellent barrier to help keep your hands dry, (even inside grips) helping to ensure a firm, controlled grip for optimal performance and safety.  Currently listed at $8.95.

Elastikon elastic tape is a cotton elastic cloth tape with a rubber based adhesive, designed to stretch so it can be used to wrap pads on your hands when you are padding rips.

Athletic tape.

Compound Tincture of Benzoin (CTB) is often applied to skin before applying tape or other adhesive bandages. To some degree, it protects the skin from the adhesive in the tape or bandage, but mostly it makes tape adhere much longer.

Chalk (Magnesium carbonate).
Liquid Chalk

Not Recommended

I either do not know (IDK) or know these are not a good idea.

Tuff Skin sprayed onto a fresh rip supposedly helps heal rips (IDK).

Vitamin E tablets (IDK)

Tea bags (IDK) Some gymnasts recommend dampening a teabag (not herbal tea as it is supposedly not effective) and putting it on the rip. Theoretically, the tannic acid in the tea will help to toughen the skin so some people use them on rips or the night before a bar workout or competition.

Soaking a freshly ripped hand in a 10 percent bleach in water solution – Not Recommended.

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2 Responses to “Avoiding Gymnastics Rips – Hand Care and Rip Treatment Products”

  1. John Howard July 28, 2011 at 8:04 am #

    RipGuardian is a specially formulated rip protection patch designed to eliminate the pain caused by rips and used by placing RipGuardian over the rip and taping it up so it you can work on bars again with RipGuardian under your grips.

  2. Shawn McCarthy July 28, 2011 at 8:25 am #

    Thanks for the adding RipGuardian to this awesome post, John! I’ll be sure to share it with other gymnasts and coaches.

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