Hiw long does it take for white spirit to harden skin?

I’m a guitarist with a gig coming up next thursday. I keep cutting the skin below the quick of my right index finger by strumming too hard on the strings. I want to toughen that skin so it doesn’t bleed so easily. As it stands, I can’t play the intricate strumming rhythms on several of my songs because, and I apologise for the clumsy phrasing but I can’t think of another way to put this, my right hand seems to have “learned” that close proximity of my index finger to the strings generally tends to yield considerable pain, and I am unconsciously keeping my hand so far away from the strings that I can’t play the songs properly. Unfortunately, I can’t use a plectrum because I think they’re fucking shit and I hate them.

So yeah, I’ve decided to toughen the skin on my right hand using white spirit, starting today. Will I have had time to apply enough to make a difference by next Thursday?


Sorry, can’t answer your question, but I’m curious how a person who has not yet developed callouses or tough skin is already playing a gig. How long have you been playing the instrument?

try some brand of liquid bandage before playing.

I’ve been playing for nearly ten years, so I’m kinda curious about that myself :slight_smile: It’s quite strange, really. The skin on my fingertips is as tough as old shoe leather, but that one patch just below the nail of my main strumming finger just obstinately refuses to get with the program. God alone knows how many times I’ve cut it over the years.

Are you talking about your cuticle? That is, the skin between the nail and knuckle on the back of your finger.

I suspect that soaking in mineral spirits would actually make your problem much worse. Cuticles crack and bleed when they get dry, so it is better to make that skin supple with lotion or petroleum jelly.

In the short term, you might cover the affected area with the sticky part of a bandage strip or cover it with a layer of superglue.

Yes! Cuticle! That’s the word I was scrabbling for. Thanks for the advice. Looks like I dodged a bullet there. I’ll start treating it with vaseline instead. Thanks awldune!