Hi, actually there is a pretty good way I know of to toughen just
selected skin areas. There are also ways known in martial arts to
toughen the entire hand but I dont recommend any of those.
To pre-toughen just finger tips you can turn to mans best friend, the
dog. I dont know where in the world you live so I cant provide a
specific source but here in the us, as well as in the U.K. and
probably most counties there are supply stores for hunting animals.
Simply ask for the product used to toughen the foot pads of working or
hunting dogs. In the U.S. a popular brand is Blue Foot Pad Conditioner
but any brand will work. Just brush a bit of this on your finger tips
periodically and the treated area will become tough.
A slightly messier way which can provide an instant fix is to get
something called Nu-Skin and New Skin, a brush on bandage which will
provide a tough but flexible coating that dries in about five minutes.
This is found in drug stores.
Other ways which will work include soaking in strong salt water or
even strong tea (the latter actually tans the skin as in tanning
leather) but neither is very fast or effective.
I know this works but it doesnt seem to be widely used, for example,
this is one of the few quick sites I could find which mention the
topic and none of the top professionals interviewed had much more to
say than that practice will toughen the fingers.
Blue Pad Conditioner is available in 4 oz. bottles from futurepets.com
at $5.39 U.S.
Orders Only: 1-888-738-3976 (toll free) Inquiries:(512) 282-0624
11600 Manchaca Rd. Suite 101, Austin, Texas 78748
Another online source is Army Surplus For Less
Since this or similar products are widely available in stores with
hunting sections and because I dont know your location, I only
included these sources but there are many more.
Google search terms
Dog pad toughen
I have suggested these dog pad products to other beginners and several
have tried it, all with good results. I hope you find this useful. The
New Skin bandage is especially helpful once your fingers have
developed sores because it allows you to continue practicing. Good
luck; I still have my Ravi Shankar record.