I play the acoustic guitar casually. I have a regular sized Yamaha dreadnaught guitar, steel stringed.

I play on average 3-4 times a week, and practice anywhere between 15 min to 1.5 hr. I don't think my calluses are normal, there are weird dimples on the tip. They don't hurt, but since they cave in, it means I have to press a little bit further onto the strings.

Excuse my ugly fingers :)...

Ugly fingers

Is this abnormal and what causes this? Sometimes I play not too long after showering, could that be a factor?

  • 1
    When I play a lot I get 'dimpled' callouses too. What causes it? The fact that calloused skin has lost its elasticity I guess.
    – Johannes
    Commented Apr 21, 2016 at 22:13
  • I would recommend waiting after showering.
    – user28
    Commented Apr 21, 2016 at 23:05
  • 1
    It's normal. Happens to me when I'm playing quite a bit. Not sure what you can do to diminish it besides not playing as much - but I hope that's not an option. Commented Apr 22, 2016 at 1:55
  • Why would you play less? You'd loose all the callus you've gained. If you keep playing like this the skin will adapt and turn out fine.
    – MeanGreen
    Commented Apr 22, 2016 at 10:03

4 Answers 4


It is perfectly normal and it happens. I do not reccomend playing right after showering though, because the skin is soft and that part of the skin usually gets torn. I would reccomend waiting for say 30 minutes before playing.


It is very normal to have dimples or 'grooves' in your fingertips when practicing a lot. I would recommend to file the calluses or apply softening lotion. When done so the topmost dead skin will peel off and you will find fresh flat surface. However, do this only if have trouble with the grooves on your fingertips. Most of the time they should not stop you from fretting correctly.


I play the violin everyday for about 1.5 hours, and I have got slight dimples on my fingertips too. Like the guitar, I have to press down on metal strings and I have calluses. I don't think its something to be concerned with though.


If the grooves get deep it does cause trouble fretting correctly so I will use an emery board from time to time to take down the high spots making for a less deep groove. Makes it a smoother fingertip for moving from string to string as well.

  • 2
    Totally sceptical about callouses anyway. Shouldn't get them, or need them for guitar playing. It's a sign of a badly set up guitar, and/or bad technique. As far as filing down fingertips - what?.
    – Tim
    Commented Aug 12, 2019 at 10:19

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