Tip for burning hands from working with hot pepper

utdeedee(7A-East Tennessee)July 16, 2007

I'm sure this tip has been addressed but had to share mine. Saturday like a dummy I was making fresh salsa, using jalopenos, for canning, and I failed to put on gloves. My hands started burning like crazy, of course. I tried milk, dish detergent, nothing worked and I didn't want to stick my hands in bleach as has been suggested. Then I thought about how my dog got sprayed by a skunk and I used tomato juice which helped. So, I took an over ripe tomatoe I had, sliced it in half and rubbed those halves all over my hands and let the juice and tomato stay on my hands for a couple of minutes then I washed it off and my hands had quit burning! No harsh chemicals. Yesterday I made more salsa, but I put on my gloves! :)

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jalapeno's kicked your !@#???
I think you should not play with peppers anymore!!!
if just cutting them did this how can you eat them???

    Bookmark   July 17, 2007 at 2:29AM
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daria(Z5A ME)

I've had this happen to me, too - it's no fun. I'm glad to know your solution. It's interesting how cutting up a bunch of hot peppers affects your hands more than eating the finished salsa affects your tongue. Maybe the tomatoes are helping to calm the fire down in the salsa, too.

    Bookmark   July 17, 2007 at 3:45PM
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I play around with Japelenos all the time and thats never happened to me. It's only happened to me once with Habeneros. A week before christmas too, I was making chili. I didn't do anything for the pain but water, and it was hell. Luckily, I won the chili cook off, so w00t for that...

    Bookmark   July 17, 2007 at 5:03PM
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I burned my hands today with chili peppers. What I discovered, after reading a lot of messages, and trying at least 10 home remedies, is that the best solution is to put your hands in vegetable oil for half an hour. After that, you will feel MUCH better! and you won't even feel the burning sensation. Is good to also use a 1% hidrocortisone after the oil thing. Please do this, and you will thank me later.

    Bookmark   July 18, 2007 at 2:20AM
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utdeedee(7A-East Tennessee)

Thanks for the other tips. If it happens again and Ihave no tomatoes around I will remember these....but I have my rubbler gloves handy :)

    Bookmark   July 20, 2007 at 4:02PM
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Capsicum is alcohol soluable. Therefore I use an alcohol wipe to clean the affected area and then use the cortizone cream. The alcohol burns for a bit but it gets rid of the oils from the peppers. Try working with 40 lbs of habanero peppers for 2 hours, ouch!!

    Bookmark   July 21, 2007 at 8:52AM
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I wore my gloves, I was soooo careful! I even washed the knives/board/pans after with gloves on - but watch out for the WASHCLOTH!! I used the same cloth the next day, not even thinking about the pepper juice, and my hands are on fire now!!!

    Bookmark   July 27, 2007 at 6:52PM
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cmpman1974(Zone 6 MI)

Hurt myself yesterday for the first time. I was slcing up a batch of Trinidad Scorpions and Nagas sent to me by a friend. If you think jalapenos are bad, don't get near these.

At 12 AM, I started to get severe burning on both forearms. It was extremely painful. I'm not even sure how this occured on this part of my body. I got desperate and started rubbing alcohol, vegetable oil, dish soap, and many othet things.

About two hours later, it was more tolerable. PLEASE wear gloves when handling super hot peppers. It can be quite scary! Remember, I have handled many a pepper in my life. These new super hot ones are in a whole different league.


    Bookmark   July 27, 2007 at 9:30PM
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hendrik_vanderdekin(Northern Cal)

Well Chris just be glad you didn't use the bathroom.

    Bookmark   July 28, 2007 at 1:28AM
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Like everyone else, I made the mistake of cutting up habenaros, seranos and jalapenos for salsa without gloves. I tried every remedy listed here and elsewhere and finally found relief. I used a product called Ocean Breeze; instand burn relief. It has Aloe Vera, Lidocane and Tea Tree Extract. It was an instant relief!! I left it on my hands for a few minutes and then simply washed it off. I then went out and bought rubber gloves just for cutting up my next batch of peppers!

    Bookmark   August 27, 2007 at 7:18AM
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Your hands are not as sensative as your eyes so be careful even if you wear gloves to keep your hands away from your eyes.

I broke open a few hot Hungarian Wax peppers as a demonstration at a farmers' market Saturday and I casually touched my forehead. As I proceeded to sweat I got a burning sensation in my left eye. Needless to say I felt a little stupid with one eye half closed and watering. It was fine after I packed up my remaining sunflowers and got stung twice by bumble bees that had taken a liking to the flowers. My hand only hurt until I pulled my back loading a table. My back pain is the only lasting reminder of a bad day.

    Bookmark   August 27, 2007 at 12:30PM
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Onions!! If you use any part of the onion bulb, and put on your pepper burns or cooking burns, it feels GREAT! You usually have onion around at any given time, so its handy. The juices of the onion act as an antibiotic on cooking burns to keep them clean. A simple rubbing of the juice on pepper burns aleiviated the pain instantly, though I did hold the onion on my cuticles longer because they were so inflamed. On cooking burns, hold onion on burn, as long as it is on there, there is NO PAIN AT ALL!! It feels better and heals better later too. I try to use an onion stump, preferably a cut one from the fridge, so I don't end up tearing up too. When I ran a cafe, I swore by this and had all my waitresses and cooks do this... they would look at me crazy, but after it was on, they looked appreciative! Hope this tip helps you and all! and tell your friends because nothing feels worse than getting burnt!

    Bookmark   September 13, 2007 at 3:15PM
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Vinegar works very well, it breaks down the oil from the pepper. After washing hands with vinegar rinse off with fresh water.

Vinegar also works if you've eaten too much hot pepper. The medicos say half and half solution of water and vinegar. I just get a mouthful of vinegar, rinse vigorously, and repeat. Then rinse with water. It doesn't stop the pain instantly but it does take the burn off fairly quickly.

I eat more hot pepper than anyone I know. Most folks think I'm nuts!

    Bookmark   September 19, 2007 at 9:57PM
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My hands were on fire from cutting peppers. I tried all the hints I found online, nothing helped. I was always told if a dog licks a sore it will heal sooner. Well, my Lab licked my hands, (after I had tried everything else.) She licked them very well. I went and washed them very, very good, and instantly they were relieved. Amazing, but true. It didn't seem to bother my dog, but I think she knew my hands were hurting me.

    Bookmark   July 25, 2009 at 2:50PM
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I cut up maybe 8 peppers to go with our dinner 3 hours later an many trips to wash my hands I found myself on this site. After we read things I could try my boyfriend suggested Go Joe, a hand cleaner for mechanics,it worked instantly.Maybe it will help someone else!!!

    Bookmark   July 26, 2009 at 7:42PM
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This is my war story. I was cutting cayenne using gloves and plastic bags to store. No big deal right, wrong the next day I was cutting grass on a 90F day and came in to use a wash cloth and guess what. You got it: it was the same towel that I used the day before. My face was on fire. I know I know I had 4 year old twins and when youÂre raising twins your brain is just fried. I should have cleaned up everything from the day before, but I learner my lesson the hard way. One good thing is that it was me and not my girls!!!!

    Bookmark   July 27, 2009 at 9:25AM
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We Indians use rarified butter when our hands burn due to cutting hot peppers.

Before cutting hot peppers, we apply ghee(rarified butter).

Whenever I handle Naga I generally use latex gloves. But the heat permeates through latex. So I apply butter lateron and it solves my problem.

Sometimes when I have an over dose of Naga Chutney pickle, I use cottage cheese with a little sugar.The fire in mouth disappears in a jiffy.


    Bookmark   July 27, 2009 at 5:10PM
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Dr. Jean Andrews figured out (while working with sea-shells) that bleach removes a lot of the burn from peppers.

I know I am not following her technique exactly but, I clean my hands off with 100% "Clorox" and then do a "Silkwood Scrub-down" with soap & water. After this I still have that soapy/slimy feeling on my hands. I just pour a bit of vinegar over my hands and that slippery feeling is gone. My hands are then 99% free of the hot pepper juice and I can do anything but touch the corners of my eyes. I am not saying this is the right thing to do but it does stop me from having a bad case of "Hunan hand".

    Bookmark   July 30, 2009 at 8:01AM
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I deseed super-hot peppers by hand.No gloves.Hot,humid environment.I do wear glasses.The Gojo works best(breaks down oils)followed by a good spray of clorox,followed by a good scrubbing of soap and water.All of these should be applied by a good quality small scrub brush.Pay prticular attention to the nails and cuticles!The veg. oil is of course a good tip,just not very fast acting!
Enjoy the heat,or GTF outta the kitchen!
Some things you just gotta roll with to enjoy!

    Bookmark   July 30, 2009 at 9:43PM
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chillilover(Zone 6b)

The reason we eat hot peppers is for the burn. The pain on the hands is nowwhere like the mouths. I say if you can't take the pain on the hands you shouldn't be eating them.

    Bookmark   July 30, 2009 at 9:55PM
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chillilover(Zone 6b)

Munalos is that a joke? You wash your hands with 100% bleach. That will almost burn the skin right off you hands and is toxic. I'd rather feel a bit of a burn from the peppers than do that. Do you know your skin absorbs a lot of the bleach too?

    Bookmark   July 31, 2009 at 12:16AM
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I had never experienced burning hands, except for some minor discomfort under the fingernails until last autumn. I had deseeded and chopped up about a pound of Bhut Jolokia when I began to notice the burning sensation in my hands. Soon, it began to feel like a severe chemical burn (like battery acid). I would have welcomed a remedy, but all I could do was to ride it out. I didn't sleep well that night, but it was better in the morning, at least until the warm water form the shower hit my hands, then it started all over again. I was atonished! Now, for the Bhuts, I always wear gloves.

    Bookmark   August 7, 2009 at 8:18PM
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Well I meant to buy "ajice" peppers for my Puerto Rican softito mix, but instead I bought and cut up about 10 habenaros by mistake. After I made about 3 pickle jars worth, i noticed my throat and hands tingling...then burning. 3 hours later my hands were still buring! After rinsing them several times, and putting Calamyn lotion, I read this page and tried alcohol..it worked a bit. But really, rubbing Vitamin E oil all over my hands took most of the discomfort away.

    Bookmark   April 17, 2011 at 9:46PM
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highalttransplant(z 5 Western CO)

Add me to the list that chopped peppers for canning salsa without putting gloves on, and paid the price. Like fffgt, I discovered that the pain restarted the next day when I took a shower. After doing some research online, I tried an alcohol based antibacterial gel, and finally got relief.

The comments about not using hot peppers if you can't handle the burning hands is a little off the mark. When using them in a sauce or salsa, the heat gets diluted, so it requires the use of something with more heat than could be handled for fresh eating, just to bring the heat level of the final product to the right level.

    Bookmark   April 17, 2011 at 11:26PM
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I have the butter container(an old sugar bowl with a lid)on the counter where I do my veggie slicing. After cutting peppers, I rub butter into my fingers thoroughly, then add a squirt of liquid dish soap(from a pump dispenser), mix that in thoroughly with the butter, then rinse it all off. If I still get some heat when I stick my finger in my mouth, I repeat the process. It works in a similar way as the waterless hand cleaner. I'm usually just cutting/slicing jalapenos and the occasional rocoto, but I avoid a lot of the burn this way.

    Bookmark   April 18, 2011 at 9:58PM
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My husband bit into a pepper and told me it wasn't hot. So I made sofrito with it. NOT NICE. The oils started burning about 30 min later and would not stop. Chose to avoid the bleach. ICE COLD MILK OR SOUR CREAM. Relief!!

    Bookmark   September 20, 2011 at 5:48PM
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Step 1: wash your hands with soap under cool water. Warm or hot water will open your pores and let the capsicum sink in deeper.

Step 2: Rub your hands with a lactose product; whole milk; yogurt; cream; ice cream etc.

Step 3: Repeat step 1.

Your hands will still burn but not as bad. Time will wear it off.

Just my 2 cents (don't ask how I know).


    Bookmark   September 20, 2011 at 7:59PM
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I was cutting up some Garden Salsa and Hot Banana peppers today without gloves. My hands started to burn as I was cleaning up. I found your website for help. So many things to use but I didn't have most of the items. I tried washing hands then cut a leaf of my Aloe Vera plant but that didn't seem to work. I kept washing them with warm water and Polmolive dish soap and mixed in olive oil. I could feel the pain getting less intense so I kept repeating washing them with olive oil about three times. In two hours the pain was completely gone.

    Bookmark   October 11, 2011 at 10:10PM
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I cut jalapenos and serranos all the time with bare hands and I am stupid I never wash my hands after. Often I touch my eye or nose later and it starts to burn. But not too much.

    Bookmark   October 15, 2011 at 12:33AM
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In the past I used to cut up a lot of peppers. 500 or so serrano's at a time. First thing, I've noticed those and Jalapeno's are not near as bad where I live now (Texas) vs where I grew up in NM.

My hands would only burn after those marathon dicing sessions. My concern is always my contacts. My eyes are very sensitive to it.

I never really found a great solution other then be careful in how I handle the pepper.

    Bookmark   March 12, 2012 at 2:57PM
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I usually don't use gloves until I hit Habernero heat or higher. When cutting less hot chilis, my biggest concern is not getting a squirt in the eye, which is way more sensitive then hands. I have found that during cutting sometimes very small bits or juice can fly in the eye. Most times I just wash my hands with soap and water when done and that's good enough. At those rare times I did get Hab or Bhut juice on my hands, I found aloe or alcohol work the best for me.

    Bookmark   March 12, 2012 at 3:24PM
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As capsicum is alcohol-soluble, those cheaper hand-sanitizers should work well - and I keep one by the sink anyway.

    Bookmark   March 12, 2012 at 5:22PM
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Just buy a pack of cheap latex (nitrile) gloves. They are pretty cheap, ensure your hands won't get full of pepper that you cannot get off no matter how much or how long or whatever you use to wash them. It takes a couple days to "wear" off. I, like Capoman, dont use the gloves until I get past Cayenne. Then, all you have to worry about is the eyes and if you are worried about it, a pair of safety glasses will take care of that problem. When done processing the peppers, toss the gloves in the trash and put the safety glasses back in the drawer and you are good to go.
It is pretty simple to make sure you dont pepper yourself. But like on a gun, if you don't use the safety, you stand a big risk of shooting your foot off.

PS: I am on my 17th foot already.


    Bookmark   March 12, 2012 at 6:05PM
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LOL Bruce.

Here's my powder processing getup. Can't see the safety goggles but they're on.

    Bookmark   March 12, 2012 at 7:03PM
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And back to my earlier analogy. You are even safer if you leave the gun in the gun case.
Ottawa, What exactly are you processing up there in Canada?


    Bookmark   March 12, 2012 at 8:29PM
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I'm mostly perfecting my Grim Reaper blend... a lightly smoked 7 Pot; 7 Pot Jonah; 7 Pot Douglah; Bih Jolokia; Trinidad Scorpion; TS Moruga and Billy Goat powder blend.

I think I already have Josh (greenman28) secured as my south western US sales rep.

Are you game for the central mid west area?


    Bookmark   March 12, 2012 at 8:45PM
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Rathos(7b PA)

I've been cutting habas for years bare handed, and the worst I've had is the bathroom burn (which is bad). Also, my gf won't come within 5 feet of me after I cut them, lol. Whoops. At any rate I've never felt any sort of discomfort on anything that isn't a mucous membrane or my forehead, which is odd hearing so many people here who do.

Does anyone have a personal Bhut/Naga/whatever comparison to OC spray? We all got hit with a 5 million scoville equivalent spray (right in the eyes and mouth, awesome) when I was training in GA. Some people dropped, some were literally hardly affected. One of the non-affectees was the guy I used to go eat the hottest hot wings around town with - but I wasn't that lucky. It didn't incapacitate me but it sure burned like nothing else. I'm just wondering (as this will be my first year growing hotter than Haba) what I'll be in for.


    Bookmark   March 12, 2012 at 10:05PM
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Yes, best to stay away from superhots if you plan on getting lucky ;)

I had a friend who made that mistake eating very hot peppers while camping and then getting "intimate" with his wife. It wasn't the sound of pleasure we all heard from a distance....

    Bookmark   March 13, 2012 at 9:04AM
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I just had the worst burning on my left hand, it was throbbing red!! I found this thread via google search and tried a lot of your suggestions but nothing worked. Not the milk, vinegar, rubbing alcohol, bleach - all of those did make the burn go away completely but only while my hand was submerged. Once I took it out, it came back with a vengeance.

Because the pepper oils penetrate deep into the sub layers of the dermis, surface work doesn't do much. The only thing you can do is dull your central nervous system until your body naturally rids itself of the pepper oils. Pick your poison - prescription pain killers work best if you have any left from that last surgery or dental work, otherwise aspirin, ibuprofen, etc. Soak it in ice to numb the hand too - that helps. Good luck!

    Bookmark   August 8, 2012 at 5:27PM
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Eat some of the peppers...the burning in your mouth might overpower the burning of your hands. ;-)

    Bookmark   August 8, 2012 at 5:30PM
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I tried dish soap, log soak in tub, olive oil, veggi oil....but what DID WORK was SeaBreeze astringent...relief instantly!

    Bookmark   May 30, 2013 at 11:47PM
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I chopped Habanero last year without gloves and had no issue....until I scratched my forehead. It didn't last very long.

    Bookmark   May 31, 2013 at 6:58PM
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Baking soda helps some. I haven't tried it, but I bet dairy works.


    Bookmark   June 1, 2013 at 12:21AM
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seysonn(8a WA/HZ 1)

I have NEVER used gloves(latex or any other) while handling hot peppers. My hands might feel some heat sensation but not to the point to matter much. The ONLY problem is if I forget and touch my eyes with my hands before washing them with soap and water.

But on the remedy side, I think alcohol makes sense to me. I have not tried but I think robing crushed Great Plantain might help. I use it to relieve the itch caused by insect bite(mosquitoes in particular). I also believe in yogurt.

    Bookmark   June 1, 2013 at 3:52AM
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I had touched the leaves of my pepper plant. I washed my hands and put my contacts in later.....major burning in my eye! Do the leaves contain something that burns????? There are no peppers on the plant yet!

    Bookmark   June 2, 2013 at 8:35AM
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