If you love to cook and eat spicy food, you might have experienced this so called hot pepper hands (as I am sure, I am not the only one who has suffered from this) at least once. When you chop some hot peppers like : Jalapeño or Habanero or those tiny extra hot Thai Peppers, the burn effect on your hands excruciating, and that is because of the oils in the peppers. These peppers contain Capsaicin, which is the main ingredient in pepper spray. Capsaicin is the main oil that is present in all chillies, which is the culprit for causing the burns on your fingers. There are several homemade methods to take off that sensation from your hands, but, before you take it off, make sure you don’t touch your eyes, or it is going to be a horrible experience.
Many web sites or people just recommend to wash your hands or put them in cold water, etc. I would recommend using gloves before handling spicy peppers, but if you are reading this it means you are already suffering from that burn sensation on your hands, so here are some methods to get it off your hands that are know to give a quick relief for this itch and pain:
1. Milk or Yogurt
Many people say this is just a myth while some strongly agree to this remedy and the reason behind that is chili pepper is more soluble in fats and oils than it is in water. It wont hurt if you try this so, you could try soaking your hands in milk or yogurt until the burning sensation reduces or completely gone. And remember cooler the milk or yogurt the better effect it will have! ANd if you don’t have milk or yogurt, even sour cream would do as it contain the milk protein called casein, also.
2. Dish Soap
If you start feeling the burn in your fingers. Go to the dishwasher and wash your hands with a grease-cutting dish soap. Remember, hot pepper hands are caused by the pepper oils released by the peppers when you first cut it, so, a dish soap which will be able to eliminate it from your hands could be the greatest ally if your going to use any spicy pepper in your meals. If your dish soap an cut the grease from from dishes it can definitely dissolve the oils from those peppers.
3. Olive Oil
Rubbing olive oil (or any other vegetable oil) all over your hands for about a minute and rinse it off with soap and water will definitely help. Capsaicin is soluble in many vegetable oil, so olive oil dissolves it to reduce the pain. I wont say that the pain vanishes, but it make it more tolerable for sure.
4. Petroleum Jelly or Vaseline:
this options also help you to get rid off the burning fingers. As did with the oil, rub the gel on your skin. It could be helpful if you have a skin burn caused by the oil, too.
5. Baking soda paste
Baking soda has many uses and reducing the burn pain from pepper is one of the use. This method is very simple. Just make a thick paste with baking soda and water, apply all over your hands including your fingers and the tips and let it dry before you wash it off, so it can have effect.
Some people recommend this method, but its effectiveness it’s uncertain. White toothpaste can significantly help you reduce the sting of the oil burning your skin. It Works by rubbing the paste on the afflicted area. Wait till it dries then wash your hands with cold water.
Alcohol acts as a solvent and dilutes the pepper oils from your hand. You don’t have to soak your hands in alcohol like I said with milk or yogurt, just rub some alcohol on the afflicted area. Once the oil is removed, the burning sensation will disappear. High-proof liquor like vodka might also work to make you feel relief, or even regular rubbing alcohol will also do if you don’t have any liquor in the house.
8. Weak Bleach Solution
Bleach works as the removal for a lot of stains and substances, thats why it has an effect on the oils that are burning your fingers.”By the way, capsaicin, the fiery compound in chilies, will stick to your fingers for hours turning your hands into chemical weapons. You can prevent this by wearing vinyl or latex gloves. Or you can occasionally dip your fingers in a 5 to 1 solution of water and bleach while you’re working. The bleach will turn the capsaicin into a water-soluble salt that will then rinse away. Pretty cool, huh?”
9. White vinegar and Lemon
Mix white vinegar, sugar and add some lemon juice drops. Then apply this mixture on your hands and let it dry. The citric acid found in lemon can neutralize the alkaline effect of jalapeno. You will feel the relief in a few minutes.
Rub a tomato on your hands until the itch disappears because like lemons tomatoes are also packed with citric acid.
You can soak your hands in salty water for five to ten minutes and then wash your hands with cold water and soap. Or you can take some salt in your palms, add few drops of water and keep on rubbing it for 1-2 minutes than wash it off.
There are several methods around to help you get this burning sensation off your hands; however, we enlisted the most popular ones we are aware of. People have different skin types are affected differently with Capsaicin, so you will have to try and find which works the best for you. Remember, it’s a matter of trying until you feel your fingers relief. But the best thing to do is take preventive measures rather than finding a cure, like the saying says “Prevention is Better Than Cure”. So the best thing to do is use gloves before cutting any peppers.
Some people say that if you rubbing your hands with oil before you start chopping any spicy pepper, you can coat them from this sting long enough for this not to happen. You can try this, it is better that have your fingers on fire. After trying any of these methods I would recommend applying Hydrocortisone on the area where you had the burning sensation to get some more relief.
Burn Gel is also very effective. I have personally used this and gave me such a relief from the burn pain.
It is very important not to rub your eyes and don’t touch any of your body parts or the burn will transfer to that area if you still have the oil on your fingers. However, it can be the cause of an intense pain and it’s not as easy to relief as the hot fingers. In order to get off your hands this burning, it is recommended to use gloves if you’re going to cook any dish that includes spicy peppers.