How do I treat burn from hot peppers to hands?

There are several different types of peppers that are commonly used all across the world, in different cuisines. Many different varieties of hot peppers are used while cooking, in order to add a specific flavor to a dish. Hence, it is common to see different types of peppers in salads, roasts, grills, pastas, pizzas and so on. However, most types of peppers contain a chemical known as capsaicin, which is a very strong mucus membrane and skin irritant. Hence, you could sustain capsaicin burns on your hands, by handling certain types of hot peppers like jalapenos, chili peppers and even capsicums, with your bare hands. When you touch or chop peppers with your bare hands, the different molecules that are present in capsaicin come into contact with the neuro-sensors in your body. These sensors detect the abrasion and the heat, leading to a burning sensation that is very strong. Unfortunately, pepper burns on hands are quite serious, as they could cause redness, burning and immense pain. Moreover, if left untreated, the burns caused by hot peppers on the hands could last for hours, making it nearly impossible for you to go about your daily duties or even sleep. Hence, it is best for you to try out various options for hot pepper burn relief.

How to get rid of hot pepper on hands?

People who have experienced the problem of burning hands from hot peppers state that the discomfort is unbearable. When looking for ways on how to get rid of hot pepper on hands, the first step in reducing the burning sensation is to get rid of all the pepper oil on the hands completely. This is because the remedies will not be effective, if the pepper oil is still present on the hands. Hence, before you use anything on your hands, you will need to clean them with soap and water a couple of times, in order to be more thorough. You can also dip your hands in a bowl full of rose water with ice, or even simple ice water, as they can cool your skin and reduce the burning. Since the cooling sensation is only temporary, you may need to repeat this exercise at regular intervals throughout the day, at least until the pain and burning sensation subside. Fortunately, there are several home remedies that can help keep hot peppers from burning hands further. Some of the most commonly used and effective home remedies for pepper burns on hands are:

  • Ice: Most aches, pains and burns can be reduced with the help of ice. Hence, ice should be applied directly on the affected area of the hands.
  • Olive oil: A large amount of olive oil should be applied on the hands for immediate relief. This remedy contains properties that have a soothing effect on the skin and alleviate the burning sensation. However, the oil should not be washed off at least for a couple of hours, even after the burning sensation subsides.
  • Tomato: Cut a tomato into two halves and apply one half to each hand that is burning. The acid is believed to get rid of the burning sensation. Several people also use tomato paste instead.
  • Baking Soda: This is regarded as one of the most effective home remedies that can be used for getting rid of the burning and stinging sensation in the hands. A thick paste should be made from baking soda and water, which needs to be applied directly on to the palms or other areas that have been affected. This paste should be left on to the hands till it dries off completely, before it is washed off. Alternately, you could scrub your hands using some baking soda and then after a few minutes, you need to wash your hands.
  • Rubbing alcohol: For immediate relief from pepper burns on hands, several people use rubbing alcohol. However, the use of this remedy only brings about temporary relief.
  • Milk: This is also a very commonly used remedy for pepper burns on hands. Take some cold milk in a large bowl and dip your hands in it. This is believed to bring about immediate relief, but the stinging sensation may return after a while. Hence you can repeat this exercise a couple of times, if required.
  • Orange juice: Fill a large bowl with fresh orange juice preferably without any sugar or preservatives. Orange juice contains properties that can bring the pepper oil directly to the surface of the hands. Therefore, after dipping your hands in the bowl of orange juice for about half a minute, you will need to wash your hands thoroughly. Since it may take a few tries to get rid of the oil completely, it is best for you to dip your hands in the bowl of orange juice again, for about half a minute or so. Most people experience relief after dipping their hands in the juice and washing it off in about four or five tries. However, in case the pain returns, the exercise can be repeated.
  • Vinegar or lemon juice: Both these ingredients contain properties that can help reduce the burning sensation. Hence, for relief from pepper burns on hands vinegar or lemon juice should be applied on the skin for about 10 or 15 minutes.

There are many people who take an over the counter pain reliever to get rid of the intense pain. There are also certain ointments, which contain Aloe Vera and hydrocortisone creams that can be applied topically for relief from pepper burns on hands.

It is best for you to prevent pepper burns on hands, by using gloves whenever you need to handle peppers. The gloves that you can use should be made from either rubber or plastic. Several people use latex gloves to prevent hot peppers from burning their hands. However, the pepper oil which contains capsaicin will only seep through the latex and will irritate the skin anyway. For as long as the burning sensation lasts, you need to avoid touching your face and especially your eyes. In case the options mentioned above do not bring about hot pepper burn relief within a few hours, it may be best to get consult a doctor at the earliest.

answered by M W

It is not uncommon to suffer from burns after having cut hot peppers, capsicums or chilly. The capsaicin present in these vegetables causes the burns and thus it is extremely important to take adequate care while cutting them to avoid getting burnt. You should always wear rubber gloves while you are handling hot peppers. Latex gloves do not do the trick, however, since the capsaicin can seep through the latex burning your skin through the gloves. If however you do burn your hands, the first thing to do is to get the capsaicin off your hands by washing them immediately with cold water. The cold water will help to soothe the burning sensation, but it isn't enough to remove the capsaicin. You should wash your hands using some soap, shampoo or even detergent to get rid of the capsaicin. Dishwashing soap is very effective in removing the capsaicin, so you should consider using that. You can continue to soak your hands in icy cold water or a bowl with ice cubes to soothe the burning sensation.

Apart from cold water and ice, you can use several other simple home remedies to treat burns from hot peppers. Since capsaicin is fat soluble you can apply an oily substance such as moisturizing cream, petroleum jelly or even vegetable oil on the burns to stop the burn from aggravating and keep your skin from getting abrasive as the burnt skin heals. Soaking your hands in a bowl of cold milk or fresh cream that has been refrigerated can also do the trick. After soaking your hands in ice water you can rub some baking soda on them. This will help to provide relief from the continuing burning sensation. Alternately you can rub some flour on your hands to heal the burns. Another quick way to heal the burns is rubbing some juice of freshly cut lemon on your hands. This will cut through the capsaicin and help to heal the burns faster. Another remedy involves tomatoes. You dilute some fresh tomato pulp by adding warm water to it and then add some cooking oil to this and cool the mixture. Soaking your hands in this cold water for an hour is beneficial in treating burns from hot peppers. This will cut through the capsaicin preventing the burn from aggravating and also soothe the burning sensation. If the burns persist, then it might be a good idea to consult a doctor for further treatment.

answered by G R

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