How do you get the oils off your hands after working with green chilies? My sister's hands still feel like they're on fire.

The active component of a chilli is known as capsaicin and this is responsible for the burning sensation that occurs when you come into contact with an open chilli. Capsaicin is, in all probability, produced as a defence mechanism against plant-eating animals and in physical appearance is colourless and odourless. It might also appear as a crystalline or as a waxy substance. To relieve the burning, you should wash your hands with soap and water. However, since capsaicin is water-resistant, you might find that using only water and soap may not really work. You should then try using hot water and dish washing detergent to wash your hands.

You should remember that chilli melts in fat and hence you can apply olive oil or any other oil based substance such as vegetable oil, petroleum jelly, and body lotion on your hands to remove the capsaicin. You can also apply lime juice on your burns to soothe them. Use buttermilk and vinegar to soothe the burns as well. You should also ensure that you are wearing gloves when you cut chillies to protect any chances of burns. Use rubber gloves instead of latex ones because they provide better protection against the burns. If the burning does not stop after using these home cures, consult your doctor immediately.

answered by G R

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