Home remedy for burns on face and eyes due to habanero peppers

Habanero peppers are one of the spiciest species of chilli peppers found. These peppers are said to have originated in the Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico, where they were discovered by the Spanish and spread to other suitable climate areas around the world. Due to its flavor and aroma the Habanero pepper is a very popular ingredient in spicy food and hot sauces. The active ingredient in the peppers is capsaicin, which causes irritation to the mucus membranes and skin. In fact, the main ingredient in pepper sprays is capsaicin, which is why they cause an immense burning feeling and discomfort for a long time.

Capsaicin is not a water soluble compound but a fat soluble one. Hence water is not of much help in the case of Burns caused by Habanero peppers. Dairy products contain a protein called casein which neutralizes Capsaicin effectively. Thus the best remedy is to wash or flush the affected area with dairy products like milk or yogurt. You must wash your hands thoroughly with a strong soap like a shampoo, detergent or dishwashing liquid solution before trying to treat your face and eyes. This is to avoid further cross contamination. Another effective way to get rid of the burning sensation is to rub the face with an oily moisturizer, vegetable oil, olive oil or petroleum jelly. This will not only help reducing the burning sensation but will also in stopping the skin from becoming abrasive during the healing process. Tomatoes can also be immensely helpful. Add some warm water to some fresh tomato pulp, then add a little olive oil or vegetable oil to it. Apply after the mixture cools down. The tomato juice cuts through the Capsaicin and stops further burning, the oil soothes the skin. You can also try to use an alcohol based hand sanitizer to neutralize the burning. Add some hand sanitizer to a piece of cotton and rub on the face. Of course, you cannot apply any of the above to your eyes as they may cause severe damage to the eyes. Thus the only way to get relief is to flush your eyes with ice cold water to reduce the burning.

Precautions that you must take in the future are to always use gloves – vinyl or latex – while handling Habanero peppers. You can also rub oil on your hands before wearing gloves as an added precaution. Later, wash your hands thoroughly with an alcohol based solution and follow up with a strong handwash soap solution. You must remember to avoid touching your face, eyes or other body parts while working with Habanero peppers.

answered by M W

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