View Full Version : Ouch! I burnt myself handling chilies...

06-14-2008, 10:15 PM
And I can't figure out how to make it stop!

I washed my hands thoroughly, poured vinegar over them to try to neutralize the oils...and it's not working very well.

Any other ideas? My poor fingers...:(

Rolling Thunder
06-14-2008, 10:23 PM
Try baking soda?

06-14-2008, 10:24 PM
Try baking soda?

Yeah, I tried that first. :(

ETA: It's finally starting to fade a little, so maybe all those things combined are working...just slower than I would like.

06-14-2008, 10:26 PM
I've handled jalapenos and even habaneros and never had a problem except with a cut or hangnail, usually one so minor I didn't realize I had it.

I'm finding people who say handling anything containing citric acid (oranges, lemons) neutralizes it. Others are saying tea or tea bags, wet ones.

Maryn, wincing in sympathy

Edit: Further suggestions include rubbing with table salt, wiping with baby wipes (which worked on a guy's scrotum, and no, there's no explanation of how chili juice got there), dousing with milk, and coating with honey then adding salt to it and "washing" your hands for five minutes.

06-14-2008, 10:28 PM
Yeah, I tried lime juice, too. Boy, I left a few things out, didn't I? LOL

I think my problem is just very dry skin. I am constantly cleaning something around here, and piling on the lotion doesn't help. Maybe that's why they're burning still. It IS getting better, albeit slowly. :)

Thanks for the tips.

Add any more you like...I'm pretty sure I'm not the only one who has done this, or will do it in the future! :D

Rolling Thunder
06-14-2008, 10:37 PM
Maybe it's like a jellyfish sting? You could ask Haggis to...um...water it. :D

06-14-2008, 10:39 PM
Maybe it's like a jellyfish sting? You could ask Haggis to...um...water it. :D

Good heavens! I'd be better off just pouring straight alcohol on it! :roll:

06-14-2008, 10:43 PM
Whatever you do, don't touch your eyes or any other delicate parts for that matter. The oil is what is burning your skin and as you've found out it's really difficult to get off.

A friend who is a nurse was called down to ER one day because her husband had burnt his penis with chili oil. Turns out he was chopping peppers had to pee in the middle of this task and the oils on his hands transfered to his bits. Poor guy not only pain but then had to suffer thru the embarrassment of knowing that everyone in the hospital knew of his situation.

After a quick peek on google, milk might help as well as alcohol - apparently the oil dissolves in milk (and they do serve hot food with milk or yoghurt) and alcohol also helps dissolve it. You could also try rubbing your hands with dry salt which according to one site, absorbs the oil.

Hope something helps for you.

06-14-2008, 10:50 PM
Thanks! It's finally gone now, but I will definitely keep those ideas in mind for the next time...I'm notoriously slow about these things. LOL!

dolores haze
06-14-2008, 11:16 PM
I wear gloves when chopping peppers, which is often 'cos I love spicy food. My hubby did the chopping, followed by peeing thing one time. He did NOT suffer in silence.

06-14-2008, 11:21 PM
Yeah, latex gloves work fine. Then you don't have to worry about absentmindedly touching your eyes or... other places, like Lola's husband.

But what kinda person has a box of latex gloves lying around? ;)

dolores haze
06-14-2008, 11:34 PM
Um...er...points at Cranky. She does!

06-14-2008, 11:38 PM
Um...er...points at Cranky. She does!


If I did, I wouldn't have been in this pickle to begin with. :D I'm going to buy some on my next trip to the store, though!

06-15-2008, 02:28 AM
I’ve found that getting chili oil off your skin usually requires patience until it wears off. Bit like waiting for the burn to lessen in your mouth.

Whenever I am chopping chilies, I cover my one hand holding the chili with those little plastic grocery bags you use at the store to pick your veggies and fruit. It's quick and easy and I can really grip the little ones, like Thai Bird's Eye chilies.

06-15-2008, 02:36 AM
flour or corn meal will help absorb the oils
also try plain tomato paste

06-16-2008, 05:12 PM
Ok, I must just be clinically insane because I never bother covering my hands when chopping, seeding, whatever to chiles and I never have any problems. Onions hurt way worse..the eyes at least :tongue.

06-16-2008, 08:50 PM
Ouch! I did that once and it was painful as heck. Now, I wash my hands immediately with soap and warm water after chopping chilies, and that seems to prevent evil perma-stringing.



06-16-2008, 08:56 PM

Seriously. it's used for jellyfish stings too--it does exactly what it's supposed to do--it cuts through the film that the peppers leave on your skin and removes it. The father in My Big Fat Greek Wedding is right. It's very good for that sort of thing.

And I never thought about using those little plastic grocery store bags on my hands! Thanks for a neat tip, Brianm. :)

06-16-2008, 09:25 PM
The 'hot' in chilies is from oils, so first wash with soap and water and then wash with lemon juice. This is one of the things that reconstituted lemon juice is for. I you use chilies a lot (or cook with fish or seafood or other smelly oil-based foods), keep a bottle of the lemon juice around.

06-17-2008, 12:20 AM
If you're crazy enough to use habaneros 1 per 5 qt/liters is PLENTY!

When mistakenly eating hot foods out--people often wrongly drink water etc.--that just pisses off the hot stuff. Eating mild carbs: bread, rolls, mashed potatoes absorbs the burning oils.

06-17-2008, 12:27 AM
Oh god, I did that once. I was making curry. It was absolutely miserable for hours, and nothing helped! Eventually, I just decided to get drunk and go to sleep. It was better in the morning.

Now I always wear rubber gloves when handling hot chiles.

06-17-2008, 02:04 AM
And as my brother found out, stuffing paper napkins in your mouth doesn't relieve the burn one bit. But it was an amusing site to behold. :D