Remedies for Hot Pepper in the Eye

Even a little oil from a hot pepper can cause eyes and fingers to burn.
Even a little oil from a hot pepper can cause eyes and fingers to burn. (Image: red chile peppers image by glinn from

Capsaicin is the ingredient in peppers that irritates soft tissues, especially the eyes. It's so effective that capsaicin oil is used in pepper spray as a deterrent weapon, according to Whether you’re on the receiving end of pepper spray or simply got some hot pepper oils in your eye while in the kitchen, several remedies can alleviate the pain and neutralize the irritating oil.

Whole Milk

Whole milk helps break down the hot pepper oils. Pour whole milk into a shot glass; fill it about halfway full. Holding the shot glass upright, lower your head over it until your eye is pressed up against the rim. Make sure the glass rim is sealed against your skin. With a quick flip, tip your head back with the glass held against your skin. Blink your eye in the milk, and allow the liquid to soothe and remove the hot pepper. After bathing the eye for about 10 to 15 minutes, place a milk-soaked towel over your eye for another 30 minutes or until the pain is significantly lessened.

Saline Solution

Aid your body’s natural defense mechanism by flushing the eye with a saline solution, such as one used by contact wearers. Alternate blinking and flushing the eye out for at least 30 minutes, but avoid touching the area with your hands. Avoid repeat touching of the area because that can reactivate the capillaries and increase the pain, according to


If you have no other available alternatives, try flushing the eye with water. Because the pepper juice is oil-based, it won’t wash away easily or quickly. Get to a sink, and allow cool water to run over your eye for about 30 minutes. You may not be able to open your eye at first, but try to blink as much as possible to get natural tears flowing and to allow the water to flush the oil away. Lay down with a cool wet towel over the eye until the pain lessens, says experts.

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