Some peppers, like bell peppers, are soothing and mild. However, Jalapeno, chili, thai and other hot peppers can be irritate skin as well as the mouth. Use gloves when chopping jalapenos and other hot peppers, but if you've accidentally gotten hot pepper oils on your skin, it can burn and become very painful.
Removing the Oil
Hot pepper oil burns skin on contact; the sensation gets worse the longer the oil stays on your skin. No amount of water or wiping make the burning sensation caused by hot peppers go away. Instead, saturate a cotton ball with alcohol and rub it against the afflicted area. This helps to cut the oil from your skin. Wash the area in cold water with a grease-cutting dish soap to get rid of any extra oil on the skin.
Applying a Remedy
Skin remedies containing dairy products are the most soothing and help to counteract the hot pepper oil's heat. You may have heard that drinking milk or eating ice cream stops the heat from spreading if you eat something that is too spicy. Similarly, placing dairy product on your skin helps stop the burning sensation. Dip the afflicted area in cold milk, yogurt, cottage cheese, sour cream or ice cream. If you don't have dairy at home, apply a different oil to the skin, such as olive or vegetable oil, to dilutes the hot pepper oil.
When to See a Doctor
Hot pepper burns are usually minor, but if you were unable to remove the hot pepper oil, you are still feeling a burning sensation after several hours or the burn has caused your skin to blister, contact your doctor. If the hot pepper oil has gotten into a sensitive area, like the eyes, nose or genital area, contact the Poison Control Center or call 911 for specialized instructions.
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