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How To Stop Chili Pepper Burn On Hands And Skin

So you did it again. You ignored all the warnings to wear gloves when cutting peppers, and now you have hot pepper hands. You’re not alone.

Though I am an advocate for wearing gloves and eye protection, I often slice jalapenos without gloves when I’m in a hurry. It doesn’t take much spicy pepper juices to get your hands burning from peppers. Regrets.

So, this one is for us morons. We’ll never learn to be proactive, but we can at least learn how to get rid of hot pepper burn on hands. Use our methods to get some quick relief from hot pepper hands, and to help prevent this in the future.

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Chili Pepper Hand Burn

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Hands Burning From Jalapenos – Why It Happens

Jalapenos are plenty spicy to notice a burn, either in your mouth or on your skin. If you neglected to wear gloves while slicing spicy peppers, you may end up with irritated skin.

This burning from jalapeno oils can come hours after you finished cooking! We call this ‘jalapeno hands‘ in the PepperGeek household, and it happens far too often.

The reason hot pepper burn happens is due to the chemical compound known as capsaicin. This chemical is found in all spicy peppers, and it is the ingredient responsible for their addictive, fiery flavor. However, its effects can be felt on any tissue, including your skin.

When you get a spicy chili burn on your skin, it can last for hours and hours. This is because the mouth typically flushes itself out with saliva and digestive enzymes. This does not occur on the skin, meaning that you will have to treat a hot pepper burn on the skin differently.

How To Cure Chili Burn On Skin

Don’t worry, you can stop the burn fast if you follow our instructions. You essentially want to remove the chili oils from your skin and soothe the existing pain.

Remember, capsaicin is the spicy ingredient in peppers, and it is an oily substance. This means that we have to use some sort of detergent to remove it from the skin.

Water won’t work! Scrubbing with water will only make things worse. So follow these tips to stop the chili burn fast.

Scrub With Dish Soap

Dish Soap

Dish soap is a detergent. It is formulated to remove grease and oils from your dishware, and it is also safe for use on skin. This makes dish soap the perfect ingredient to remove oils from your skin.

Start with a healthy amount of dish soap and scrub your hands with cold water. Do this multiple times if the burn does not seem to be soothed after one wash.

Tip: Use a soft toothbrush or a gentle sponge to scrub under your fingernails with the dish soap.

We do not advise that you use dish soap in your mouth or on your lips. Many dish soaps are toxic when ingested, so only use dish soap externally.

Don’t Shower!

Most people tend to notice the hot pepper burning their hands or skin after showering. This is because the capsaicin on your skin is oil-based, and massaging it with warm water will just spread it out rather than wash it off.

This, combined with the pore-opening effect of steamy water causes the burn to increase. Ouch.

Make sure you have dealt with the capsaicin before you go to take a shower. We’ve had the experience of spreading the hot pepper burn to…other locations. No fun.

While we’re on the topic of no-nos, there’s another big one we don’t want to miss. Don’t touch your eyes.

Dealing with a spicy burn in your eyes is terrible. The only solution is usually to wait and cry it out. You can flush with water or saline, but this is only minimally effective. If you’re suffering from spicy eye burn, your eyes will eventually flush out the oil with tears.

Dip It In Milk

Milk is by far the best solution for spicy pepper burn in the mouth. However, it can also be very effective at treating it on the skin. The fats in milk help to break down the pepper oils and provide temporary relief.

Use cold, high-fat milk for the best effect, and feel free to submerge for as long as you want. The milk will not cause any damage to your skin, so fill up a bowl and let it sit.

Apply Aloe Vera Gel

Similar to a sunburn, you can try applying some aloe vera gel to your spicy pepper burn. Aloe can help increase blood circulation and provide some temporary relief for chili burns on the skin.

Aloe vera can be used after all of the other methods have been tried first, or if you don’t have any of the other ingredients.

Give It Time

Unfortunately, the only thing left to do is wait. No method is effective at completely removing chili oils from the skin. Eventually, your skin will shed and the oils will be flushed from your tissue, providing complete relief.

Until then, learn the best way to avoid spicy pepper burn: wear gloves!!!

Stopping Jalapeno Burn In The Eyes

Okay, don’t panic, you’ll be okay!

The first thing to know is that spicy peppers won’t blind you. Unless you’ve dumped pure capsaicin in your eyes, the burn will subside. So don’t go putting chemicals in your eyes trying to stop the burn. It won’t help, and you might cause more damage to your eyes than relief!

With the eyes, there is really only one method to help alleviate a jalapeno burn.

Use Milk

Once again, we call on the cow gods to help us. Soak a paper towel in high-fat, ice-cold milk. Squeeze out excess milk, and then lay the cold paper towel over your closed eye. This should provide some relief.

The paper towel will eventually get warm, and the relief will subside. Repeat the process until you can bear the pain.

Tip: Be sure to wash your hands before preparing your milk paper towel. If there is more pepper juice on your hands, you may end up making the eye situation worse.

Give It Time

Unfortunately, the only other cure for a chili burn in your eyes is time. Don’t expect the milk to completely fix the problem. Your eyes will water until the majority of the oil has been expelled.

Well, have you learned your lesson yet? Did you order a box of rubber gloves on Amazon yet?

Of course you didn’t. You’re just like me. You’ll just bookmark this article for when this inevitably happens again.

Calvin Thumbnail


One of the original Pepper Geeks! When Calvin isn’t gardening or learning more about peppers and botany, he might be traveling new places or playing some music.


Friday 15th of October 2021

Butter. Real butter. Slather it on an let it do it’s magic. Use the gloves that you should have been weary to keep it on your skin.

Hot Pepper Hands

Monday 11th of October 2021

Baking soda powder on my hands helped.

Putting ice on my hands helped. I put ice and water in a plastic cup with a top and held it while I slept...seriously...they only way I could get to sleep.

Today just a few burning spots left on hands.

I thought about going to ER as my heart started to race and I almost passed out. But just getting the pain under control helped resolve the issue.

But my ghost pepper sauced turned to amazing.


Tuesday 12th of October 2021

Haha! Glad to hear that at least your sauce turned out great :)


Friday 24th of September 2021

Unfortunately none of these worked for me! After 3 hours of trying everything I could find and contemplating going to the ER, what DID end up working was mustard! I saturated my hands in it and out gloves on for about 30-45 minutes and they finally stopped burning!


Saturday 25th of September 2021

Wow - we see a new method every day! Glad you found a way to stop the burn

Leng Servado

Saturday 12th of June 2021

Gosh I think dynamite is not hot😭 and I said to myself ohh theirs no spicy 😪 but after all at the end 🤯🔥 o my goodness it's really hot and spicy 😅 the more I washed it water, the more it's burning so now I'm here for searching 😅😢


Thursday 15th of July 2021

hoy sameee


Wednesday 30th of September 2020

I very much look forward to your newsletter. I have tried growing several types of chili peppers for the first time this year. Your website is a great reference. I harvested Red Savina Habenero, cut them in half and touched them with my bare hands as I dried them before in the dehydrator. I washed my hands with water and wiped them with a towel. And then I wiped my face with the towel. .....I had a very hot experience. Lol (*≧д)ノシ彡☆

   from Japan.