How To Stop Chili Pepper Burn on Hands & Skin

Hot Chili Pepper Hand Burn

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 oil to get extremely irritated skin. Regrets.

So, this one is for us morons. We’ll never learn to be proactive, but we can at least try to stop the burn. Use our methods to get some quick relief, and to help prevent this in the future.

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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!

The reason hot pepper burn happens is the chemical compound known as capsaicin. This chemical is found in all spicy peppers, and it is the ingredient responsible for their fiery flavor. However, it’s effects can be felt on any tissue, including you 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 do! 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.

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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.

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. This 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!!!

Jalapeno In The Eyes – The Cure

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.

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Calvin

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

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