I’m going to file this one away under things I wish my Mother had taught me. I had finally gotten my hands on my Step Mother’s salsa recipe which my husband LOVES. I picked up all the ingredients and was excited to make it for him. I love spicy foods but had incredibly never worked with fresh hot peppers before. I had some beautiful jalapenos to cut up for the salsa. I cored them and dug out the seeds with my fingers, scraping them out with my nails. I made my salsa and some homemade tortilla chips to boot and my hubby and I started chowing down on them.
I proceeded to try just about every method I could find online to stop the burning which included slathering sour cream on my fingers, soaking them in alcohol, soaking them in milk, half vinegar/half water solution soak, washing under the hottest water possible, vaseline bandages, vegetable oil and applying ice. The sour cream gave relief but only while it was cold and then the burning returned. Same was true for the milk. The vinegar and water solution worked but only while my fingers were submerged in it and once removed the burning sensation returned. I was desperate for a cure and the burning was intense. Luckily I hadn’t touched my eyes or other areas on my body before realizing what was happening.
After trying all of these remedies, tweeting for help and ultimately finding no relief I decided to take two Motrin PM pills and just sleep it away. I took the pills and grabbed an ice pack and went to bed. Despite being groggy from the medicine I was STILL waking up through it due to the pain in my fingers. I kept changing ice packs and praying for relief come morning. I finally awakened at 4 am to find the burning sensation was greatly diminished. Thank God!
The slight pain and burning continued for at least another 24 hours after that. I slept in my contact to avoid touching my eyes and spreading the horrible burn to my eyes. What an awful experience and one that could’ve been avoided had I known to just wear gloves while cutting hot peppers! I hope this will save those of you that don’t know this yet!
If you are coming across this article because you have a burning sensation from cutting hot peppers then you can try the following remedies although I will admit that none cured my burn. The only thing that cured it was time. I was even careful to shower the next day with my hand in the air since the hot water can release the oils in your skin again causing the burning to come back! Here are some remedies that provided relief for me albeit not a cure:
- Cover the area in a dairy product. Dairy products soothe jalapeno burns because they strip capsaicin from receptor sites on the skin. Use things like sour cream, yogurt, milk, cottage cheese or ice cream.
- Milk and baking soda. Create a paste with milk and baking soda and apply to the affected area.
- Soak area in a mixture of 1/2 vinegar and 1/2 water, preferably cold.
- Take pain relievers
- Apply ice pack
- And most importantly next time WEAR GLOVES 🙂
I hope no one else has to go through this as it was really awful! Have you ever done this or did your Mother tell you to wear gloves?