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My hands were on fire!

ChrisChris Posts: 117
edited 10:50AM in EggHead Forum
Over the weekend I was removing the seeds/veins from a Jalepeno pepper with no gloves on. Apparently some of the heat from that worked it's way into my dry, cracked skin. I spent most of the afternoon on Sunday washing my hands and trying various lotions that my wife had.

My hands smelled great but I felt like someone lit a blazing fire just under my hands. Anyone know how I could have alleviated the pain sooner? (other than wearing gloves...which I will do next time).

I figured others have run into this problems prepping ABTs.


  • stikestike Posts: 15,597
    i don't understand why this doesn't happen to me. i am a wuss with regard to the heat in the mouth, but i can seed jalapenos and hadaneros all day. i don't get it. some weird gene i must have (one of many).

    i have a stainlesssteel sink which i rub my hands on to get rid of garlic. i don't know what works with jalapenos other than washing vigorously.
    ed egli avea del cul fatto trombetta -Dante
  • AZRPAZRP Posts: 10,116
    Lotions would trap the heat in, probably washing your hands in some milk would have worked. -RP
  • stikestike Posts: 15,597
    milk in the mouth (the fats) is supposed to help if you drink it before, because it coats the tongue a little bit. but they (those chemist types) say the capsaicin binds chemically to the tongue and can't be dislodged by anything once it's in. meaning, drinking milk AFTER the heat will cool the tongue if the milk is cold, but doesn't do anything to wash it away. i guess that milk (and sour cream, etc.) aren't solvents that wash it away, so much as preventative fats that help minimize how much makes it to the tongue. too late to make this short (typical!), but i'm thinking milk won't help when washing it. many backache/muscle creams use capsaicin as the chemical that makes them feel warm. and once they are on, the capsaicin is in and bound to the nerves receptors. gotta just ride it out.
    ed egli avea del cul fatto trombetta -Dante
  • ChrisChris Posts: 117
    I am a nurse practitioner, so I wash my hands probably 10-15 times per day. I have the worst dry, cracked skin. I am thinking that has something to do with it.
  • MaineggMainegg Posts: 7,787
    same here Stike, it does not effect me either. but I do love hot stuff. Chris, looks like you learned a new cooking lesson :(
  • ChrisChris Posts: 117
    Yep...sure did. I have deveined/deseeded Jalepenos before and I dont remember this happening. I just need to start wearing gloves when doing this in the winter months.
  • try taking your contacts out after cleaning jalapenos...or if you are a male try going to the bathroom to urinate :ohmy:
  • stikestike Posts: 15,597
    oh yeah. you are getting it in quick, and further than most, probably.

    probably can't coat your hands in bag balm oranything. looks like gloves are the order of the day.

    you have a hard job, one that probably usually goes under appreciated until someone needs you. thanks for doing what you do
    ed egli avea del cul fatto trombetta -Dante
  • ChrisChris Posts: 117
    Ouch...and OUCH. I did urinate a couple times afterward and luckily didn't have any problems. I would have gone to the ER had that happended!
  • fishlessmanfishlessman Posts: 22,024
    i get the same thing after using strong soaps or thinners at work, a day later after prepping the peppers it will be strong enough to feel the heat if you touch your lips with your hands. the only thing that helps is holding a cold beer. :whistle: it only seems to happen every once in a while
  • "Sparky""Sparky" Posts: 6,024
    Hey Chris,sounds like you learned the hard way :( I had the same problem back in June,and of coarse came here for help :whistle: :woohoo: Here's the post
    BTW,my handle used to be doug-123 ;)
  • ChrisChris Posts: 117
    BEER! Why didn't I think of that. That is actually a better solution than wearing gloves. Thanks!
  • ChrisChris Posts: 117
    Thanks. It is a hard job, but I enjoy it.So I can't complain.
  • I not only use gloves but clean the seeds from the peppers under water. By doing that your eyes won't be affected either, works for me. Bucky Buckshot
  • MaineggMainegg Posts: 7,787
    funny story, but not really.We had just had to have our dalmatian put to sleep... we were a mess. and had just adopted this under 5 pound miss fit that was 10 years old the week before we lost Ukie. just a sad mess. we were fattening her up so she could have surgery for a few issues. It should have been for a lobotomy for us! LOL any ways I was cleaning peppers for ABT's and Neil was hand feeding her little treats. she was missing some of her teeth so it had to be very small pieces and we just were not used to it. After having dogs that could swallow a ham whole almost..... well she started choking and BAD and she was so small and bony.... she had been shut in for 10 days with no one taking care of her. no food no water and at 8 inches high she could not reach the toilet. I mean a real bad mess. well both of us are on the floor and I don't want to squeeze her, I would have snapped her in too. so I stuck my finger down her throat... yup pepper juice and all. I was balling and Neil was just about, there was no way we could have lost another dog that week even though we had not had her that long it would have been to much. then I almost killed her. now i can't help but laugh but that poor thing must have really wondered if she had gone from bad to worse.
  • this subject was discussed back in september and quite a few remedies were submitted ... search the archives for "pepper burn removal" ... hope this helps

  • RVHRVH Posts: 523
    Chris, imagine the fun I had in the academy when we all had to take a 3 second blast of OC (pepper) spray to the face/head. After the effects started to wear off we were allowed to take a shower. You ain't lived til you've had that stuff run down to where you'd rather not have it. Gives a whole new meaning to "fire in the hole".
    Anyway, go to a local cop shop and they will have a spray neutralizer you can get.
  • RascalRascal Posts: 3,643
    Good grief Charlie Brown, hope you're OK! Reminds me of something that I experienced many years ago. As a teenager, to attain flying lessons I worked for a flight school and my job was fueling, oil checks, pumping out floats and other maintenance tasks. This was at a seaplane base and often times in the heat of the summer I would work in nothing more that sandals and a swim suit (Speedos..ala Phelps). Well, on many of the planes the fuel tank was in front of the cockpit and this meant standing on the pontoon and hoisting the military-surplus 5 gallon can of fuel (30#) onto my shoulder in order to get the nozzle in place. One day, the nozzle came off and I was immediately doused with gas from my chest down to my feet! Within seconds the fuel wound up you-know-where and my immediate reaction was to toss the can and jump off the dock. The sensations of burning and pain were excruciating and of course, the water was of no help. To my dismay, the whole scenario was a source of comic entertainment to everyone who witnessed it! Fortunately there was a shower facility nearby and I spent the next hour there with a bar of soap, hoping that it wasn't going to wind up being a "life-changing event"! Moral of the story... jalapeno juice is bad, but gasoline...., forget it!!
  • I've never had a problem until a few months ago when my wife and I made 150 abt's. Both of our hands burned for about 2 days, especially anytime they became wet.

    I tried washing thoroughly with soap and water, but it didn't seem to help.

    I am guessing that now we are sensitized to the peppers so will always wear gloves from now on.
    Knoxville, TN
    Nibble Me This
  • Celtic WolfCeltic Wolf Posts: 9,773
    Capsaicin can be removed with anything that removes oil (soap, shampoo) or you can use another oil like vegetable or or Vaseline.

    Eating Bread after eating peppers can reduce the burn.

    Actually the suggestion of holding a cold beer works. It will cool off the burn. Ice will work too.

    I would suspect under normal circumstances you have naturally oily skin. This would prevent the Capsaicin from bonding; however, it will still be on your skin. I would avoid touching any area with Mucous Membranes (eyes). It is always wise to wear gloves when dealing with peppers. While you may not be immediately affected anyone you touch may be.
  • InksmythInksmyth Posts: 308
    I wash my hands at least a dozen times a day. I have been using a product called Satin. It is an antimicrobial skin cleanser. Cleans well but keeps the skin soft. If you are interested email me and I will send you a bottle to try.
  • NilsNils Posts: 82
    Oil removal & vigorous application of alternative non-burning oils helps, but I have yet to find anytihng that really knocks it out.

    I cook with peppers weekly, not quite daily. When my hands are really dry, or heaven forbid I have a hang-nail, I feel it. Just never got used to wearing gloves while I prep food.

    I have to be extra careful now whith a newborn - to not pick her up afterwards - so I have extra motivation to wear gloves now.

    My favorite story was several years ago... (set the way-back machine Mister Peabody!) I was making salsa, and my brother was over at the house and volunteered to help. I make my salsa by the gallon, so he was cutting the peppers. After cutting up six different varieties of peppers, to include habaneros - you guessed it - he had to use the facilities. All was well for almost five minutes after he came back out ... I noticed he was dancing around a little but thought nothing of it until a few minutes later he started really jumping around and using lots of explicatives! We tried several ways to calm that fire, a bag of frozen peas worked to keep the "fire" at a managable level. Its still a running family joke to this day!
  • tach18ktach18k Posts: 1,607
    Well the dog could have been "backed-up" and needed some manual cleaning.
  • ChrisChris Posts: 117
    Cool...never knew there was "spray neutralizer." What if the criminals get ahold of some neutralizer?
  • ChrisChris Posts: 117
    Thanks for the offer. I am just going to wear gloves next time though. I got that burning after cleaning out 1 Jalepeno...can't imagine what it would have been like after prepping 20-30 ABTs.
  • ChrisChris Posts: 117
    That is freakin' funny. Not for your brother, but I just got a very funny image in my head of him starting to squirm shortly after the bathroom break. Someone should put that in a movie!
  • RVHRVH Posts: 523
    While they have their hands occupied with the spray, and are intently applying it to themselves, we then go to "Plan B". I have never heard of a subject having been found with OC neutralizer. I guess it could happen, but in a dynamic encounter they will be otherwise engaged.
  • Just don't pick you nose or for heaven's sake, DON'T scratch anywhere
  • HaggisHaggis Posts: 998
    I may as well add to this litany of cures . . .

    My Chinese father-in-law always claimed that when one ate something unbearably hot, one should follow it with hot tea to dissolve the oils and alleviate the burning. It has worked for me over the years (my wife has a policy of cooking something horribly hot whenever she gets angry at me . . .) so it may also work as a hand-wash.
  • Sorry to hear about that. Try aloe (the stuff you put on sun burn) that may help next time.
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