The compound that causes the burning sensation is known as Capsaicin. Capsaicin is the chemical in chili peppers that makes them spicy. Specifically, capsaicin occurs in the fruits of plants in the Capsicum family, including bell peppers, jalapeño peppers, cayenne peppers and other chili peppers.
- Coat your fingers lightly in some oil before handling chillies. This prevents the essential oils of the chillies from sticking to your fingers.
- Another hack for chilli scorched hands is to use lime juice. Vigorously rub a lime wedge on your fingers for a few minutes and then wash it off with cool water. The acid in the lime will break down the essential oils and the burning sensation will disappear in no time!
- You can also make a paste with baking soda and water to get rid of the burning sensation. To make the paste use a tablespoon of soda bicarbonate or baking soda and some water. Ensure that the paste is thick. Once you make the paste, apply it onto your hands. Wash it off after 5 minutes and it should help soothe your smouldering skin.
Dish Washing Detergent
- If you don’t have lime or baking soda on hand, a last resort for fighting the chilli burn is dish washing detergent. Dish soap has harsher chemicals that are designed to remove oil from vessels and will certainly help to clean off the essential oils from your hands. However, the chemicals are terrible for your skin so avoid this if you can.
- Remember to apply moisturiser to your hands if you use this method.
- You can completely avoid the burning sensation by wearing latex gloves while cutting your chillies. Ensure that you use latex gloves that do not have any powder on them.