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20 June 2014

Help! My chili peppers have burned my tongue! or Help! My chili peppers have burned my skin! How do you stop the chili pepper burn?

Answer: Here’s how some ways you can beat the chili pepper heat…

How do you stop the burning after eating chili peppers?

Eat Dairy

Because of the innate hotness of all chili peppers, they can burn not only the inside of your mouth, but your skin as well. If you find that you simply can’t bear the heat after eating a chile pepper, try to consume a dairy product, like milk, yogurt, or ice cream.

Dairy products contain a chemical called casein that combats the effects of chile peppers’ capsaicin (the chemical that makes peppers hot) by stripping it from its receptor site on the skin.


I’ve also tried sugar and that seems to work in a pinch. Sugar can help absorb some of the hot chili oil and can reduce the burn.

Burning Skin (aka Hot Pepper Hands) – How to treat burning skin from chili peppers

Try rubbing alcohol first to remove the burning oil. Then, soak the skin in milk or another dairy product. Only use water or saline for your eyes, however, and please remember that the best way to combat the chile pepper heat is to use rubber gloves when handling peppers.

Also, this was suggested by a poison control center for those times you do not have a dairy product on hand: Wash the skin with warm, soapy water. Rub the skin with vegetable or olive oil and let set a minute. Rinse.

Please keep the methods in mind these methods for stopping the chili pepper burn on your skin

Rubbing Alcohol

The oil that makes chili peppers hot, capsaicin, is more soluble in alcohol, so a quick rub down with rubbing alcohol (or even a high proof booze) can help wipe it from your skin.

Use Dairy

As mentioned above, dairy products contain the chemical “casein” that combats the effects the capsaicin (the chemical that makes peppers hot) by stripping it from its receptor site on the skin.

Consider using milk, yogurt, sour cream or crema, or even ice cream to soak the burning skin.


Oils can be effective in helping to dissolve the burning chili oils. Dab some olive oil or any other vegetable oil onto your burning skin with cotton balls or a napkin. Soak or wipe the skin.

Dish Soap and Water

Dish soaps are meant to help clean oily plates, so they may be effective in washing away the chili oil from your burning skin.

Weak Bleach Solution

This is according to Alton Brown of “Good Eats”. He says to douse your already burning hands in a mild solution of 5 to 1 water to bleach. The bleach helps wash away the capsaicin that hasn’t yet absorbed into your skin.

Baking Soda or Corn Starch Paste

Starches can help draw out the oil from your burning skin so you can wash it away and possibly neutralize it.

Hopefully this helps you find some relief with your burning skin.


How Do You Stop the Chili Pepper Burn? - Here are steps to stop the burning in your mouth and on your skin from eating or handing chili peppers. |


  1. I had a terrible burn on my hand last night, the whole operation took 7hours! I had tried everything from washing with vinegar, alcohol, scrubbing with olive oil and salt, soaking with milk for three hours but nothing seemed to work. Doesn’t ease the burn at all. It was getting late and I was more desperate to remove the burn from my hands. So I washed my rub my hands with olive oil and salt again and rinse off with warm water. It was excruciating!!!! The burn seemed to wash off but my thumb and index finger was burning again.
    I washed my hands with conditioner and let dry ( I tried this for about five times until most of the pain goes away). There would be some burning sensation left, and I found body oil, rub it extensively (it’s soothing because my hands were so dry from washing), wait for a minute or so then rinse it with water.

    Then, I was sleeping soundly at 3am…

  2. Worked with Serrano chilis for dinner. Went to sleep 2-3 h later. Woke up in the middle of the night from pain on my leg that I scratched in my sleep. Gosh…. then my hands began to burn like there is no tomorrow… thanks for advices, alcohol rub seems to help, but I guess it will take a while until it completely stops to burn. What a nightmare.

  3. This site helped me, and the answer was alcohol based hand sanitizer. I used a chili cream for my muscle pain, and it burned my skin at the middle of the night. Used lotion, milk, vinegar and scrub too!

  4. Pickled some lighting Habs and somehow got the capsaicin on the back of my hand..OUCH….but St Ives green tea face scrub for the win…still burns a bit but it’s manageable

    1. Michael Hultquist - Chili Pepper Madness

      Thanks for the input, Glenn! I hope it helps someone else with the burning issue.

  5. I processed 35 lbs of Ghost and the like over the past three days to make jellies, hot sauce and dried peppers that I use in my dry rub. Used Latex gloves doubled. Never touched the peppers with bare hands. Still got hand heat from Oils that will migrate thru the gloves especially Latex because they are not made to stop oils, The black gloves that are used by mechanics are made to block oil base from getting to the skin. Know which gloves stop what type of substance. I don’t really mind because I use capsaicin for my chronic joint pain so the feeling of the “burn” is a normal feeling. Vinegar 10/1 with water for 10 minutes will quell the bad burn and the rest will subside in time. Maybe this is the “cost” of home made stuff, which we all agree is better than anything you can buy because it is made with love. Enjoy the heat, it’s good for you @zepinkpig, follow me.

  6. I tried yoghurt, dish washing soap and milk but none of them helped. Finally I tried vodka (didn’t have rubbing alcohol). I put it in cotton wool and rubbed it all over the burning areas. It didn’t completely go, but got rid of the pain from most of my fingers and improved the pain in my thumbs (the worst affected). Thanks for all the tips.

  7. I went with applying oil, then some cold milk, followed by my nail paint remover and then finally spraying some alcohol based deodorant on my hands. Don’t know which of these worked, or maybe all worked in some way or the other. It took about an hour and a half to heal.

    1. Michael Hultquist - Chili Pepper Madness

      Thanks for sharing, Prachi. I hope this is able to help someone else! The burn can be quite distressing.

  8. I tried all of the remedies and my fingers were still burning. Watkins salve worked the best. First cleaned with rubbing alcohol.

    1. Nothing was working so I mixed baking soda, Dawn, and kosher salt together and rubbed it on my burning skin roughly. Applied twice and the burn is nearly gone.

  9. Very grateful to have found this site and all the helpful comments, thank you. After the alcohol and milk only took the edge off I noticed the tea tree oil posts, and suddenly thought my oil make up remover might work too. Worked a treat what a relief after 4hrs! The trick to oil make up remover is to apply the oil to dry skin and then add a small amount of water massaging the skin all the time until you see the mixture turn white. Then rinse off. I’m guessing that is what you would do for vegetable oil to work best too. Hope that helps others.

  10. poopis lingoberg

    I had ghost peppers burning my hand after crushing them with my bare hands to make pepper flakes (after drying them). It has been 16 hours and I still feel the burn after remedies as simple as soaking hands in rubbing alcohol then rinsing, or soaking hands in baking soda mixed with water, then rinsing and even after “Wash the skin with warm, soapy water. Rub the skin with vegetable or olive oil and let set a minute. Rinse.” My hands are still in agony, and Im stuck on what to do. 🙁

    1. Michael Hultquist - Chili Pepper Madness

      Sorry to hear about this. You can try using a dairy product, like milk or sour cream, to try and counteract the capsaicin. Sometimes it can be difficult the stop that chili burn on the skin.

    2. I just went through a very painful 6 hour jalapeño hand burning crisis and after trying ice water, dish soap, whole milk, yogurt, vegetable oil, olive oil, corn starch, baking soda, Alocaine, and first aid burn cream, I called the local hospital and spoke with a nurse who gave me great suggestions that ended the pain.

      1. Soak hands in a 10:1 water to white vinegar solution and rinse with cold water.
      2. Can also soak in a 5:1 water to bleach solution as the bleach can make the oils more water soluble and then wash with dish soap and water
      3. Wipe affected area with rubbing alcohol using a cotton pad and rinse. Can also use alcohol like vodka or similar

      What ultimately worked for me was the vinegar / water solution and the rubbing alcohol. This combination provided relief within about 5 minutes.

      Best of luck, I hope you are able to find relief soon.

      1. Michael Hultquist - Chili Pepper Madness

        Thank you for sharing your personal experience, Kelley.

  11. I have found that hand lotion rubbed and well applied will also work well after washing off.

  12. I had jalapeño burn on my face and nothing I tried worked; olive oil, dish soap, and I didn’t have dairy. I ended up putting essential oil on the burn and then put Aquafor on top of that. I let it sit for a few minutes and wiped it up with water. That worked quite well.

  13. Try lemon juice, just squirt the juice on your hands and the pain goes away, sometimes you have to apply a couple of times, let dry! ❤️

  14. Just wanted to share. I was making pizzas tonight and my husband wanted chilli on his. So I very finely diced 3 really hot birds whe chillis and I sprinkled them with my hands onto the pizza . Long story short, wanted to thank you for the TEA TREE OIL TIP! After using dishwashing liquid, hand soap, bathing hands in milk, bathing hands in baking soda, vinegar, a double coffee body scrub, coconut oil, soap again , milk again, iced peas … everything. Doused hands in straight tea tree oil (applied with cotton wool) and 20 minutes later the burn has really really subsided to very very nice and milk! Thank goodness it seriously felt like I was holding my hands in a fire place.

  15. Dip ur finger in Sugar+ cold milk mixture.
    Then wash it with soap and cold water.
    It would surely help u guys.

  16. After wash with shampoo clean with alcohol let my hand in milk with ice for 10 to 15 min and then put the yogurt around my finger or hand and let it dry till the pain go away mine last for 30 min,

  17. If none of these work for you like it didn’t for me try using a body scrub or face scrub if you have it in the house. Since the burning sensation is from the oils trapped in the layer of the skin the scrub will peel back the layer and upon rinsing I felt instant relief. I used st Ives apricot scrub! Hope this helps

    1. Anne Harris

      Omg thank you for the body scrub idea it was the only thing that worked so thank you so much

  18. Mike Shelvy

    I came to this site because my mouth was on fire from peepers. After scrolling through the comments i realized the heat was almost gone by the time i was done. I guess focusing on something else helps to.

    1. Michael Hultquist - Chili Pepper Madness

      Sorry, man. True, though. Distraction is a good aid!

  19. I was dealing dealing with thie burning sensation from chopping habanerro peppers yesterday and it lasted for about 8 hours. And oh man it was a nightmare. I couldn’t sleep,hurt it was terrible. I tried rubbing alcohol before I soaked my hand in to a bowl of yogurt, dishwashing liquid to olive oil, to milk and lotion to shampoo, but none of those things works. Until I get the idea of using TEA TREE OIL, and it works really well and eased my pain in a matter of minutes ahh finally. Thanks Tea tree oil.

  20. Just glad to read these various remedies. We were VERY lucky to have a local farmer call us this weekend. His field of ghost peppers, Carolina reapers, various habaneros, and some exotics (Lemon drop, scottish tams, Dracula peppers, etc.) is still producing fruits. Their problem is that they are done with their farmer’s market business for the year (global warming? Who knows, but it was 70 degrees in November and the field was full of pepper)

    Anyway, we ended up with nearly 25 lbs of chilis and nearly HALF are ghost peppers. Since I am going to be processing chilies for weeks, it’s good to know the various remedies for what is almost certain to happen with THIS much pepper to deal with. BUT, I am sure glad to have the problem of too many chilies.
    Hopefully this picture will take to give y’all an idea of how much we got…

    Thanks for the Great website and GREAT recipes.

    1. Michael Hultquist - Chili Pepper Madness

      That’s GREAT, Chris! Good luck with all those peppers! What a nice windfall. Enjoy.

  21. Just wanted to share what happened to my boyfriend a couple years ago. We grow our own hot peppers every year. And every year, when it comes time to processing them for sauce, i always wear gloves (along with a face mask & goggles too sometimes)!!!

    Well my hunny, bless his heart, considers himself a tough guy & always works without the gloves. After chopping away, he washed his hands with dish soap & water. Now most of us know better than to think that a little soap is going to eliminate all those oils on your hands, under your fingernails, etc! But he can be a little stubborn.

    Needless to say, he had… how should i say it politely… scratched his balls. Sorry, there is no way to be polite about saying it & this story is just too funny not to share! Anyways, you can imagine the little dance he was doing after that!

    He jumped right into the shower & began to wash vigorously. Of course, all those oils are still on his hands. And so washing just made matters even worse! The water only seemed to spread those hot oils everywhere (down there). To this day, we still joke about his spicy hot balls!

    So word to the wise- wear gloves!

    1. Michael Hultquist - Chili Pepper Madness

      Hilarious! Sorry to hear about his spicy hot balls. Needless to say, I’ve actually been there (ouch!) and have a good friend who had the same issue and there was a bit of milk soaking involved to alleviate. So YES, wear gloves!

      1. Oh no! I actually think that painful mistake is a lot more common than most people could ever imagine! Its probably the “big bad secret truth” of the hot pepper world! The peppers are conspiring against us! Lol!

        Beautiful website you have here, by the way 🙂

    2. Been there, done that! ……….not lately, though. One time was enough for me to learn my lesson!

    3. Kevin Zawiszs

      Funny I did something similar probably about seven or eight years ago. I was using a couple peppers and one was a habanero to make some salsa. Did not use gloves while cutting. Thought I washed my hands thoroughly. Didn’t burn my hands at all is the skin is a lot tougher and I tried not to get a whole lot of that on my fingers but obviously there was some on there wash my hands I thought thoroughly with soap and water and then went to the bathroom obviously being a male I had to hold my penis while peeing and about 30 seconds or so after finishing urination I began to feel a burn. I didn’t have any milk as I started drinking soy milk back then then converted to almond milk I fortunately didn’t have a whole lot on there but it was enough to have me severely uncomfortable for close to an hour. Don’t remember if I tried washing with anything or not I think I probably was trying to rinse it off with some soap and water I don’t really remember thanks for sharing nice story

  22. My friend dared me To eat a hot pepper seed!!!! It hurt so much but then I just put a washcloth that had water on it and boom ? it was gone

  23. Dave Howard

    Rubbing alcohol first, then Olive oil (or any cooking oil) then Dawn dish soap. Add the Dawn dish soap to your oily hands and wash thoroughly. That works for me, but get the pepper oil off before going to the bathroom!!! You think it’s hot on your hands——that’s a different ballgame if you get any oily pepper residue on tender areas—-

    1. Michael Hultquist - Chili Pepper Madness

      Haha, I hear ya! Though sometimes it might be TOO hot for someone unsuspecting. Plus the burn on the hands (and other body parts) is no fun.

    1. Michael Hultquist - Chili Pepper Madness

      Sorry to hear, Shaydee. Try the methods here and see what helps.

  24. billy bob joe

    Oh my gosh, rubbing alchohol works so well, thank u so much…pardon my spelling

  25. I Wanted to serve my neighbours ‘shami kabab’ . I chopedgreen chilli in very small size , Unfortunately I couldn’t wash hands even a hour … Then u can’t imagine what happened ? the intense burning sensation … no words no words to say….. I used every thing for it milk, polyfax ointment, vinegar,milk ,mustard oils but failed… I feel that no remedy can work faster … TAKE TIME EVEN 7 HOURS HAHAHA… IN LAST I APPLY SHAMPOO ON MY HANDS …. I FEEL THAT MY ALL SKIN CELLS ABSORBED BADLY…. NOW EVEN I AM IN INTENSE PAIN…..

    REPLY: Syeda, I’m so sorry to hear! I know, sometimes the burning on your hands can feel quite intense. — Mike from Chili Pepper Madness.

  26. Chili Sensi:. You have truly thought of everything from how to enjoy to how to deal with them when not handling them properly. I always use gloves now when handling multiple peppers. Thanks!

  27. anomynous

    i tried milk but it only worked for a minute. then i tied an ice cube onto my burned finger with a cotton clothe. It really works and the burning disappeared immediately! but you have to keep ice cube facing the sting area all the time and change the ice cube when the former melts.

  28. A great tip I learned about combating the heat on its way out the next day is to drink a large glass of water immediately after the burning sensation in your mouth goes away. It helps things flush out w/less pain.

  29. I tried milk, cooking oil, soak, vinegar… all failed! But finally i did it!! very easy, just go wash your hair with hair shampoo, use your burn fingers to rub shampoo on hair with soft.

    1. Michael Hultquist - Chili Pepper Madness

      Thanks for sharing what worked for you!

  30. I tried using lotion, but it only worked for about a minute. My best solution was actually moisturizing hair conditioner, and it really dulled and erased the pain.

    1. Michael Hultquist - Chili Pepper Madness

      Thanks for sharing what worked for you!

    2. I tried everything tonight… Best final bedtime remedy! I tried a moisturizing conditioner and let it dry as if it was a lotion. It was so there a bit for a little while while it was drying, but it reduced the burn exponentially and now it’s a only occasionally abearable mild tingle. I can get some sleep, thank you!

  31. Rub generously with lotion (i used jergens), then rinse off with soap and water. Repeat if it still burns a little.

  32. how can salt help with a chilly pepper burn?

    REPLY: Logan, salt can help to soak up the oils that cause the burn. It is one reported method that has worked for some people. — Mike from Chili Pepper Madness.

  33. O..I just did this yesterday! I was prepping peppers for dehydration and did not even think about gloves..
    about an hour after I was done, the burning began…both hands on fire! to the point of feeling of skin melting
    when touching anything.

    I tried washing them repeatedly with dawn, and then with hand soap containing sanitizer. That did not help at all
    I then googled and was told to rub hands with a household cleaner that contains bleach. At that point I didnt have
    anything else to lose (except what sanity I was holding onto) so – I did this! and yes, the burning went away and I
    was happy happy happy! Until about an hour after..the burning was starting to return. By the middle of the night –

    Oo! I do not know how the hell I made it through the night! I did at one point apply burn ointment – but then the brain
    kicked in and said “oh, yeah, good idea genius- until you have to touch something,,,, like maybe your…EYEBALLS! LOL
    so I washed that off lol….

    Sometime between the praying and the screaming…it did quit LOLLLLLLL
    so…please please please…wear the freakin gloves!!

    1. Michael Hultquist - Chili Pepper Madness

      OH my, yes, the best way to stop is to prevent it from starting in the first place.

  34. My son ate a chilli as a prank and now it’s come back to bite him . He’s been throwing up all night & now has diarrhoea. I made him drink milk & yogurt afterwards but it’s made no difference.
    Do you have any remedies you can recommend or just let nature (& eisdin) take its course?

    REPLY: Susanna, I’m sorry to hear this. Unfortunately, I don’t know of any particular remedy for this. My guess is that Nature must run it’s course. Dairy usually helps quell the burn, but perhaps additional stomach aids? Happy to hear any advice from others here. — Mike from Chili Pepper Madness.

  35. I only cook them on my grill side burner outside….no way I’m going to be coughing all night in my house if I let those things inside.

    REPLY: The fumes can get you! That’s for sure. — Mike from Chili Pepper Madness

  36. Walt McCoy

    If your chili or hot sauce turns out too hot, grind up a carrot and pour that in. It works. Also, Carnation malted milk cuts the hot, and also adds an interesting flavor

  37. Accidentally, the chili pepper flakes fell on the burning stove and I was coughing badly. It was terrible. I ran fan and opened window and drank water. Anybody knows any remedy just in case it happens again??

    REPLY: This has been known to happen. Chili pepper fumes can get very strong. It is best to cook with an oven or stove fan on, or try to keep good ventilation in the house. Mike from Chili Pepper Madness.

  38. cdFidler, with chili, the best way to tame the heat is to serve it with a dairy product, like sour cream. If you feel that will affect the flavor too much, then try diluting the heat by adding in more of the chili ingredients. You’ll wind up with a bigger pot of chili, but the heat will be more dispersed.

  39. I tried milk etc but the best solution was hand sanitiser. The alcohol in this probably helped! I didn’t car what helped just that it did!!!

    1. Michael Hultquist - Chili Pepper Madness

      Thanks for sharing what worked for you!

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