Capsaicin is the fiery component of chilli peppers which are plants from the Capsicum family. Hotter chilli peppers contain higher amounts of capsaicin. It is an irritant for all mammals including humans and produces a burning sensation when it comes into contact with sensitive skin. Chilli peppers add pungency and spiciness to food when used in small quantities. Chilli peppers should be handled with care at all times.
- Skill level:
Things you need
- Vegetable or baby oil
- Cold milk
- Lemon or lime juice
- Ice cream
- Lemon squash
Treat skin that has a burning sensation, after coming in contact with chilli juice, with vegetable or baby oil. Rub the oil onto your skin immediately. Capsaicin is fat soluble and the oil will dilute it. After the sensation subsides, wash the area with soap and water.
Soothe skin that has been burnt by chilli juice by soaking the affected area in cold milk or yoghurt. After the burning subsides, wash the area with cold water.
Relieve the burning sensation caused by chilli juice by dabbing some lemon or lime juice onto the affected areas. Rinse with mild soap and water. Citric acid neutralises the alkaline in capsaicin.
Alleviate a burning chilli sensation in your mouth with a pat of butter. Ice cream, yoghurt and cream are equally effective. Slowly sipping cold milk, cold sugar solution or lemon squash also works.
Tips and warnings
- Wear rubber or surgical gloves before handling chilli peppers.
- Avoid touching your eyes or any other part of your body after you have handled chilli peppers. Consult a doctor if the burning doesn't subside after a reasonable amount of time.
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