How to neutralize hot pepper or chilli acid from your skin

my homegrown chillies

Last night whilst cooking dinner I did something very very stupid. Actually I did not only one stupid thing but two – firstly I diced some strong kick-ass chillies without any gloves and then I decided to measure up a pinch of chilli powder using my fingers… I am not sure what I was thinking and how I could be so careless but I was and it happened. So dinner was bubbling away nicely and my fingers were now on fire.

To be honest with you I actually thought that I must have burned myself somehow. I wasn’t totally sure how or even when I had burnt them but this was the only thing I could think of as to the cause of my discomfort. It was actually Mark who pointed out that the cause of my discomfort is most likely my careless toying with chillies – whilst making those condescending “derrr” sounds.

I survived the evening and went to sleep. As long as I didn’t put any pressure anywhere near my fingernails I was fine… more or less.

So, I woke up this morning, did my morning routine and sat down at the computer to do some work. Houston, we have a problem! I couldn’t type! Every time I tried to press the keys on my keyboard using one of my chilli affected fingers I was in agony, literally.

It was a time to search for some help.

I spent almost an hour reading various forums, blogs and website in search of the perfect solution. I started to notice that a few methods were repeated more than others, so it was a time to try them out.

First I washed my hands with a washing up liquid. I have washed my hands probably 20 times since last night but it didn’t seem to help a lot… but I hadn’t used any strong grease cutting soap, so this was step one.

Quite a few people suggested washing your skin with a strong alcohol. Apparently Jack Daniels is perfect for this task. I was very tempted to try it out but I knew Mark would probably moan as he doesn’t share Jack, he says it’s a monogamous relationship, so I skipped that test 😉

Next solution on the agenda was a dry salt rub. I tried it but found it not ideal for me as the most affected part of my fingers was close to the nail or under the nail to be exact and I couldn’t really get the salt to the affected area easily.

After that epic fail I tried a milk bath. I poured some milk into a small bowl and just kept my fingers submerged in it. It helped a little but I could still feel the chilli burn when I pressed my fingers together.

So my last hope was a yogurt. Luckily I had a small pot of full fat natural yogurt in the fridge. I just applied it to my fingers and rubbed it in. I used the entire contents of the small pot and the whole yogurt exercise lasted about 5 minutes. Guess what…..

It worked!

My fingers were no longer on fire!

I could happily go back to work now.

I did learn a valuable lesson that day. Respect the chillies and do not toy with them!

Do you know of any other home solutions that could help in this situation?