If you’ve ever handled fresh or dried chillies, you’ve probably experienced that burning sensation on your fingers and hands at one time or another. That painful, burning feeling comes from the capsaicin in chilies and chili peppers like jalapeños.
You’ve also probably found out that washing your hands in soap and water – however long you do it – didn’t relieve the burn.
Here are some tips on how to get rid of chili burn.
How to get rid of chili burn
1) Try dabbing some lemon or lime juice (vinegar will work too) on the affected areas.
Why this works: The acid in lemon/lime juice or vinegar counteracts the alkaline in the chili’s capsaicin. This also explains why you only get chili burn from handling fresh or dried chilies and not chili sauces (because most chili sauces already has some acidic content in it, like lemon juice or vinegar).
2) Rub some oil (e.g. olive oil, coconut oil, etc) over your hands after cutting the chilies. Then wash off with soap and water.
Why this works: Capsaicin is oil-soluble, so rubbing oil over it loosens the compound.
3) Run your hands through your hair. A commenter (AL) shared that running your hands through your hair can work to soothe the burning sensation. Other commenters (Rivrey & sherods) have also confirmed that this works!
AL wrote: “my wife had this issue today, She tried all the suggested remedies, from baking soda, alcohol. milk. calamine lotion, and ice, and experiencing this agony since noontime . Out of desperation, she was just brushing up her hair with her both hands just to soothe the pain, she noticed the slowly diminishing, until she total felt no more burning pain in couple of hours. I can’t believed it works, but it did. Try it , Give us some feedback if it works for you. Gook luck !”
Rivrey wrote: “I was roasting and peeling HOT green peppers today. My hands were burning to the point that I was soaking the ice water on this really cold day! I rubbed vegetable oil and salt into my hands. It worked for awhile. Now I have been running my hands and fingers down and through my hair. It’s actually working!”
Why this works: The only thing I can think of is that this has something to do with static electricity and a transfer of the positive/negative charge between hair and chili-burned fingers.
4) Scrub your hands in hot water and soap. Michael commented that the only thing that worked for him was washing and scrubbing his hands under fairly hot water with plenty of soap for 1-2 minutes. Several other commenters also said it had worked for them. According to Michael, this was “painful but effective”. ????????
How to avoid getting chili burn in the first place
Wear surgical gloves before handling chilies
Why this works: The waterproof barrier prevents the chili from ever touching your skin. Remember not to touch your eyes or face while wearing the gloves. Throw them away after use.
66 thoughts on “How to get rid of chili burn”
If you have chili burn in your mouth or a burning tongue from eating spicy food, try drinking milk, it works… soy milk too
holy cow my mouth hurts thatns for advice
Im doing my science project and this real helps thank you
You’re very welcome and good luck on your science project!
i hade one the other day
thanks so much for this information. i have searched on many other sites and they also give me the same response that lemon/lime juice cures it. This has helped me alot in my science assignment.
None of that works……. Man up and wash & scrub your hands under fairly hot water for a good minute or 2. It burns like crazy but it washes off the chili oil. Almost like a mechanic washes off grease…. I’ve tried everything else like vodka, antacid, milk, yogurt and none of these work, i’ve even tried salt….. Just a hot hand wash with heaps of soap. Painful but effective
Thanks. Your hot water advice just saved my fingers!
didn’t work for me either
I have used aloe vera in chilli burns and it worked…has to be the aloe vera gel or the plant itself…i let it cool in the fridge and rub it on the affected area..it soothes the burn right away
my fingers hurt like hell because of the chili burns. I thought sleeping over the pain will make it go away but it didn’t! 🙁 i tried the oil thingy it somehow lessen the burning sensation. but it still hurts. any other way to get rid of the burning sensation? 🙁
I tried all.. And hot water is the best!
milk is actually the best because of the fat and calcium so the best thing to do is drink full cream milk. visit my web site which will be finished soon when it is i will put the address here.
this happened to me and i tried all sorts the thing i found most affective was rubbing bio yorgurt and letting it soak in…worked a treat
Vinegar works too if there’re no lemons. I dab apple cider on my affected arears and have it soaked for a while. But don’t use soap anytime soon, it makes the burn a hell lot worse.
i did a combo salt rub dip in milk then olive oil n cider vinegar now waiting for my sister bring the sour cream depends on the chilie but these will work instantly if not the heat will be mild till go away keep working the treatment gona get sum vodka see if that works if not drink it at least u be too drunk too care.lol
The lemon and oil only work slightly but
Worth it cause chilli burns so bad
Try vicks vapor rub. I tried everything didnt work. finally tried vicks, was able to sleep very well.
Thanks for sharing that tip Jen. I’ll add it to the main article. 🙂
Did the lime thing, then used a Hemp Hand Protector for dry skin from Body Shop and 95% of the burning was gone.
Interesting… thanks for sharing Rasif!
Apparently, Vicks Vapour Rub makes it sting like HELL!
vicks makes it far worse!!! do not use it, please!
really hot water works well, doesnt go completly but the majority has calmed doen!
thanks to olive oil for cooling my burning stomach
tried lime juice, then vinegar but didn’t work. The olive oil did though – thanks!
I tried salt which worked a bit but seemed to spread it around?? Then milk, which soothed it while the milk was in contact, then lime juice which helped a lot, and finally olive oil (last three all on cotton balls) and relief at last!
the oil doesnt work
You need to soak your hands in the oil for one hour
I tried limes which worked for like 2 minutes.. Then it struck me! Baileys did the trick.. The perfect combination of cream/ milk and alcohol!
vicks does nt work at all…it just makes thing worse
vicks really dosent work and neither does oil..
my wife had this issue today, She tried all the suggested remedies, from baking soda, alcohol. milk. calamine lotion, and ice, and experiencing this agony since noontime . Out of desperation, she was just brushing up her hair with her both hands just to soothe the pain, she noticed the slowly diminishing, until she total felt no more burning pain in couple of hours. I can’t believed it works, but it did. Try it , Give us some feedback if it works for you. Gook luck !
Hi AL, thanks for sharing this. Rivrey below has reported back that it works and I’ve updated the article. 🙂
I tried washing hands under cold water, it works only for that moment. Tried coconut oil, lime, vinegar.. But all worked only for that moment.. It kept feeling like hands on fire… But RUBBING HANDS THROUGH HAIR, worked wonders !!!! Amazing !! Thanks alot AL, rivery, and Samantha of course … Couldn’t stop posting the comment… 😀
Very cool! Glad it worked for you, sherods 🙂
hi the olive oil and lemon juice rubbed into hands worked, alongside a glass of milk to drink.
I tried both but it didn’t work for me.
thanks guys,vinegar is the best remedy to remove the chili burn.i cut chili and i forgot to wash and i touch to my face………i dont know how to explain..but vinegar remove the burn almost 30 minutes.
Thanks for sharing 🙂
I was roasting and peeling HOT green peppers today. My hands were burning to the point that I was soaking th ice water on this really cold day! I rubbed vegetable oil and salt into my hands. It worked for awhile. Now I have been running my hands and fingers down and through my hair. It’s actually working!
Thanks for sharing, that’s pretty interesting that it worked!
I made Chile rellenos tonight and burn my fingers I tried vegetable oil, rubbing alcohol, milk with ice shaving cream worked and rubbing my hands through my hair hopefully it’s gone by morning I Gotta work:(
Crack a raw egg over the burn and hold the contents of the egg for about a minute. You should feel better.
Thanks samatha for your sharing, vinegar works best for me, l have been suffering from the burning sensation since last night till this morning l try your remedy, it works immediately!
You’re welcome, I’m glad to hear that vinegar worked!
the hair thing definitely works!
Had horrible experience after handling chillies. Tried all the recommended remedies n nothing worked. My hands felt as tho they were burning. No amount of ice or water or nail plush removal etc did any good.
I even tried the lemon juice. Tried rubbing sandal wood powder as suggested in olden Indian Aayurveda.
Finally this is what worked for me. And believe me it worked like magic —
I rubbed a creme which had urea n lactic acid on my hands. Over it I rubbed common table salt. I applied a little bit of water to moisten the salt.
I rubbed my hands together gently ( as the extreme burning sensation was still there)
Left it to dry a bit and then dipped my hands in a plate with cold water.
This has worked like magic. Plz try this.
The creme I used was actually a creme meant for cracked heels called Compeed
We may try yogurt or dahi as it has lactic acid in it.
Oh that’s interesting. Thanks for sharing, Manisha 🙂
p.s: Fyi, the ingredients list for the cream that Manisha used (Compeed) looks like Aqua, Urea, Lactic Acid, EthylHexyl Palmitate, Isopropyl Palmitate, Stearyl Alcohol, Glyceryl Stearate, Sorbitol, Ceteareth-25, Ceteareth-6, Palmitic Acid, Stearic Acid, Parfum.
Even I got the cilli burn aand tried the cold water I gs it made it worse! And tried the lemon it worked a lil!!!! Thx guys! And I dnt have the cream manisha had used, wish I hav it too, coz I still have the burning feeling
my fiend rub chilli on my nose while asleep now cant get rid of burning sensation…….. HHHHHEEEELLLLP
Kill ur friend caitlin!!!!!!!!!
Hello!can u plz tel allopathic drugs which r used as burning hot chillies?
After getting the oil in my eyes and nose plus all over face and hands I found scrubbing with milk, then where possible applying toothpaste or rinsing with toothpaste solution. It does hurt eyes/nose but when rinsed with water it takes the chili burn too. I would have though all the available hydrogen in acids would cause the capsicain to react more strongly, meaning a more intense burning though.
Guy’s plz help me that’s really work.if it workable plz call me ya sms my nomber and mail id plz plz plz plz guy’s
Hope one of the solutions above worked for you at least.
As an aside, let me know if you want me to remove your mobile number there.
The hands in the hair suggestion worked right away!!!!! Awesome and thank you!
I used Vaseline just there because I deseeded a chili and forgot to wash my hands and then went to rub my nose and lips. I used regular Vaseline but you prob can use aloe v one aswell it prob does the same thing 🙂
Dish Soap – If it can cut through oil and grease on our dishes, it can do the same for our hands! Most dish soaps have oil-dissolving properties that are above and beyond regular hand soap. You need not need any of the oil n etc stuffs just go into your kitchen and grab that dish wash liquid.
I accidentally rubbed the inside of my nose and I’m sitting here holding a lime slice on it
O’Keefe’s Working Hands cream in the green tub. Almost immediate relief when applied thickly. Does contain Urea like other posts have recommended.
Guys plz put toothpaste…really it will work as it having menthol
help me please… i’ve tried lemon… oil nothing work… my hand is burning like hell…
wow.. thank u so much, lemon really works. my hands were burning so much, i tried many things but no effect. then i rubbed lemon. after 10 min approx i felt 60% burning was lessen. thanks.
I’m glad it worked for you 🙂
Vaseline : I removed dry chilie seeds and my fingers hurt so much for the whole evening. I tried Vaseline and its really work after 10mins. I can felt that the intense burning pain has slowly went off.