Help! My Fingers Are On Fire! How To Cure A Hot Pepper Burn
Oh. My. Goodness. Tonight, I totally thought the flesh was going to melt off of my hand. It all started when I was making peach salsa, which called for diced jalapenos. Blissfully unaware of the danger lurking on the cutting board in front of me, I chopped away at the three deceiving peppers. Nobody had ever warned me to wear gloves when dealing with jalapenos. I had no idea what I was in for.
Not long after I’d chopped the peppers I began feeling a little tingle in my finger. No big deal. But as I continued cooking, the tingling turned to a slight burning. I washed my hands, and kept working away. It wasn’t long, however, before my hand was completely on fire. I was not at a good stopping point though, my peaches were peeled and ready to be chopped before they began turning brown, so I had to keep going.
I dealt with the pain for a while, but pretty soon I was constantly having to plunge my hand into the icy bowl of water I’d used for blanching, seeking temporary relief. Once my salsa was all in the pot and boiling, I was able to take a moment to seek a remedy. I immediately got online and searched for help. (Thanks to all of my Facebook fans who offered their advice!)
Here are the remedies I found, and tried:
- I soaked my hand in milk for 15 min. Temporary relief for the first 5 minutes, but then the burning came back.
- I broke an aloe leaf and rubbed the gel onto my hand. Very little relief.
- I poured vinegar over the burn. Not much help. (Maybe I should have soaked it?)
- I plunged my hand into the sour cream container. Good for a while, but the burning returned.
- I rubbed real butter over the pain. A little help, but not for long.
- I soaked cotton balls with rubbing alcohol and rubbed my hand with them. Not much help.
- I sprayed my hand with Calamine Lotion. No good.
- I poured Tecnu all over it, and rubbed it for 2 minutes. (My theory: It removes the oils from poison ivy, so maybe it would remove the jalapeno oils?) No good.
- I tried rubbing lavender oil on it. Didn’t help.
- I read that if I ran my hands through my hair it would help. Nope. Jerry just said I looked like a crack head, freaking out rubbing my fingers through my hair. Thanks hunny.
- Scrubbing with dish soap did not help.
- I doused my hand with vegetable oil. Not any help.
- I tried pouring honey over the burns. No luck.
- I rubbed it with toothpaste. Only made it worse.
- I rubbed it with a freshly cut onion. Didn’t work either.
- I poured burn spray stuff on it. No relief.
Can you picture me running through the house trying to find something else to put on my flaming hand? Actually, Jerry was searching the computer calling out remedies as I found all of the ingredients and tried them.
Now, I’m a tough cookie. I can handle pain. But this, this got to almost unbearable. It was the feeling of holding my fingers over an open flame, and leaving them there. Every now and then I had to look down at my hand to make sure my skin wasn’t blistering up. I’m pretty sure these jalapenos were from Satan himself.
The only thing that helped at all was holding my hand in a bag of ice. For three hours I tried to ease the pain. What was even worse is that it can spread to others, so I was afraid to pick up baby Xia. Jerry had to stay home from church to help me with her. He brought me some rubber gloves to put on while I nursed her, but having my hands in those hot gloves only intensified the burning.
I finished up my canning one handed. This salsa better be darn worth it! I muttered under my breath. When I was done in the kitchen I headed back to the computer. As I scoured every article on jalapenos I could find, looking for some advice other than, “Make sure you wear gloves when chopping jalapenos.” Thanks! A lot of good that does me now! And all at once, I finally came across something I hadn’t tried yet.
I shot to the fridge, grabbed the two year old bottle of runny yellow glop, and slathered it on my hand.
Ahhhhh. Instant relief! I couldn’t believe it. I left it on until it dried. After a little while the burning sensation came back, though definitely muted. I touched up my mustard manicure. Three times I rubbed it into my hand, and after about 30 more minutes I washed it all off, and the pain was completely gone!
Mustard!! Oh, how I love you.
So there you have it.
Lesson One: Wear gloves when you chop jalapenos! Every. Single. Time.
Lesson Two: If you were absent during Lesson One, and you are crouching in the corner of your kitchen in agonizing jalapeno misery, try Mustard first.
This is one of those things you will only do once in your life.