For hot chili junkies, the burn is one of the attractive things about the peppers. But if the burn ends up being too much for you, there are ways you can find relief. If you’re about to eat or cook a meal with hot peppers, here are some helpful methods to ease the burn in your mouth or on your skin.
How to Stop Hot Pepper Burn in Your Mouth
Skip the Water
You may be tempted to reach for a glass of water after you feel the burning sensation in your mouth. Don’t! Drinking water will actually spread the heat around and make the burning worse. Instead, try one of the other methods below.
Drink Some Milk
If you’re eating a spicy meal, pour yourself a glass of milk. Dairy can actually dissolve the capsaicin, which is the compound that gives chili peppers the burning sensation. Make sure you swish the milk around your mouth (like mouthwash) to get all the places where capsaicin could be hiding.
You can also try other dairy products besides just milk. Try eating some cheese, yogurt, sour cream, or even ice cream. If you’re lactose intolerant, try using coconut milk. The effects will be similar.
Try Fatty Oils
Fatty oils are another way you calm down the spiciness in your mouth. Swallow a teaspoon or more or olive oil, vegetable oil, or coconut oil. You can also eat an oily food like peanut butter. Any of these oils will counteract the burning effects of the chili oil.
Try a Spoonful of Sugar
Eating a teaspoon of granulated sugar may also work. The sugar works by absorbing the oil which will calm the flame. Plus, eating sugar is also a lot more pleasant than oil!
How to Avoid Hot Pepper Burn on Your Hands
To avoid hot pepper burn on your skin, put on a pair of vinyl or latex gloves while you are chopping hot peppers or touching them in any way. If you don’t have any gloves, you can put your hands inside plastic bags. After removing the gloves thoroughly wash your hands. Capsaicin can remain on your skin for hours, so be very careful even after you’re done cooking and don’t touch your eyes. Also be careful around your kids and pets!
How to Stop the Hot Pepper Burn on Your Skin
If it’s too late and you already have some hot chili oil on your skin, you can use some of the same methods you would for cooling down your mouth. Try rubbing some oil or peanut butter on your skin to sooth the heat. Granulated sugar may also do the trick. If all else fails, apply some aloe or a burn ointment to soothe the sting and heal the skin.
How to Stop the Hot Pepper Burn in Your Eyes
If you mistakenly touch your eyes and they start to burn, soak a rag in some milk and press it against your eye. If you’re wearing contacts, you should dispose of them. Keep soaking the rag in more milk and pressing it against your eye until the burning sensation subsides.
Remember that any burn you’re feeling from a pepper is temporary. If you try the above methods and wait it out, eventually you’ll feel better. Cooking with hot peppers doesn’t have to be scary. You just have to be prepared!
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