After chopping an unexpectedly powerful jalapeno, my hands were on fire for hours. Washing with soap and water was useless, and ice packs did nothing to tame the burn. Instead I turned to this pantry staple for help:Olive oil! When the pain became unbearable, I rubbed a tablespoon of olive oil all over my hands for about a minute, then washed them with soap and water. The olive oil helped to dissolve the capsaicin in the jalapeno — which is more soluble in oil than in water — so it could be rinsed away.
Although the burning wasn't completely cured, it was much more tolerable, and finally disappeared within an hour or two. I was even able to remove my contact lenses without any problems later that night. Next time I'll remember to put on gloves!
How do you find relief from hot pepper burns?
Related: Feel the Burn: Tips for Washing Hot Pepper Off Your Hands
(Image: Flickr member cjmartin licensed under Creative Commons)