How to Neutralize Capsaicin on Skin (6 Ways)

how to neutralize capsaicin on skin
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How to Neutralize Capsaicin on Skin

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Meta: Is it one of those days when you forgot to wear your prep gloves while chopping peppers and have caused a dreaded burn? Here’s how you can soothe the pain. Chile peppers contain an active component called capsaicin.

This substance is a chemical irritant and produces a burning sensation on any tissues it comes into contact with. It burns whether it’s in your eyes or mouth or on your skin. The plants probably produce it as a form of protection against being eaten.

In chile peppers, the capsaicin is in the form of an oil. Direct contact with even a tiny amount can cause serious burning sensations, redness, and pain.

Even if you wash it off multiple times with hand soap and water, you will not be able to get rid of the burn because water cannot dissolve the oil-based component. The best thing to do is neutralize it. Wondering how to neutralize capsaicin on the skin?

Here are some quick and helpful remedies to stop that burning sensation.

How to Neutralize Capsaicin On Skin

a housewife is sprinkling salt on her wet hand to stop hot pepper burn
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Effective Home Remedies to Neutralize Capsaicin Burn

It can be difficult to neutralize the burn so you may need to repeat the desired procedure several times. Remember that none of these remedies should be used in the eyes.

  1. Dish soap and rubbing alcohol mixture

Dish soap and rubbing alcohol have proven to be quite effective for removing capsaicin. Since isopropyl alcohol helps dissolve oil and dirt, you should feel instant relief if you apply it directly to the skin.

Woman Cleaning Her Hand With Cotton Pad
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Follow these steps:

    1. Take rubbing alcohol on a cotton pad or douse the effective are with rubbing alcohol and leave for 10-15 seconds.
    2. Do not rinse with water yet. Take 1-2 teaspoons of dish soap in your palms, apply it directly to the painful skin area and rub it vigorously.
    3. Now wash your hands with regular water or you can use iced water instead.
    4. Repeat the process if necessary.
  1. Hand degreaser

Since capsaicin is a natural oil, a degreaser will definitely help neutralize the burning sensation.

man hand with degreaser
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Follow these steps:

    1. Take a little more than a pea-sized amount of hand degreaser and rub it all over your hands or any other area that came into contact with the pepper.
    2. Leave for 10-15 seconds and then rinse with cold water. This should suffice, but you can also try repeating the process.
    3. As an alternative to a hand degreaser, you can also use dish soap as it will also work as an oil dissolver.
  1. Calamine lotion/spray

Calamine helps reduce skin itching and irritation. Aerosol calamine is said to be really effective on capsaicin burns as well.

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Follow these steps:

    1. Apply calamine lotion or spray directly onto the affected skin.
    2. Repeat the application after a few minutes if needed.
  1. Corn starch or baking powder soak

These two pantry staples help neutralize capsaicin. You can either make them into a soak or mix with a little water to form a paste.

Follow these steps:

    1. Mix corn starch with iced water in a bowl and soak your hands in it for several minutes
    2. Rinse your hands with clean tap water or give a final wash with dish soap as an additional step to stop the burn.
    3. Alternatively, make a paste and apply it to the affected area.
  1. Vinegar

You can also try a vinegar wash as the acid will help neutralize the capsaicin on your skin.

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Follow these steps:

    1. Take any organic or synthetic vinegar (wine vinegar, apple cider vinegar, balsamic vinegar, spirit vinegar) and rinse your hands 2 to 3 times with it.
    2. You can also use a vinegar and dish soap mixture to get the pepper oil off faster.
  1. Dairy products

Dairy products like yogurt or sour cream are often served with hot curries for a good reason. These products contain a fat-binding protein called casein which dissolves capsaicin oil. Make sure you use full-fat dairy products for this.

Follow these steps:

    1. Soak the affected part in milk or plain yogurt until the burn subsides.
    2. Rinse off with cold water.

Chef wearing gloves with a sharp knife and clean cuts red chili peppers
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Hopefully, these remedies have answered your question about how to neutralize capsaicin on the skin. Remember to always wear prep gloves before chopping chile peppers or gardening with them to avoid going through the pain and suffering of capsaicin burn.

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