Jalapeno Burning Skin? How Long Does It Last?

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Jalapeno burning skin – how long does it last? Did you accidentally burn your skin with jalapeno while slicing them for a recipe? I know the pain as I’ve been burned several times in the past when working as a line cook when younger.

We all know that drinking milk is the best solution when you get your tongue burnt due to eating chili peppers, but what do we do when we have jalapeno burning the skin? Also, how long does the jalapeno skin burn last for?

The burning sensation caused by jalapenos can last up to 24 hours or longer, depending on the severity of the burn. Other factors that determine how long the burn will last on your skin is how sensitive your skin is and if you have an allergic reaction to the jalapeno burn.

In this article, we’ll look at 9 ways to stop the jalapeno skin burn:

  1. Rub Your Skin with Oil
  2. Use a Dish Soap or Hand Grease Cleaner
  3. Alcohol or Baking Soda Paste Might Help
  4. Soak Your Skin with a Cold Dairy Product
  5. Soak Your Skin in Vinegar
  6. Soak Your Skin in a Water and Bleach Solution
  7. Cold Compress for Pain Relief
  8. Take Tepid Showers
  9. Soak Your Skin with Cornstarch

Read on to learn more about how long a jalapeno burn lasts on the skin, why it burns your skin, and how to stop the burn.

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How Long Does a Jalapeno Burn Last on the Skin?

I love spicy food but what I don’t love is the stinging and burning sensation when jalapenos or other spicy peppers touch my skin when I’m dicing them.

Jalapeno burns on the skin can last for several days, but the burning sensation normally stops after 24 hours, especially if you follow the recommendations I list later in the article.

People’s reactions to jalapenos and their burns vary greatly. Some might be more sensitive to its effects than others, and some might love the burning sensation more than other people.

Understanding why jalapeno gives your skin a stinging and burning sensation (good at times but sometimes a disaster for some people) can help you in choosing a remedy that is readily available in your home in case the situation calls for it. 

The National Pesticide Information Center stated that capsaicin (8-methyl-N-vanillyl-6-nonenamide) is the primary reason behind chili peppers of the capsicum genus’ burning sensation on your skin, mouth, eyes, and genitals. [1]

The burning sensation is caused by the binding of capsaicin on your sensory receptors or nerve cells. These cells are located in the skin, joints, and membranes and react with heat by firing off a painful warning. The receptors are called capsaicin receptors or vanilloid receptors.

This reaction by nerve cells to capsaicin is similar to its reaction when they are exposed to heat or high temperatures.

The compound capsaicin can also be found in pepper sprays and sprays for animals, e.g., dog spray. The burning sensation is accompanied by pain, irritation, and redness of your skin. Although these sensations are painful, capsaicin does not really harm your tissues.

Direct exposure to jalapenos will result in a condition known as Hunan Hand, a type of dermatitis developed by people who usually handle jalapenos. Hunan hand is also referred to as the “Chile Willy.” 

Not only is this compound an irritant for the skin, eyes, and mucous membrane, but it also causes the tissue in your lungs to swell, which can be very difficult for asthmatic people. 

Aside from these issues, capsaicin can also cause irritation in your mouth, stomach, and intestines that can lead to diarrhea, vomiting, abdominal pain, and nausea.

To alleviate these capsaicin effects, the compound must be removed from your skin or at least diluted. Next, let’s take a look at 9 helpful ways to relieve yourself of the burning skin caused by the jalapeno.

How to Remove Jalapeno Burn on Skin?

jalapeno burning skin
Use baking soda to help stop the jalapeno skin burn

To stop the burning sensation of jalapeno burns, the peppers’ active ingredient must be eliminated or at least reduced from your skin.

Of course, we wouldn’t be experiencing jalapeno burning skin if we used vinyl or latex gloves in the first place. If you don’t have any gloves at home, try using a sandwich baggie instead.

Also, let me just say it here, washing your skin with water won’t do your burn any good because water cannot dissolve the oil from capsaicin, just like oil from your dishes won’t be removed without dish soap. 

Here are some remedies you should try to remove or neutralize the burning sensation on your skin: 

1. Rub Your Skin with Oil

Obtain a tablespoon of vegetable oil or olive oil, then start rubbing it in the area of your skin burnt with jalapeno. Do this for about a minute, then wash your skin with soap and water.

This way, the oil from the jalapeno can be easily removed by the olive oil, while both oils can be rinsed with soap and water. Be careful not to rub your contaminated hands on parts of your body that have not been affected by the jalapeno burn. 

2. Use a Dish Soap or Hand Grease Cleaner

Dish soaps are made to remove oils from our dishes, and they are also effective at removing the oil from jalapenos on your skin.

Be careful not to let the liquid or soap from the contaminated area of your skin touch any other part of your body. Prepare a towel to dry off the skin after washing. A hand grease cleaner might also perform the same function that dish soaps can.

3. An Alcohol or Baking Soda Paste Might Help

Since oils are more soluble in alcohol rather than water, splashing your skin with alcohol or even vodka might also help with your current dilemma. Alcohol can also help soothe the burning sensation you’re feeling, just like a baking soda paste can.

Baking soda paste can be prepared using baking soda and water. Apply it to the part of your skin that is burning from the jalapeno, wait for it to dry, then rinse it away with water. This will greatly help speed up how long the burn lasts for.

Treating your skin with baking soda paste can neutralize or draw out the oil absorbed by your skin. After treating your skin with alcohol or baking soda paste, you can proceed to the next step – treating it with an iced-cold dairy product.

4. Soak Your Skin with a Cold Dairy Product

Ever heard of the rule in chemistry, which goes “like dissolves like”? This is why dairy products such as whole milk, greek yogurt, ice cream, cottage cheese, and full-fat sour cream – which all contain fats and oils – can also remove oils from peppers such as jalapeno (oil dissolves or removes other oil).

Dairy products also have a protein called casein, which acts against capsaicin found in peppers.

I recommend soaking the part of your skin that was burned by the jalapeno in a bowl containing an ice-cold, high-fat dairy product. This way, your pain will be alleviated due to the cold temperature while the dairy product works against capsaicin. You may opt to use a towel, cloth, or paper towel if the affected area cannot be soaked. 

5. Soak Your Skin in Vinegar

Soaking your skin in vinegar diluted with water can get capsaicin (the active component of hot peppers) off your skin, according to the National Poison Control. Other acidic foods you can use to stop the burn include lemon, lime, or tomatoes.

6. Soak Your Skin in a Water and Bleach Solution

Another way to stop the jalapeno skin burn is to prepare a 5-to-1 solution made of water and bleach, then soak your skin in it. You can also soak a cotton ball in the solution and gently rub the burned skin with it.

The bleach solution is capable of turning the active ingredient, capsaicin, into a water-soluble salt, thereby alleviating the pain you’re feeling. Afterward, wash your skin with water.

7. Cold Compress for Pain Relief

An effective way to relieve the pain is to apply a cold compress on the affected area of jalapeno skin burn. Leave the cold compress on your skin, rotating with a second cold compress often. Following this tip should remove the burn within only a few hours.

8. Take Tepid Showers

If you are suffering from a jalapeno skin burn, make sure that you take a bath using tepid, lukewarm water instead of hot water. A hot shower will only worsen the pain and make the jalapeno skin burn last longer. 

9. Soak Your Skin with Cornstarch 

Cornstarch acts by neutralizing the oil from the jalapeno that is causing the burn. Covering the area of your skin that is burning with cornstarch might do the trick of relieving the pain you’re feeling.

Other treatments you might want to try include oil and salt, mechanic’s soap, toothpaste, and overly ripe bananas. Try each treatment one at a time until you find the one that is best at stopping the burn.

What works for one person may not work for you. If you still find burns painful for a day or two, it may be best to seek medical attention.

See the below video for more tips on how to treat a jalapeno skin burn:

Read on to learn more about jalapeno peppers and why they cause the skin to burn!

What Is Jalapeno Pepper? 

Jalapeno peppers originated in Mexico. Other names for the jalapeno pepper include Huachinango, Chile Gordo, Cuaresmeño, and Chipotle Pepper.

On average, it is a 2 to 3.5 inches long pepper but can grow as long as 6 inches. At present, jalapeno peppers are being cultivated worldwide due to their flavor and popularity.

Jalapeno peppers, on average, measure about 5,000 Scoville heat units as compared to bell peppers, which have zero Scoville heat units (SHU). Some chili peppers hotter than jalapeno include habanero, ghost pepper, and cayenne pepper.

It is said that the spicier varieties of peppers grow in hotter climates. Moreover, jalapeno peppers covered in vein-like skin are also said to be hotter than smooth ones. 

Green jalapeno peppers are usually the ones being served, but if you let it stand longer, it’ll turn red. The green ones are sweeter compared to the red jalapeno peppers.

Jalapeno peppers are available commercially in a dried or fresh form, as well as in the form of jams, chutneys, hot sauce, jellies, and pastes, among others. They are also commonly roasted or smoked to create different flavors.

You can substitute some diced jalapeno peppers in place of bell peppers to spice up recipes. Some ideas include incorporating them in salads, chili oils, or by smoking, pickling, or baking them along with other ingredients.

You can also stuff the insides with meat or cheese. Red jalapeno peppers are usually included in citrus salsas and tropical hot sauces due to their slightly sweet flavor.

Benefits of Eating Jalapeno Peppers

You might want to stop cooking with and eating jalapenos for good after getting a skin burn from them, but I think you should reconsider. Jalapenos have many benefits.

Did you know that jalapeno peppers contain more Vitamin C than a single orange? A single pepper that weighs about 0.073 kg may contain about 83% Vitamin C. Vitamin C is a known antioxidant. This component can also make your skin firm and healthy-looking.

Other components of jalapeno peppers include fiber, calories, Vitamin B6, Vitamin K, Vitamin A, Folate, and Manganese. Aside from these benefits, jalapeno peppers can help people who want to lose weight. 

Capsaicin, the active ingredient of peppers, is a known thermogenic. This means that capsaicin is capable of stimulating the burning of fat in your body by increasing your body’s metabolism. This compound is also capable of reducing your appetite, which in turn makes you lose weight.

Capsaicin also has anti-cancer properties. Capsaicin does this by preventing the growth and multiplication of cancer cells, slowly hindering the growth of blood vessels around the cancer cells, and lastly, by hindering the spread of cancer cells all over the body. However, these effects have not yet been proven for humans.

Capsaicin can also be used as a pain reliever due to its binding on the pain receptors. The immediate effect will be a burning sensation, which is then followed by numbness.

Medically, capsaicin is an ingredient for lotions and patches for patients who are suffering from shingles virus, chronic muscle and joint pain, rheumatoid arthritis, and lastly diabetic nerve pain. Capsaicin is also available in the form of nasal spray, which can alleviate migraines.

Moreover, capsaicin can prevent stomach ulcers by killing the H. pylori bacteria in your stomach.

Jalapeno peppers can also diminish the damage done by consuming too much alcohol and pain relievers on your stomach. Moreover, chili extracts can also prevent the formation of fibrin which in turn prevents heart attack.

And lastly, jalapeno peppers can prevent the growth of foodborne bacteria and thus prevent food spoilage and food poisoning. Aside from these benefits, chili extracts can also fight against infection-causing strep throat, tooth decay, and chlamydia.

Some common side effects of eating peppers include the burning and stinging sensation on your mouth, stomach ache, cramping, and diarrhea, among others.

If you wish to grow jalapeno peppers in your home, you can start growing them indoors, then transfer them outside once they are 8-12 weeks. The most important thing you have to take note of is to maintain the moisture of the soil.  

Conclusion – Jalapeno Burning Skin? How Long Does It Last?

So have you burnt your skin with jalapeno and are wondering how long the burn will last for? The burning sensation on your skin caused by jalapenos normally lasts only 24 hours or less if you take proper care of the burned skin.

The burn can last longer than 24 hours if your skin is overly sensitive or if you have an allergic reaction to the jalapeno.

To reduce how long the burn lasts for on your skin, follow these tips:

  1. Rub Your Skin with Oil
  2. Use a Dish Soap or Hand Grease Cleaner
  3. Alcohol or Baking Soda Paste Might Help
  4. Soak Your Skin with a Cold Dairy Product
  5. Soak Your Skin in Vinegar
  6. Soak Your Skin in a Water and Bleach Solution
  7. Cold Compress for Pain Relief
  8. Take Tepid Showers
  9. Soak Your Skin with Cornstarch

By following these tips, the jalapeno burn will last only a few hours, or possibly up to 24 hours. Remember to avoid jalapeno-burnt skin; wear gloves whenever you are slicing them or cooking with them.

Related reading:

Hydrochloric Acid on Skin: Effects and Treatments

Battery Acid on Skin: Symptoms, Treatments, and Pictures

How Long Does Capsaicin Stay on Skin?

How Long Does Pepper Spray Last on Skin