Boy, do I have a story for you all:
Last night, my friends and I decided to make some pepper jelly. This was my third time making it. This time around, we used serrano peppers. We washed them, de-stemmed them, and de-seeded them. Without gloves.
I know, I know; big mistake; however, the last two times I made the jelly, I didn’t have this issue and I didn’t wear gloves then either!
Anyway, to make a long story short: my left hand, my right thumb, and part of my face started to burn. The burn was as if you were holding a flame to my skin- it was that intense. I jumped on Google to figure out a cure for this situation because I still needed to take out my contacts and go to sleep.
I found temporary relief in yogurt, cornstarch, rubbing alcohol, dish soap, and even hydrocortisone cream, but nothing provided permanent pain relief. I ended up going to my car to get my rubber gloves I always carry around (don’t ask) and took my contacts out with them. I fell asleep that night pretty quickly, but woke up often to my left hand feeling like it was on fire.
The next morning, I jumped on Google once more and found a woman’s post about mustard. She was right about it feeling much better afterwards, but it still only provided temporary relief. I applied that stuff three times.
As the day progressed (it was now about noon), it felt like my hands were feeling better and I thought I was on the downhill, but man was I wrong.
Once I reached my house that afternoon, the burning sensation was back in full force- I will even say that I think it was worse than it was the previous night. I was desperate for a solution and bathed my hand in milk, vinegar, and even sugar water per a friend’s suggestion, but still got no relief.
I found that water in general was absolutely no help. Warm/hot water was the devil. Also, putting pressure on the affected area or closing my fist brought on the worst pain and heat.
Throughout the day, I had other things to do: repair something on the lawn mower, drive my sister to the auto shop, and eventually go to the gym.
The gym. Believe it or not, the gym is what I think fixed my hands. I think I did so much sweating, that the “poison” came right out of my body. After the gym, there was no more burning, and it’s been a few hours now and my hands are still feeling normal.
I think most of the remedies mentioned above work best within the first 30 mins of touching the peppers; if you wait as long as I did, the oils will have already penetrated your skin and you’ll have minimal luck in removing or extracting it.
All I know is that from now on I am DEFINITELY wearing gloves.