Wednesday, April 18

How to relieve chili burn

I'm a Bicolana's daughter. My husband is Bicolano, too. And when we say Bicol, we all know that they love chilies to the bone. My mom can even eat rice with nothing but chilies and salt. That's how much she loves chilies.

But don't you know that chilies can burn skin? I learned it the first time I tried chopping chilies when I made chili flakes. Washing with soap and water did not even help remove the capsaicin, the substance that comes from chilies.

Here are some of the ways I discovered in relieving chili burns:

  • Washing with lemon juice or vinegar. The acid content of lemon juice and vinegar counteracts the effects of capsaicin. Tomato juice works as well.
  • Rubbing with oil and washing with soap and water after. Capsaicin is oil-soluble so it's easier to remove with soap and water once it's already mixed in oil.

Of course, prevention is better than cure. So the next time I cut chilies, I knew better. I did not forget to wear plastic gloves!

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