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hot pepper in the eye...what gives the fastest relief?

 
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So someone gave me some of those super hot peppers...pretty little red wrinkly things.
I first declined and then they said oh but your husband might like them...hahaha.
He was game and cut them in half to dry...just on a tray and it's been a few weeks.

This morning I barely touched one, not sure if it was the cut side or just the skin and then mindlessly a few seconds later touched my eye...after half a bottle of some generic liquid tears and much rinsing with warm water the pain has subsided although I think the tear duct, where I touched is still sensitive so I'm skipping my prescription glaucoma drops.

My question is what to use as a wash in case I or someone I love does this again....the pain was horrendous.   Is there anything that might have removed the heat any faster?  

While I was rinsing I was thinking about which oil I might use instead of water...maybe calendula? maybe milk? although I only have yogurt on hand.  I do know both will help cut the heat from hot peppers in food...not so sure about as an eye wash?


 
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Milk.  But it still HURTS.

Never ever ever mess with those peppers without gloves.
 
Judith Browning
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R Scott wrote:Milk.  But it still HURTS.

Never ever ever mess with those peppers without gloves.



thank you!
They are safely in the compost now...from the remains Steve thinks it might be a Carolina Reaper ...there should be a law against them

In 2017, Guinness World Records declared it the hottest chili pepper in the world



There was no intent on my part, just mindlessly brushing one of them and then just as mindlessly touching my eye, so no thought to gloves.

I generally stick with cayenne, wonderful medicinal and food...love the heat and flavor from them....sometimes a serrano, maybe jalapeno and we love anaheims.  This pepper though, was presented almost as a challenge and I won't fall for that again.....
 
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As stated, milk is the best. Works for being sprayed with pepper spray as well. I’m very sensitive to peppers and can’t eat them at all. When I went through training and had to be pepper sprayed, I used milk for my eyes, which gave relief fairly quickly. However, my face was on fire for 7 hours. Most people it only last 30 minutes to 2 hours.
 
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I see protesters use milk diluted 50:50 with water sprayed directly into the eyes with a spray bottle set to a wide (definitely not a narrow stream) setting.  I would think the narrow stream would be potentially dangerous and if you are doing this yourself, a spray setting will be much easier to aim.

Honestly I don’t know why the milk is diluted.  I would think straight up milk would be best, but I have never been in that situation so I guess use your best judgment.

Best of luck,

Eric
 
Judith Browning
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Is it the fat in the milk then? or something else I wonder?
I'm wondering if low fat milk would work as well or even quickly reconstituted powdered milk?

I only have yogurt and cheese in the refrigerator regularly and rarely milk of any sort.
 
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From what I have heard, the reason milk works is the oils in the milk fats mix with the painful oils in the pepper and the water in the milk rinses the resulting mix out. Milk is also commonly available in people's homes, refrigerated so it's cool and soothing, and milk doesn't inflame the eyes.

I don't keep milk, so I have used any kind of oil, followed by warm water to remove the mix, then cool water to soothe the pain. I tend to agree with the "always wear gloves" comment above.

The hot part of peppers is the oil,  wash your hands and surfaces with hot water and soap, treat it as if you had sticky 90 weight oil on it that you can't see, wash it that well, and it won't be left to accidentally get in your eyes.
 
Eric Hanson
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I am pretty certain the offending component is the oil in the pepper.  I would tend to think that a high fat undiluted milk would be best.

Maybe protesters dilute the milk to increase volume for large numbers of people to be treated?  I just don’t know but I would think that high fat milk would work out best.

My 2 cents,

Eric
 
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I  have used yogurt  with as good or better effect.
Nice thing about dairy, most people know if they are allergic.
Other fats?
I have avocado, rice bran, olive, grapeseed and soybean oil(My wife uses) on the shelf, safe for me and mine , but I'm not sure if they are safe for everyone.
 
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Nothing like cayenne, or ghost?

Just remember!  When handling peppers wash your hands seriously with a lot of soap!
 
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I used to work at a really sketchy place with really sketchy customers and pepper spray was regularly in the air.  I tried everything I ever heard that anyone thought might work.  I don't think any of it did anything.  I tried coca cola, milk, dish soap (on skin, not eyes), anything and everything.  I think they all do the same thing.  They give you something to do while you are waiting for the pain to subside on it's own.  This is a case where prevention truly is the best medicine.

As an aside, I did cut up a bunch of really hot peppers one time and it felt like my skin caught fire.  It was pretty terrible.  Vinegar was the only thing that helped.  Not recommended in your eyes though.
 
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Vinegar also breaks up oil, that's why it's in salad dressings. Much less pleasant in your eyes though :)

Semi-relevant story, high school, boring class, I was cleaning out my purse. I suddenly jumped up and ran out of the room. When I came back the teacher said "This had better be good!" "I maced myself!"  "That's a good reason. Retroactive hall pass."
 
William Bronson
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Not good for eyes,  but there is a soap made to relieve poison ivy  that works well.
I wonder if it would work on pepper inflamed skin?
 
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when I was young and dumb got one of those red pepper flakes in my eye. it took a few days and a bunch of swimming in the pool to get back to near being normal.
 
Pearl Sutton
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William Bronson wrote: Not good for eyes,  but there is a soap made to relieve poison ivy  that works well.
I wonder if it would work on pepper inflamed skin?


Probably. I'm almost positive poison ivy is an oil based irritant too.
 
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Pearl Sutton wrote:

William Bronson wrote: Not good for eyes,  but there is a soap made to relieve poison ivy  that works well.
I wonder if it would work on pepper inflamed skin?


Probably. I'm almost positive poison ivy is an oil based irritant too.



Jewelweed soap, the natural poison ivy soap, should work pretty well, for that, though I've never thought of it, before.
 
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My three year old son put some hot sauce all over his face and eyes. I made a mixture of milk and olive oil and used a condiment brush used for food to briskly smear it around. This offered quick relief.
 
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Nathaniel Swasey wrote:My three year old son put some hot sauce all over his face and eyes. I made a mixture of milk and olive oil and used a condiment brush used for food to briskly smear it around. This offered quick relief.


Bet he only did that once.
 
Judith Browning
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Thank you all so much...great advice and perfect anecdotal evidence!

I'm still not sure what I have on hand that will work if I do this again as we rarely have milk in the house and my yogurt is no fat....it has been decades since I've done anything similar, so more likely my caregiver will be in control by the 'next time'

I think one of my oils would be the go to though, calendula or maybe just plain olive or sunflower?...I use a rose petal tea for an eye wash sometimes and it is quite soothing.



 
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A while back my girlfriend did something similar with a hot pepper and rubbing her eyes.  She has aloe plants growing in her yard and wondered since it works good for heat burns if it would work good pepper burns too.  She said it worked wonders taking the pain away very quick.  I haven't had to try it yet myself, but I do now have some growing in a pot to be harvested as needed for medical needs.
 
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Judith Browning wrote:Thank you all so much...great advice and perfect anecdotal evidence!

I'm still not sure what I have on hand that will work if I do this again as we rarely have milk in the house and my yogurt is no fat....it has been decades since I've done anything similar, so more likely my caregiver will be in control by the 'next time'

I think one of my oils would be the go to though, calendula or maybe just plain olive or sunflower?...I use a rose petal tea for an eye wash sometimes and it is quite soothing.


Plain olive or sunflower would be my choices out of those, followed by the rose tea.
 
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I can second the Aloe for pepper burn relief on skin. Although, it isn't long lasting. A bowl of Ice water helped just as well if not better.

None of that helps for eyes though. I hope I never need to try any of these solutions.
 
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has anyone considered or tried saline solution?  as it's the eyes's natural liquid, maybe with the other suggestions, or first, would help?
 
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I’m in the Yucatán, Mexico.  There’s a lot of chili eating here.  When some gets in the eye, the Maya pull a hair from their head and swipe the eye with it.  I’ve witnessed this but haven’t had to try it myself.  Again, I think it’s the oil.
 
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The answer is to rub your eyes with hair. Have someone with a ponytail lend you their hair, if you don't have one yourself. Rub your eyes with hair until burning stops. This is tried and true, no special ingredients or oils required other than your own or a loved ones.  We grow some really hot chilies.  It happens.
 
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For anyone trying to pour milk in their eyes, what has worked best for me is a shotglass - you can hold the shotglass of milk against your eyes and open your eye.

For hands, a bowl works fine to soak them in.

Regardless, you'll still suffer some, albiet mildly, even hours later.

For my hands, in a real bad situation, it was irritated for nearly 48 hours. I had been processing a bunch of pepper seeds with zero gloves on for at least 45 minutes, and only once I stopped working did it start feeling painful and irritated. Odd how that happens.
 
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