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it burns, it burns!
September 26, 2008 10:11 PM   Subscribe

I just went to the bathroom to pee, and seconds after finishing I realized that I must have unwittingly touched some hot peppers when I was in the kitchen. Please help me stop this unholy burning.

I suppose it's relevant that I am male. I looked at a bunch of other threads on capsaicin-induced burning, but I'm not sure that I'm ready to douse my genitalia in a bleach solution, or with rubbing alcohol, or ammonia. Does anybody know how to fix this without resort to harsh chemicals?

Also... HOLY SHIT THIS HURTS MORE THAN ANYTHING I HAVE EVER EXPERIENCED! PLEASE HELP ME SO I DON'T HAVE TO KILL MYSELF.

Sorry to yell at you all. Please help.
posted by number9dream to Health & Fitness (27 answers total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
 
Umm, I hear milk helps break down the capsaicin, but your junk might smell like it.
posted by InsanePenguin at 10:14 PM on September 26, 2008


run outside and wave your penis in the air, or dip it in yogurt.

it doesn't matter mate; it's an inconvenient consequence that you have to see through.
posted by Frasermoo at 10:15 PM on September 26, 2008


dip it in a glass of milk, seriously. then take a shower
posted by docmccoy at 10:19 PM on September 26, 2008


I agree, you need something with casein, milk is your best bet. Stick your wick in a glass of moo juice for a while, then wash up well.
posted by Dreama at 10:19 PM on September 26, 2008 [3 favorites]


Yogurt or sugar water should work.
posted by damn dirty ape at 10:20 PM on September 26, 2008


Definitely dip into a glass of whole milk or if even better rub some ice cream on. Capsaicin is fat-soluble.
posted by jamaro at 10:20 PM on September 26, 2008


then throw away the glass
posted by docmccoy at 10:20 PM on September 26, 2008 [5 favorites]


The fat in dairy will help. Beer might too, unless that's just for taste buds.

When I was preparing peppers for drying and accidentally brushed my nose, I had to just sit around splashing whole milk on my face for a while until it settled down.
posted by padraigin at 10:21 PM on September 26, 2008


Really, anything milk-related soothes the burning from peppers (hence why I drink milk when eating spicy foods). C'mon, it's not that bad. Just wash your stuff well after it gets better. (Just don't be seen while you're soaking it.)
posted by curagea at 10:23 PM on September 26, 2008


rub with ice cream, clean it off and repeat. not waste of good ice cream if prevents self-injury. Like milk but you get cold plus better stickiness.
posted by metahawk at 10:23 PM on September 26, 2008


Milk, milk, milk. Don't let your SO catch you, though ("I've always wondered how men reload that thing!")
posted by porn in the woods at 10:39 PM on September 26, 2008 [24 favorites]


I cook with chili peppers a lot. I also have sensitive skin, and so typically use plastic gloves.

There have been a few occasions when I forgot to use gloves.... and also didn't get around to washing my hands afterwards promptly.

After about half an hour, my hands would start to burn. Insanely painful burning, from what felt like deep inside my skin.

I tried milk, soy milk, ice cream, yoghurt, etc. None of them worked.

Rubbing alcohol, on the other hand, worked wonders. I'm not sure if it was because the capsaicin had penetrated to lower layers of skin or whathave you.. I just know that putting my hands in a bowl of milk did nothing.

On the other hand -- I wouldn't want to put rubbing alcohol on my wang either... so maybe you should stick to the milk.
posted by genome4hire at 10:52 PM on September 26, 2008


Yep. Milk. Warm it up a bit (not too hot) and it becomes extra special.

It may help with the burning, too.
posted by Cat Pie Hurts at 10:59 PM on September 26, 2008


If you feel weird about dipping, you could always soak a washcloth in milk and wrap it up for a while.
posted by fructose at 11:01 PM on September 26, 2008


do you have lemon or lime juice? the acid will cut the oil that's causing your pain. use a washcloth
posted by odragul at 11:21 PM on September 26, 2008


use antacid like you drink for heartburn, the chalky stuff. Its what poisoin control had me do when i got jalapeno juice in my eye (ya it hurt).
posted by DJWeezy at 11:27 PM on September 26, 2008


MILK.... been there done that.....
posted by peewinkle at 12:15 AM on September 27, 2008


You might also try dipping your wick in a glass of vinegar. I eat pretty hot peppers regularly, and if I get any digestive aftereffects I usually drink a glass of water with about 5-10% apple cider vinegar added to it, and my stomach settles down soon after. You might also try Adolph's Meat Tenderizer, which is what is recommended for jellyfish stings...it contains papain, which is derived from papaya, and has a soothing effect, or so I've heard. Although your meat may not need any additional "tenderizing" right about now.
posted by motown missile at 12:37 AM on September 27, 2008 [1 favorite]


I tried almost everything on this list on my burning (non-glove wearing) hands. Uh, ice cold vodka. Followed by yogurt/milk mix. Then grease fighting dish soap like joy. Rinse. Repeat. Still pain.

The only thing that seemed to help at all was leaving my hands in a bowl of ice water for as long as I could sustain it. They still felt like fire hours later, and sleeping with the pain was difficult.

Might I recommend (it's the weekend, right?), get drunk. It'll take your mind off the pain, and you'll fall asleep earlier.
posted by Ghidorah at 1:02 AM on September 27, 2008


I don't own a penis but I can't imagine that dousing your wedding tackle in rubbing alcohol would be bad in the way bleach would clearly be bad. If you don't have an open wound, it should be fine.

And dude... owwww.
posted by DarlingBri at 1:54 AM on September 27, 2008


Since only Jamaro has said it WHOLE milk. Or full fat, or creamery, or whatever they call it in your part of the world. It's fat soluble.

With that in mind, you might find olive oil will help too.

As someone who recently managed to get chilli juice on his iPod earbuds, I can only imagine your pain...
posted by twine42 at 2:56 AM on September 27, 2008


Yes, everyone's got pieces of it.

For the chemistry part you want something that will dissolve and wash away or dilute the oils in what's bothering you. Dairy's good because it's a fat rich emulsification with water, which stays liquid. The idea is that the chili's oils dissolve or partially dissolve in the fat that's in the milk, and because the milk/cream/whatever is liquid it then drips off. I'd recommend using heavy cream instead of just milk or even whole milk. The aim is to have something liquid that is also high in fat, and heavy cream is up around 36% fat by weight, whereas whole milk is around 8%, I think.

Mechanically, if you can stand it, at least for the flesh that's external to your body, scrub it a bit. Try not to irritate or abrade your flesh, so if it's swollen or irritated already, be careful. The oils that are tormenting you right now would be extra unpleasant in an open wound. Also, if you can, try to scrub AWAY from your urethra, as the oils that are bothering you are extra unpleasant on mucous membranes.

Also, be prepared for this not to help entirely.

Alcohol will also help, so if you've done the dairy and it's still intensely bothering you, alcohol is also a good suggestion, and should not irritate your flesh any more than it already is.

Finally, there's a substance that is actually made for removing/lessening these kinds of effects (from Poison Ivy) in a commercial context that Jon Singer (a friend and mad scientist type) tested against habanero pepper juice applied to the corner of his eye (I did mention that he's a mad scientist, right?). You can read his research for yourself, but it sounds like he mostly tested the Tecnu from the point of view of prophylactic and immediate treatment use, and not several minutes/hours after the application of the problematic oils.

So at least from the point of view of whether or not Tecnu can help you, it sounds like you probably need it on hand for the incident in question, and will only be helpful for you in the future if this happens (G-d forbid) again.
posted by kalessin at 5:16 AM on September 27, 2008 [1 favorite]


P.S. Simply using a lot of oil will work too, but the problem with oil is that it sticks to your skin, whereas dairy will drip off more like water. If you used oil instead of dairy, the additional step would be to use soap (or other surfactant) to wash the residual oil off of your skin after you hopefully soaked most of the capsaicin off with the oil.
posted by kalessin at 5:19 AM on September 27, 2008


Hope you're alright by now, but for posterity: The street medic technique is to swab the area with vegetable or olive oil, then promptly with rubbing alcohol. I saw this in action recently when friends burned their faces/necks on habaneros--it did help, even though the swabbing was a couple hours after the exposure. One of them said his skin starting burning again when he took a hot shower the next morning because the heat opened the pores, but after that he was fine.
posted by hippugeek at 9:41 AM on September 27, 2008


Thanks all. My junk is all ok now. I ended up using cream, then some vegetable oil, then washing with some mild soap. It still burned a bit but it went away after a while.

I have to say the worst part was the fact that it wasn't my fault. I didn't use any spicy peppers! I think it was left over on a cutting board that somebody else used.
posted by number9dream at 10:09 AM on September 27, 2008


(faintly) How did so many of you know the answer to this?
posted by The corpse in the library at 12:57 PM on September 27, 2008 [2 favorites]


Oil is definitely the trick.

Milk only works because it is a suspension of fats (oil) in water.

Sugar water is almost as effective as hoping. Nothing in sugar water will dissolve even minute bits of the offending capsaicin oils.
posted by IAmBroom at 6:21 AM on September 29, 2008


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