I was wearing my wedding ring when I chopped up some green chilis to put into an Indian dish I was making. I’m very sensitive to chilis, so much so that I usually wear rubber gloves even when handling the mild ones. In this case, I forgot to wear gloves, the juice spurted on to my hands and over my wedding ring. I immediately washed my hands, but some got stuck under my wedding band, and now I have a perfect ring-shaped blister around my left ring finger.
Of course I’ve taken the ring off. But how can I get this to go away quickly? It burns and itches like hell and a lot of the skin has come off.
You have a chemical burn. No magic cures for that. Generally it’s recommended that one keep minor chemical burns clean and dry, and use a bit of antiseptic on it. And cover with a dressing when appropriate to keep it clean in the early stages.
It’s suggested, for a chili pepper burn in the mouth, to drink milk, beer or tea[personal observation: milk works best] Perhaps washing off the chili juice with milk would’ve done the same. A bit of aloe vera or vitamin E ointment may do you some good now.
I’ve found that acidic foods are good for countering the effects of eating spicy foods. Citrus fruits such as lemons and limes work quite well. I can’t say how well this works for skin contact, However. My semi-educated guess is that it’d be as effective. Of course, this is only at the time of exposure. It’s pretty much too late for any of that now.
I can only second what others have said to do now: Keep it clean and dry.
I know that dairy products and alcohol do the job well.
But when Wilbur Scoville did his testing back in the early 20th century he used a mixture of sugar and water. How many squirts it takes to ease the burn. (Thanks to Alton Brown) I don’t know the exact mix. I have never tried this. I know water itself is a poor extinguisher of the burn. Does the sugar give the the water properties that make it work?
Has anyone tested it? I have no peppers or I would test it myself.
Um, gang? overlyverbose has a chemical burn! Not suffering from spicy mouth or other body part!!! One should not be advocating putting milk, citrus, beer, tea, or other such substances on a freaking 2nd degree chemical burn!!!
Qadgop, isn’t it the same thing? Eating too much chilli leads to an acid burn inside the mouth or on the lips, thus accounting for that ‘hot’ or ‘stinging’ sensation, right? Does the difference in severity alter something?
Last night I cleaned the ring really well with ring cleaner, then rinsed it for two minutes in clean water until it was all (as far as I could see) clean. Since I’ve left it off, my finger is drying up nicely, though I’ve got a ring of nasty, ragged, hardened, falling-off skin around my finger, which is making it itch, but at least the burning has stopped. Thanks for all your advice. I should have taken the opportunity to at least try soaking it in beer. When that didn’t work, I could have just drunk the entire six-pack. That would have killed two birds with one stone - the pain wouldn’t have been as noticeable, and I would have avoided wasting beer, a cardinal sin.
Actually, overlyverbose, since Vatican II I believe that wasting beer is generally seen as venial in nature, unless one makes a habit of it. Consistently wasting beer (especially good Catholic beer, say, a nice Belgian Trappist ale) would still be considered mortal, and thus a danger to one’s soul.
Hijack aside, I’m glad your finger is healing nicely. While I don’t develop burns, I have had a couple of days of burning in my hands when I didn’t take proper care with habaneros and Scotch bonnets. Hot soapy water immediately after exposure usually does the trick, but not always, especially if the oil gets in places like the wrinkles around your knuckles. Given your sensitivity gloves would seem to be a necessity.