I learned a few things about jalapeno peppers. First of all, the smaller the pepper the hotter it is. Second of all, if you are chopping a jalapeno – wear gloves.
If you do not , your hand will feel like it is burning (up to 24 hours). It feels like a slow burn, as if you are holding a cup of hot soup for just a little too long, coupled with the pins and needles feeling of a hand that has fallen asleep.
If you are experiencing this pain in your hands and are wearing contacts – DO NOT take your contacts out before going to bed. That is unless you want your eyes to burn as well.
The cure? I read several on message boards. The one that worked for me? Milk. Soak your hand in milk. It may sound a little gross, but it is better than be driven crazy by the pain in your hand.
I would like to share one more helpful tip that I learned last Thanksgiving:
You should also wear gloves when peeling butternut squash. If you do not, the skin on your hand will become dry, tight and have a film over it. This may be an allergic reaction (contact dermatitis) and not affect everyone, but it is worth knowing. It is also recommended to peel the skin off with a knife rather than a peeler. It gets the job done faster and your not in direct contact with the starch.
My hand was so dried out that I could not even open my palm. It was scary at first, but once again message boards saved the day. Although it took a few days, lotion and hand washing (with a little gentle scrubbing) took care of the problem.
Now you don’t have to make the same mistakes that I did…