I had to post about this traumatic experience of mine to try and warn others about the potential dangers of messing with jalapeños!
Yesterday I decided that I wanted a grilled cheese sandwich in the coming days. But not just any grilled cheese sandwich. A jalapeño popper grilled cheese sandwich. Sounds good doesn’t it? Not only that, but I had a few leftover peppers from taco’s last weekend that I didn’t want to go to waste. Darn you Trader Joe’s for only selling jalapeños in a box of 10!
To make a sandwich like this, you don’t just use raw peppers, so I broiled mine until they were blackened and then let them chill out in a zipped up baggie until they were cool enough to handle. I think this is where I went wrong.
I was supposed to slice each pepper in half and remove the seeds BEFORE it went into the oven, because once it came out, the inside was extra juicy and the seeds were harder to remove. There was a lot of jalapeño juice on my hands while I was removing the skins and seeds from these peppers. I finished all of that, placed the peppers in a bag, and that was that. Until an hour later…
I started noticing my hands, specifically the ends of my fingers had a slight burning sensation and it seemed to be increasing. The burning continued to get worse, until it got to the point where it was practically unbearable. My fingers literally felt as if they were on FIRE. With my burning fire fingers, I managed to type my problem into Google and came across a forum on Chowhound with remedy suggestions. I tried almost all of them – sour cream, yogurt, lime juice, aloe vera, cold water, hot water. All of them helped at the moment of contact, but relief did not last. Some burn relief spray with aloe vera and Lidocaine that I got from CVS seemed to help a little. But I had to reapply every 5 minutes, despite the 3-4 times daily label instructions.
This lasted for about 5 hours, until I finally took some Tylenol which allowed me to fall asleep. The burning was too intense to even sleep with, but the medicine helped. Or maybe I just passed out from the pain, I can’t remember. Luckily, when I woke up in the morning, nothing was left of the pain save for a little soreness in my fingers. What a crazy night.
I have handled peppers before and never had a reaction like this. My suggestion to myself and others, is to please WEAR GLOVES!