Originally Posted by Dawgluver
Wow. Who knew? DH is very susceptible to poison ivy, and I have a bounty of semi-hot peppers. Will pick up some Maalox.
OMG, I can relate to the susceptibility to poison ivy and oak. I can look it up in the dictionary and catch it!
Here's the facts about how the chemical "capsaicin", which is the same in all hot peppers, works;
Capsaicin is the main capsaicinoid in chili peppers, followed by dihydrocapsaicin. These two compounds are also about twice as potent to the taste and nerves as the minor capsaicinoids nordihydrocapsaicin, homodihydrocapsaicin, and homocapsaicin.
The burning and painful sensations associated with capsaicin result from its chemical interaction with sensory neurons. Capsaicin, as a member of the vanilloid family, binds to a receptor called the vanilloid receptor subtype 1 (VR1).
First cloned in 1997, VR1 is an ion channel-type receptor. VR1, which can also be stimulated with heat and physical abrasion, permits cations to pass through the cell membrane and into the cell when activated.
The resulting depolarization of the neuron stimulates it to signal the brain. By binding to the VR1 receptor, the capsaicin molecule produces the same sensation that excessive heat or abrasive damage would cause, explaining why the spiciness of capsaicin is described as a burning sensation.
The VR1 ion channel has subsequently been shown to be a member of the superfamily of TRP ion channels, and as such is now referred to as TRPV1. There are a number of different TRP ion channels that have been shown to be sensitive to different ranges of temperature and probably are responsible for our range of temperature sensation.
Thus, capsaicin does not actually cause a chemical burn, or indeed any direct tissue damage at all, when chili peppers are the source of exposure. The inflammation caused by the burn or physical abrasion that the body believes it has undergone can potentially cause tissue damage in cases of extreme exposure, as is the case for many substances that trick the body into inflaming itself.
Painful exposures to capsaicin-containing peppers are among the most common plant-related exposures presented to poison centers. They cause burning or stinging pain to the skin, and if ingested in large amounts by adults or small amounts by children, can produce nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain and burning diarrhea. Eye exposure produces intense tearing, pain, conjunctivitis and blepharospasm.
The fastest way to neutralize capsaicin is to use casein (milk protein) that neutralizes the effect of the capsaicin by getting between the capsaicin and the vanilloid receptors in the skin. This allows the oily capsaicin to be washed off with common dish soaps.
Any whole milk product will work. You must bathe your skin in it to allow the casein to penetrate the skin cells and become a barrier to the capsaicin. After a few minutes of milk bath and rubbing, you can then wash it off using standard dish soap which will remove it from your skin.
The method of action is; the casein stops the burning and makes the capsaicin come away from the vanilloid receptors in the skin, and then the soap removes it from your skin.
In severe cases, using multiple washings in whole milk might be needed.
This is the first time in 20 years of growing the hottest peppers in the world, that I've heard of the Malox effectiveness. It must have an ingredient in it that also separates the capsaicin from the vanilloid receptors. Interesting.
For the doubters of the world, print this out, show it to any Doctor and they will tell you that it is perfectly accurate.