How many times after touching or cutting the pepper have we absentmindedly passed our hands over our face (or worse still over our eyes and mouth) triggering that typical burning reaction?
Responsible for this reaction is capsaicin, a nitrogen-based organic substance present in chili peppers which gives it that particular property of spiciness. In contact with the skin it causes irritation with really painful burning that can last even a couple of hours.
Capsaicin is not a water-soluble compound therefore, as it does not dissolve in water, it often does not wash off your hands simply by washing them with soap and water. On the contrary, this substance is soluble in both fats and alcohol.
To permanently eliminate the capsaicin after being in contact with the chilli pepper, just grease your hands with oil (whether it is olive or seed oil, it makes no difference) being careful to also pass it on the area under the nails to remove any residues.
At this point, we will only have to wash our hands with hot water and soap (preferably the one for washing dishes which has a greater degreasing action) and we will obtain soft and hydrated hands free of any trace of spiciness.
Alternatively, we can use the normal ethyl alcohol we have at home and then apply a moisturizer on the hands to compensate for the dehydrating action that the alcohol has on the skin.