Most recipes with hot peppers will caution you to wear gloves while chopping and seeding the peppers. Last week, I learned the hard way why you should follow this advice. I chopped and seeded a jalapeno pepper with my bare hands, and even though I washed thoroughly with soap and water several times, the oil remained on my fingers. When I rubbed my eye, I transferred the oil to my eye and had to remove my contact lenses.
I didn't want a repeat episode but I don't keep gloves on hand, so when my husband requested fresh salsa, I was momentarily stumped.
Instead of taking your chances with bare hands, cover your hands with plastic sandwich bags. The plastic is thin enough that you can easily maneuver the knife, but thick enough to protect your skin from the oil in the pepper.
If you do get pepper oil on your hands, clean your fingers with rubbing alcohol. The alcohol cuts through the oil so you can safely touch your skin again.
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