Capsicum causes irritation, burning, and pain upon contact with mucous mibranes as a result of depletion of substance P from terminal nerve endings. There is intense burning of the mucous mibranes with contact. Patients typically self-innoculate their eyes while preparing peppers. Police use pepper sprays to subdue combative individuals. In addition to cutaneous decontamination with copious amounts of water and a gentle hand soap, diulcifying agents such as cold milk or ice cream may help. Analgesics may be necessary.
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