Spend enough time on YouTube and you'll find evidence of humans doing any and every deranged thing imaginable, but one video burning up the Internet this week stars a guy taking a bath in hot sauce: 1,250 bottles of hot sauce.
The person in question, UK-based YouTuber Cemre Candar, has built a whole shtick around taking various kinds of edible baths—melted chocolate and oreos, beer, what have you—but a nearly 5-minute video in a bath of hot sauce and hot peppers? Now he's got our attention. But wait, is this for real? Or is this just some tame red-tinged fluid he's soaking in? We've felt the pain of accidentally rubbing our eyes after dicing a hot pepper, so completely submerging in a tub of spicy sauce is a pretty frightening idea, and initially we had our doubts.
From the second Candar eases himself into the bath, he's groaning and exclaiming "Oh my God!" (yeah, yeah, nice acting). Then he starts eating a hot pepper that's been marinating in the bath, and starts plunging into the angry-red fluid. Intense. And, sure, fun to watch. But we're still not convinced... Until he comes out of the bath and his skin looks blotchy and burned, and the guy does appear to be in real pain. Now we're kind of buying it. Needless to say we've never soaked our entire body in hot sauce, but here's what the experts say actually happens if you do.
Chili peppers sting our skin because they contain capsaicin, and “capsaicin causes our nerves to fire and release a signal called Substance P that makes us experience burning,” Dr. Joshua Zeichner, a board-certified dermatologist and an assistant professor in the dermatology department at Mt. Sinai Medical Center in Manhattan, told The Feast.
"This is a very seriously life- and body-threatening prank,” dermatologist Jessica J. Krant, M.D., added. “The video immediately reminded me of the life-threatening cinnamon challenge that went viral a couple of years ago," said Krant, an assistant clinical professor of dermatology at SUNY Downstate Medical Center in New York City and a specialist with the Laser & Skin Surgery Center of New York.
At one point, to further the physical torture, Candar eats a pepper and submerges his face in the bath of hot sauce. “The oil of hot peppers in small quantities can be painful or damaging, but in this inescapable quantity, it can permanently burn mucous membranes on the outside of the body (eyes, lining of the rectum and penis), causing swelling and scarring,” she adds. “The amount of hot sauce vapors in the air from this kind of stunt could also get into the lungs while trying to breathe, causing damage and an asthmatic-type reaction with airways closing, leading to a life or death emergency."
So, basically, don't try this at home, kids.
But back to that dicing-hot-pepper-and-accidentally-touching-your-eye thing. Here's what you should do if that happens: “Normal soap and water does not wash off the oil of hot peppers,” says Krant. Ideally, only touch and cut spicy peppers using kitchen gloves. Otherwise, use milk, cream, alcohol (organic solvent), or automotive scrub (yes, seriously) to neutralize and scrub off the oil. “Remember to carefully clean under your fingernails to make sure no oil remains. After washing and rinsing, put your fingers into your mouth to make sure no remaining oil is there,” says Krant.
Your tongue can handle that heat better. Your eyeballs, ears, and internal organs? Not so much.
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