Contact dermatitis associated with capsaicin: Hunan hand syndrome

Ann Emerg Med. 1995 May;25(5):713-5. doi: 10.1016/s0196-0644(95)70188-5.


"Hunan hand" is a contact dermatitis resulting from the direct handling of chili peppers containing capsaicin. Capsaicin also is found in an over-the-counter topical agent for treatment of postherpetic neuralgia, diabetic neuropathy, and arthritis. We present the case of a patient with capsaicin-induced dermatitis and discuss the pathophysiology, therapy, and current uses of capsaicin.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Capsaicin / adverse effects
  • Capsaicin / therapeutic use
  • Capsicum / adverse effects*
  • Dermatitis, Contact / etiology*
  • Dermatitis, Contact / therapy
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Plants, Medicinal*
  • Syndrome


  • Capsaicin