Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

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Chili Pepper Burn Types

There are a many types of hot peppers. The hotness of each type of pepper is rated by a system called the Scoville Heat Units (SHU). Peppers with higher SHU are more likely to cause burns.

Type of PepperSHU Rating
Bell Pepper0
New Mexico Red Pepper500-1,500
Jalapeno Pepper2,500-5,000
Serrano Pepper5,000-15,000
Habanero 100,000-300,000
Scotch Bonnet100,000-300,000
Red Svaina200,000-350,000

Last Updated: Sep 13, 2010 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Chili Pepper Burn References
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  2. Magnusson BM, Koskinen LO. Effects of topical application of capsaicin to human skin: a comparison of effects evaluated by visual assessment, sensation registration, skin blood flow and cutaneous impedance measurements. Acta Derm Venereol. 1996 Mar;76(2):129-32. [8740267]
  3. McBurney DH, Balaban CD, Popp JR, Rosenkranz JE. Adaptation to capsaicin burn: effects of concentration and individual differences. Physiol Behav. 2001 Jan;72(1-2):205-16. [11239999]
  4. Nasrawi CW, Pangborn RM. Temporal effectiveness of mouth-rinsing on capsaicin mouth-burn. Physiol Behav. 1990 Apr;47(4):617-23. [2385629]
  5. Robinson MK, Perkins MA. Evaluation of a quantitative clinical method for assessment of sensory skin irritation. Contact Dermatitis. 2001 Oct;45(4):205-13. [11683830]
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