Last night, Ranger's grandparents tangled with some peppers of unknown origin they received at church. The very bright green peppers turned out not to be sweet peppers but instead held within them the very seeds of fire.
My parents tend to like very hot foods. My dad's been accused of attempted assassination for serving his rather spicy spaghetti sauce, and the family chili recipe has made people ask "What keeps the pot from melting?" as they gobble down seconds and thirds to stave off the inevitable burn.
Mom called this morning because her hands were still burning from cutting the peppers barehanded last night. Popular wisdom (via Google) unwisely suggests lots of caustics and/or drying agents (ranging from undiluted bleach to ethyl alcohol to 100 proof vodka); all bad ideas. I cannot imagine that these remedies do much more than dry the skin and make it more irritable.
Our own experience and a rather colorful story about friend's hot pepper connoisseur father and poorly timed trip to the urinal (along with wikipedia) point toward oily compounds to quickly remove the pepper's burn agent (capsaicin). We've found that whole milk or yogurt (preferably a non-low-fat variety) work best internally and humble fatty mayonnaise is great topically (store brands often have the highest fat content).
Grandma just called back after trip to the store for cheap mayo, and reports "immediate relief" for her burning hands.