How to Treat Brazilian Pepper Rash

By Catherine Chase

Brazilian pepper shrubs are an invasive evergreen from South America. While it is illegal to cultivate it in many areas, such as Florida, birds propagate it by spreading the seeds. Touching the Brazilian pepper often results in skin irritation and blistering, itchy rashes. You may notice a rash develop in as little as eight to 48 hours. Often, washing the area and applying soothing Calamine lotion may sufficiently treat your Brazilian pepper rash. Those who are particularly sensitive to the plant may need medical help.

Wash the rash with water and a mild soap. Use a soft washcloth and avoid touching the rash with your bare hands.

Moisten a cotton ball with rubbing alcohol and apply it to the rash.

Rinse the area and pat it dry gently.

Dip another cotton ball in Calamine lotion and apply it to the rash. Calamine lotion may help soothe the rash and reduce any itching.

See your doctor if the Calamine lotion does not offer relief, or your rash persists. You may need a prescription-strength corticosteroid cream, such as hydrocortisone. The over-the-counter formulas are typically too weak to treat a Brazilian pepper rash. Apply the prescription cream to the rash as directed.

Take an oral medication, if your doctor recommends it. While oral antihistamines will not likely treat your Brazilian pepper rash, corticosteroids like dexamethasone or prednisone may help.


Take off any clothing that may have touched the Brazilian pepper, as soon as possible and launder it. Launder the washcloth you used to cleanse the rash.


If you are allergic to this plant, see your doctor immediately instead of attempting home care.

Never burn any parts of the Brazilian pepper plant, because this can cause problems breathing and wheezing.

Avoid rubbing or scratching the area. This will irritate it even more and can also spread the rash.

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