Pepper spray is also called capsicum spray which is a lachrymatory agent. It is a chemical compound that causes irritation on the eyes, tears, pain and temporary blindness. It is used in crowd and riot control, policing and self-defense against dogs and bears.
The inflammatory effects of pepper cause the eyes to close, and take away vision. It also results to difficulty breathing which can be dangerous for people suffering from asthma.
- Avoid touching or rubbing the eyes to prevent spreading of the oil around and cause further damage and worsen the condition. Blink a lot to produce tears on the eyes. Blinking produces liquid that begins the flushing out of the residue from the eyes.
- Flush the eyes and face using cool water for at least 15 minutes. After washing the face, keep open to the air to let irritants evaporate. Another alternative is standing in cold shower to rinse off the residue.
- To remove residue of the oil in the skin, wash the area using mild, non-oil based soap or dish detergent. Make a solution by mixing 1 quarter of mild detergent with 3 quarters of cool water. Dip the face into the mixture for at least twenty seconds, then rinse off the face. Avoid getting the soap into the eyes to prevent further irritation and worsen the condition. Repeat this procedure at least 10 times to lessen the residue of the pepper spray in the face.
- Splash the affected area using milk. Milk lessens the burn on the skin and makes it easy to flush out the eyes. Keep the eyes closed and splash milk into the face. Another alternative is placing milk into a clean spray bottle. Squirt the milk into face and keep the eyes closed. Milk lessens irritation felt on the skin. Soak a clean towel on milk, then sit back and close the eyes and place the towel over the face to lessen the pain and the irritation on the eyelids and skin found around the eyes. Then rinse it off and avoid covering the area, leave it to be exposed to air.
- Apply an ice pack on the affected eyes to relieve of the burn. Avoid ice directly on the skin. Wrap ice pack using a towel before placing to the area to prevent ice burn and worsen the condition.
- Remove any contact lenses immediately if there is any. The residue of the spray can stick to the lenses and further irritate the eyes. Throw the lenses away, even if they are cleaned. After taking the lenses from the eyes, soak the face in clean and cool water and then open and close the eye under water for at least several times.
- Use the prescribed saline drops to flush out any final irritants. Apply a few drops on the affected area and blink continuously and avoid rubbing the eyes.