How to Get Pepper Spray Off Skin?
Pepper sprays, generally known as OC spray, are a type of lachrymatory agent (i.e. tear gas) that causes irritation to the eyes and occasionally snotty nose or coughing with those exposed to it. These sprays are often used in riot control but can also be used in self-defense against humans or animals when other types of physical force may be ineffective or cause too much harm.

For example, if someone is chasing you with a gun and you cannot get away, spraying them with pepper spray will give you time to escape without getting shot. This is commonly used by police to subdue violent criminals, and it has been adopted as self-defense and non-lethal weapons by many civilians. It's also beneficial for people who run or jog through areas where there are stray dogs since it will stop the dog from attacking you.

History of Pepper Spray

Before the advent of this spray as a weapon for civilians, law enforcement was searching for alternative non-lethal methods of subduing dangerous criminals. They already had the option of using tear gas to temporarily disable criminals but were looking for something that could be deployed faster, in larger quantities, and from safer distances.

In response to this need, an investigator named Kyle Vander-boegh of the Alabama Civil Liberties Union developed a pepper spray gun in the early 1980s. In 1984, Vander-boegh filed a patent for a hand-held gun that could fire spray projectiles up to 10 feet away. 

The idea was that officers could use the device to fire at violent criminals from a greater distance without being attacked themselves.The first commercial spray weapon was released by Jim Bell Ross in 1985. Ross's company, SABRE, produced the Mace Pepper Gun®, which looks like an oversized Super SoakerTM water pistol and is commonly seen being used by police officers today.

What is Pepper Spray Made Out of?

Pepper spray is a mixture of hot pepper extracts and other ingredients. The exact formula of this spray varies from product to product, but it generally includes the following:

Pepper Spray

  • Chili powder

This is the main ingredient that causes the sneezing and coughing effects when you're sprayed. It also gets into your eyes and burns, which is how it causes temporary blindness. If you're sprayed in the eyes, flush them by splashing cold water on your face immediately. 

You should also clean them with soap and warm water if you can get to a sink. Do not rub your eyes or try to wash out your eyes with just your hands because you could injure yourself further this way.

  • Oleoresin Capsicum (OC) 

This is the actual pepper extract that makes up most of the spray. It is sticky and forms a vapor that irritates your eyes, nose, and throat. It can cause temporary blindness, but it's not nearly as powerful as tear gas. 

  • Other Ingredients

Small amounts of other ingredients are used to create a more powerful effect, such as "opto-sonic" wave frequencies so the OC particles can be heard by the human ear when sprayed at close range. Some products also contain denatonium benzoate which acts as an anti-inflammatory agent to prevent tissue damage from prolonged exposure to the spray.

The spray comes in a variety of strengths (10% to 70%) including low-concentration “personal defense” sprays (5% to 10%) and stronger “law enforcement”-strength sprays (10% to 70%). Pepper Spray Cartridges – The cartridges are safe, but they're made of plastic and are often not extremely effective because they need the pressure to spray. They're a safer "less is more" solution. 

Also Read: Pros and Cons of Pepper Spray

The Right Way to Get Pepper Spray Off Skin

It’s easy to buy pepper spray to ward off an attacker… but it’s a lot harder to get it off your skin. The good news is that there are some tried-and-true tricks that will help you get the icky stuff off of your skin if you accidentally get it on yourself. Keep reading so that you can learn how to remove this spray from your skin in no time!

  • How do I know if my skin is affected by the spray?

The first and most obvious sign of contact with the spray is the burning sensation on your skin, which usually takes a few seconds between when the spray touches your skin and when symptoms start taking effect. 

However, sometimes the burning sensation can begin immediately after the spray hits your skin and you might think that you are allergic to this spray. Either way, if your skin is icky and itchy, chances are that it's not safe to go any further and you should stop what you're doing to wash it off!

  • How do I wash the spray off of my skin?

Allow the affected area to air out for at least 20 minutes before you go any further. First, wipe off any excess pepper spray with a clean, wet cloth. Then use a mild soap to gently rub away what's left of the spray on your skin. If you cannot completely wash off the spray with soap and water, try using rubbing alcohol to remove it instead. 

Rubbing alcohol is less harsh and contains fewer chemicals than most over-the-counter cleaning products, so it is usually safer on the skin. After washing your skin with rubbing alcohol or soap and water, pat yourself dry. It's best to keep the affected area close to the heart for a few minutes to help ensure that there is no inflammation.

  • What if I can't get any of the sprays off my skin?

If you are not able to wash off all of the sprays, it might be safe to continue working on your projects while wearing gloves. Women should always wear gloves when handling guns or firing a weapon in any situation. To protect their hands from getting damaged by shooting, they are advised to wear nitrile gloves when firing bb guns, airsoft guns, and other projectile weapons.

Pepper spray

Why Use Pepper Spray for Defense?

Pepper spray is considered to be one of the best non-lethal, self defense weapons. These sprays are sometimes used as an alternative to tasers or firearms and as a result, they have their own set of uses and features that differentiate them from these other weapons. 

The main characteristics that make up these sprays are what causes most people to use them over more traditional weapons on the market today. With all the different types of this spray out there these days, finding your fit can be difficult. This will help you to decide on a spray that is right for you.

  • Effective Delivery System

One of the ways to determine if a weapon is going to be effective is to look at what it looks like. These sprays have stepped up their marketing and appearance in recent years because they are no longer used solely by law enforcement officials. 

This makes them more popular among civilians and this has helped with their acceptance as a personal defense weapon (PDW). These sprays have also become more powerful over the years, they're now able to produce an even stronger sting than they used to be able to do in the past.

Also Read: Does Pepper Spray Expire?

  • Optimal Range

Pepper spray delivery systems are considered to be a long-range weapon because they use an aerosol mechanism to release the spray into the air then it is dispersed within an area. 

The target must be exposed long enough for the pepper spray to reach them and make contact. This type of attack is considered to be an "ambush" type of attack because it can happen to anyone at any time and without warning.

  • Variety of Types

The world of these sprays has been expanded over the past couple of years as manufacturers have been trying to stand out from each other on the market from innovative features to various scents and new packaging designs. 

The spray that one chooses to use can have a major impact on its effectiveness. A well-designed spray has the ability to repel people, deter pets and livestock, and cause temporary blindness.

  • Color Options

Most sprays now come in different colors, they have been manufactured in a variety of bright colors that are eye-catching and fun to look at. This makes them more appealing and easier to identify with when buying one as well as easier to use for personal defense purposes. 

These sprays that come in bright colors make it easier for the user to visually see where it is being used or thrown so they know when they are getting too close or too out of range from their attacker.

Also Read: Pepper Spray Vs Taser