What to do if you are affected
So, you were sprayed with an unknown gas, in jet or aerosol form, and a wild burning sensation and tearing began. First of all, you need to pull yourself together, don’t panic and follow the following instructions:
- Do not rub your face or eyes. Don't touch them. Try to be patient. If your eyes are very flooded, blot them with clothing without rubbing or rubbing the mixture into the skin. Try to prevent gas from getting into your eyes.
- If you have access to running water, go to it. Just wet your face with a napkin or towel first, some components are activated just in it, you need to remove them. After this, you will need to stand under running cold water for 15-30 minutes.
- If you are on the street, run to the nearest grocery store. There we take kitchen towels or toilet paper, and more of it. Several cartons of milk, a bottle of vodka. First, we blot our face with paper, just blot it, not three times. We remove excess substance.
- Then we wipe the skin with vodka - this neutralizes one of the types of gas. After this, wash it generously with milk.
All this together should help get rid of the burning sensation of pepper or tear spray, whatever its composition. Now that we have solved the main problem and it has become easier, we can talk in more detail about what happened and why it was necessary to act this way and not otherwise.
Pepper sprays: how to wash off OS irritant from skin and eyes?
Oleoresin Capsicum is the most common irritant in gas cans. This is an exclusively natural, but extremely pungent substance that causes irritation to the skin, visual and respiratory organs.
Capsaicin, the main active component of OS, is a compound that does not dissolve in water, so traces from using pepper spray should be washed off the face differently.
Experts and forum users recommend that immediately after contact with pepper concentrate, blot the skin with a dry cloth or clean handkerchief to remove excess irritant that has not yet been absorbed into the skin. You should not rub your face, otherwise the burning sensation may intensify.
Since OS is highly soluble in fat, you can try to neutralize pepper spray with milk, vegetable oil, or high-fat sour cream - these products are usually on hand. The remaining oily liquid is washed off with plenty of warm water and soap or baby shampoo.
Capsaicin is an alcohol-soluble substance; it can be removed with a weak (10%) solution of ethyl alcohol. To prepare it, you need to add 300 ml of clean water to 100 ml of regular vodka (pepper is unlikely to work) and mix thoroughly. This method is only suitable for washing the skin!
After you get rid of the burning sensation of the pepper spray, you may continue to have pain and stinging in your eyes and watery eyes for several hours. If the pain is very severe, apply eye drops with an anesthetic drug - lidocaine, novocaine, dicaine.
What are the active ingredients in the composition?
It is quite simple to wash off pepper spray from your face; all you need is milk, which, being both a fatty and alkaline medium, captures free particles of pepper and neutralizes those that have already begun to act. But manufacturers know about this, so they try to make a mixture of different components.
One of them is washed off with water, and the second, upon contact with it, begins to work even more powerfully. This is done in order to achieve maximum effect from the use of gas. These are the components:
- MPK - synthetic pepper, harvested with milk.
- CS - tear gas, dry blotting only.
- CN - washed off with vodka or soda solution.
- CR - dry cleaning only.
If you start from the fact that you do not know what kind of gas was used against you, then the best solution would be the algorithm described above. First, swab with napkins to remove excess, then wipe with vodka, only after that with milk or running water. To wash your eyes, use only running water; you can wash them after you have removed everything from the skin.
What to do if you are burned by pepper spray? If there is no one nearby to help you, try to follow these instructions:
- Do not panic. Severe pain may cause shock. In this case, you will not be able to do anything useful.
- Do not rub your face and eyes. This will rub the mixture into your skin and make the situation worse. Blink often so you can at least see where you are going.
- Clean your nose with a disposable tissue and throw it away immediately. Don't rub your skin.
You should wash your face with water only as a last resort. If possible, wash your eyes and face with milk. It will neutralize and remove insoluble substances from the spray. Then dissolve 20 grams of baking soda in a bottle of drinking water and rinse your face with this solution. This will remove any remaining caustic substance.
The listed actions should alleviate the condition, reduce pain and lacrimation. If there is a hospital or clinic nearby, be sure to seek help there. An ophthalmologist will examine your eyes and prescribe any necessary treatment.
When you can’t go to the doctor, buy painkillers and anti-inflammatory drops at the nearest pharmacy. The pharmacist will tell you what is best. Feel free to ask him to put some drops in your eyes. It is unlikely that you will be able to do this on your own.
How to avoid defeat
When using a spray can, stand downwind, try to immediately leave the place where it was used so that the cloud of active substance does not hit you. If this happens indoors, you need to go out into the air and open the room for ventilation.
If they use a spray can against you, jump and run away, try to close yourself immediately. The jet output time on the largest cylinders is 25 seconds, on small ones 6-15. You just need to wait for the gas to completely escape and not get into the cloud. And remember - any composition begins to act in 2-5 seconds, use this time to your advantage.
How does pepper spray affect a person?
The composition of this product includes red pepper extract, which has a strong irritant effect on the skin and mucous membranes.
The most dangerous, in terms of consequences, are cases when the sprayed product gets on the mucous membranes of the eyes or deep in the respiratory tract.
The second option is most likely when, at the moment the balloon is sprayed, the victim also inhales.
The composition begins to act from the first seconds, and at this time the victim may experience :
- severe burning in the eyes, mouth, nose, surface of the skin and in the lungs. The localization of the burning sensation and pain varies depending on which areas are affected by the product.
- disorientation in space (partly from visual impairment and partly from psychological shock);
- attacks of coughing and choking;
- respiratory dysfunction, shortness of breath;
- redness of the eyes and profuse lacrimation.
Keep in mind! Spasms and swelling of the respiratory muscles may develop.
In areas of the skin that are exposed to the spray, a burning sensation can persist for up to two to three hours.
Burning and pain in the eyes and throat when mucous membranes are affected can last up to two times longer.
In such cases, it is recommended to immediately provide first aid to the victim : this will help not only quickly eliminate discomfort, but also reduce the likelihood of developing serious consequences and injuries.
Symptoms of a chemical spray burn
The effect of a chemical on the mucous membrane of the eye can lead to a variety of consequences. Depending on the concentration, amount and time of exposure, the severity of the damage is divided into 4 stages with characteristic symptoms.
- At the first stage, swelling of the eyelids and conjunctiva appears, mucous discharge and corneal erosion appear.
- The second stage is characterized by the appearance of blisters and ischemic localizations.
- The third stage is scary due to the formation of necrosis and vascular occlusion, ischemic localizations change, the cornea of the eye becomes white and cloudy.
- The fourth stage is the most dangerous. The agent penetrates into the deepest layers of the eye.
Important: Applying a burn patch
When gas from pepper spray gets into your eyes, mucous discharge appears
In most cases, symptoms after contact of the irritant with the eyes disappear in the first 20-30 minutes, sometimes the effect lasts for several hours and, extremely rarely, unpleasant sensations can be felt for several days.
Treating Eye Burns from Pepper Spray
What to do if your eyes are burned? Depending on the extent of the damage, chemical damage is treated with therapeutic and surgical methods. In a hospital setting, treatment includes the following:
- elimination of pain manifestations. For this purpose, intramuscular cycloplegic drugs are prescribed. But at first, you can get by with oral analgesics;
- Every day the eyes are washed with Albucid and lidocaine drops;
- the inflammatory process negatively affects the organs of vision, in particular the cornea of the eye. Steroids are used to reduce inflammation. Treatment with these drugs is carried out in the first days after injury and lasts no more than 10 days;
- after pepper liquid gets on the mucous membrane, tear production decreases and the need for hydration with drops or gels appears. The doctor also prescribes ascorbic acid, which has a beneficial effect on collagen fibers and accelerates the process of corneal restoration. Take acid 2-4 times a day;
- Infection can be prevented using topical antibiotics;
- Intraocular pressure is reduced using blockers that affect the intraocular fluid.
Albucid is used for treatment.
If therapy does not produce the desired result, the patient is prescribed surgical intervention. It is carried out using one of the following methods:
- removal of deformed parts of the conjunctiva and symblepharon;
- transplantation of conjunctival or mucosal flaps;
- correction of a deformed eyelid;
Important: How to treat a burn from hogweed
If for some reason you are unable to see a doctor after receiving an injury, Visin eye drops or those containing diclofenac will help alleviate the condition.
Traditional methods of treating chemical eye burns with pepper spray
You can combine drug treatment with folk remedies. This will increase the chances of a speedy recovery. Herbal infusions help a lot. Eyebright promotes eye regeneration, strengthens the optic nerve, reduces lacrimation and relieves inflammation. To prepare the infusion, you need to pour 1 teaspoon of the herb into 300 ml of boiling water and leave for half an hour. After the decoction has cooled, soak a cotton pad in it and apply it to the injured eye. A drink can be prepared from the same raw materials. Pour a teaspoon of plants with a glass of boiling water and leave for 20 minutes. You need to drink the infusion three times daily for a week.
Cornflower improves cell regeneration, protects the retina, cornea and lens from degenerative processes. Pour a teaspoon of dried flowers into a glass of boiling water and leave covered for 15 minutes. Strain and drink warm, half a glass 2 times a day.
An infusion for a compress is made using the same recipe. Cotton pads soaked in it are applied to the eyes for 10-15 minutes. Tea tea lotions will help improve the recovery process.
Pepper spray in the eyes: what is strictly prohibited?
If you receive a chemical burn from an irritant, you should not hesitate to provide first aid. Every minute of delay can negatively affect your future well-being and complicate treatment. Under no circumstances should you rub the damaged area. This may cause the chemical to spread to healthy areas. Do not try to force your eyes open, as this will only increase the pain. It is not recommended to put medications in your eyes before rinsing, this will not give positive results. Before carrying out all manipulations, you need to thoroughly wash your hands with soap; you should not touch the affected area with dirty hands, as this can facilitate the spread of infection.
Important: Help for burns - first aid and further treatment