First Aid For Pepper Spray Exposure – 15 Helpful Tips

First Aid For Pepper Spray Victims

So you’ve accidently exposed yourself to pepper spray (Oleoresin Capsicum), or maybe you’ve successfully restrained an attacker who is now lying on the ground in pain and gasping for air. What do you do?

Do Not

  • Do not rub the affected area. Rubbing just forces more of the stuff into the skin.
  • Do not rub the eyes. In addition to adding more irritant to the eyes, rubbing can damage the corneas.
  • Do not touch any unaffected areas. If the pepper spray is on your hands it will spread.
  • Do not pour water or any other decontaminant onto the forehead, you’ll just wash the stuff into his eyes.
  • Do not panic. The effects are temporary.


  • Get away from the source.
  • Stop the spread.
  • Breathe normally and maintain the airway.
  • If the patient is asthmatic make sure the inhaler is nearby.
  • Blink rapidly to stimulate tears. Although there are probably plenty already, blinking will help clear the eyes.
  • Immerse face in soapy water. Pepper spray is oil based so water alone won’t work. You need soap.
  • Throw away contact lenses.
  • Rinse out mouth with cold water or full cream milk. Suck on ice chips if burning persists.
  • Remove contaminated clothing. These can be washed with a strong detergent separately from other clothing.
  • If you are treating someone else, wear latex gloves.
  • Replace your used pepper spray, once the seal is pierced the spray will evaporate. Buy a new one even if there are contents remaining. You can view our range here or click the button below.


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