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pepper spray at attacker

Pepper spray is a self-defense weapon that contains an inflammatory compound called capsaicin. Capsaicin is found in chili peppers and is what gives them their heat. When pepper spray comes into contact with the skin, eyes, or nose, it causes a burning sensation that can be very painful. The effects of pepper spray can last for several minutes to several hours, depending on the concentration of the spray and the amount of exposure.

Effects of pepper spray on the eyes

Pepper spray is most commonly used to target the eyes. When it comes into contact with the eyes, it causes a burning sensation, watering, redness, and temporary blindness. The pain can be so severe that it can cause people to close their eyes and rub them, which only makes the pain worse. 

Effects of pepper spray on the skin

Pepper spray can also cause a burning sensation on the skin. The pain is usually not as severe as the pain caused by exposure to the eyes, but it can still be very uncomfortable. Pepper spray can also cause redness, swelling, and itching. In some cases, it can also cause blisters.

Effects of pepper spray on the nose and throat

When pepper spray is inhaled, it can cause a burning sensation in the nose and throat. It can also cause coughing, sneezing, and difficulty breathing. In some cases, it can also cause bronchospasm, which is a narrowing of the airways that can make it difficult to breathe.

But does pepper spray actually work?

Yes, pepper spray can be an effective way to fend off an attacker. It works by irritating the eyes, nose, and throat, which can cause temporary blindness, coughing, and difficulty breathing. This can give you time to escape or call for help. This isn’t a permanent solution rendering an assailant unconscious, but can give you the opportunity to flee.

Have you ever accidentally squirted a lemon wedge in your eye? Pepper spray is worse. Ever got dust in your eye, or a messed up contact lens? Pepper spray is worse. Ever started to sneeze from a whiff of black pepper? Pepper spray is worse. Did you die? No, but were you distracted for a short period of time? Multiply that by 10.

However, it is important to note that pepper spray may have various degrees of effectiveness. It is not as effective against people who are wearing goggles or masks. It may not be as effective against people who are under the influence of drugs or alcohol, but will still be distracting. If your attacker is wearing regular eyeglasses or sunglasses, you won’t score a direct hit but it will still drip down their forehead into their eyes, and still get into their nose and mouth. Pepper spray gel is particularly troublesome, as it goes on goopy, and just sticks around in a thick gel.

Most pepper spray also contains a UV marking dye, which is a fluorescent dye that can only be seen under ultraviolet light. This dye can be used to help law enforcement identify and apprehend attackers who have been sprayed with pepper spray. If yours does not, get one that does.

Treatment for pepper spray exposure

If you are exposed to pepper spray, the first thing you should do is flush the affected area with water for at least 15 minutes. You can also use milk or an eyewash solution to flush the eyes. If the pepper spray gets on your skin, you can wash it off with soap and water. If you are having trouble breathing, you should go to the hospital immediately.

There are also products such as Take Down OC Relief Decontamination Spray. It won’t help you if you need it and don’t have it already, but if you purchased it ahead of time it will help.

Precautions to take when using pepper spray

Pepper spray is a powerful weapon and should be used with caution. If you are considering using pepper spray for self-defense, it is important to take the following precautions:

  • Read the instructions carefully before using the pepper spray.
  • Make sure you know how to use the pepper spray properly.
  • Only use pepper spray in self-defense.
  • Do not use pepper spray against children, the elderly, or people with asthma or other respiratory problems.
  • Do not use pepper spray in enclosed spaces.
  • Be aware of the wind direction when using the pepper spray.
  • If you are using pepper spray in a crowd, be careful not to spray it into the eyes of innocent bystanders.

More Pepper Spray Information

There are many types of pepper spray patterns: cone, stream, fog, and gel.

  • Cone pattern is the most common type of pepper spray pattern. It produces a wide, fan-shaped spray that can cover a large area. This makes it a good choice for self-defense, as it can be used to deter an attacker from a distance. However, the cone pattern is also the most affected by wind, so it is important to be aware of your surroundings when using this type of pepper spray.
  • Stream pattern is a more focused spray that travels in a straight line. This makes it more accurate than the cone pattern, but it also has a shorter range. Stream pattern pepper sprays are a good choice for self-defense in enclosed spaces, as they are less likely to be affected by wind.
  • Fogger pattern is a type of pepper spray that produces a cloud of pepper spray particles.
  • Gel pattern is the least common type of pepper spray pattern, but very effective. It produces a sticky gel that can be difficult to wash off. This makes it a good choice for self-defense against animals, as it can cause them to become disoriented and unable to attack. Gel pattern pepper sprays are also a good choice for people with asthma or other respiratory problems, as they produce less fumes than other types of pepper spray.


When choosing a pepper spray, it is important to consider the type of situation you are most likely to encounter. If you are concerned about being attacked by an animal, a gel pattern pepper spray may be the best choice. If you are concerned about being attacked by a person, a stream pattern pepper spray may be a better option. And if you are concerned about wind, a cone pattern pepper spray may be the best choice.

No matter what type of pepper spray you choose, it is important to practice using it regularly. This will help you to become familiar with the spray and to develop muscle memory so that you can use it effectively in an emergency.

Here are some additional tips for using pepper spray:

  • Always aim for the eyes. This is the most sensitive area of the face and will cause the attacker the most pain.
  • Do not spray into the wind. This will blow the spray back at you and make it less effective.
  • If you miss, do not panic. Re-aim and spray again quickly. Near-misses may also create enough of a cloud of pepper spray to irritate the attacker’s eyes and lungs.
  • After spraying the attacker, get away from them as quickly as possible. Do not engage in a physical altercation with the attacker.


Pepper spray is a valuable self-defense tool, but it is important to use it safely and effectively. By following these tips, you can increase your chances of using pepper spray to defend yourself in an emergency.

As always, be safe and be prepared.


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