There is a reason I'm using red. There is a reason they call OC Pepper Spray liquid fire. There is a reason everyone says it's worse for redheads. There is a reason that if I am ever in altercation with authorities and someone whips out the OC that I think I will give up then and there. Getting sprayed with OC today as part of my MP course was HORRIBLE!! It has been 6.5 hours and I'm still recovering--the major stuff is done, but my eyes are still slightly irritated and watery and my eye sockets are actually sore cause I think they worked really hard today.
As for being sprayed, initially it's pain and then it's an irritation, that due to my fair skin it seemed to lasts longer than it did with most folks. Just washing my hair (with swim goggles on) caused my right ear to burn again with some residual OC in the hairline. It took me about two hours till I could drive home, and all but 2 others were gone...and I went in the first 4. Someone said, afterwards, "Ma'am, your eyes are REALLY blue, I think the "red" really brings it out." It made my skin that got hit---face, part of neck, part of left arm, and my right ear glow red like the worst sunburn EVER. I'm talking tomato red, and my eyes were as blood shot as that--completely red in the whites of the eyes and yes, a pretty blue in the middle--when I could keep them open. After we got hit we had to go and apply knee kicks to one subject (holding a bag) and then palm strikes to another and then try and find a blue "dummy gun" and train it on the subjects and keep them down. Then we sprinted to the water hoses--with the aid of a buddy, which is good, cause I would've never found it myself. Then I stood, literally holding my eyes open in the wind because there are only 3 things you can do as 1st Aid for OC--time, ventilation, and water. The pain, I don't think, was worse for me as a redhead--just the length of time with which it stays with me was significantly longer. I will never lose this certification card, and if I can avoid ever being sprayed again, I will. It was really horrible. Granted, I think I may buy some mace/OC of my own to carry cause I know that if I ever needed to protect myself and didn't want to kill 'em or didn't have my pistol on me, this is going to incapacitate just about everyone for a decent period of time. The pain on the skin is like a bad sunburn, which I've had...I can fight through that. Unfortunately, unlike a sunburn, aloe or other lotions/salves would just trap it in my body, which is bad. It is an imflammatory agent, not just an irritant. The worst part was the bit that gets in the mouth and causes breathing to be difficult, and even worse was the burning in the eyes. Eyes don't get sunburned. I did do well and didn't rub it into my eyes after getting hit. They call it pepper spray because it is made out of concentrated Habenero and Cayanne peppers. Habeneros on their own rank somewhere on the 300,000 hotness scale that some guy derived. OC pepper spray that they hit us with, 5.5% (many PD's carry higher concentrate), is like 1.5 MILLION on that same scale. So, if you have eaten that spicy stuff and felt that burn, MULTIPLY it to the 1.5 million mark...yeah, this is bad. I think I'm rambling because my eyes are still all watery and my eye sockets are actually really tired and worn out--similiar to say my legs or arms being sore after a long ride/run or swim. Don't get sprayed with OC if you can avoid it.