How to Relieve the Pain of Bear Mace

Mace pepper spray for bears is stronger than Mace for human attackers.
Mace pepper spray for bears is stronger than Mace for human attackers. (Image: bear image by Mat Hayward from

Bear Mace is not meant for use against humans. It is a pepper spray that is stronger than the Mace pepper spray formulated for self-defense against humans, so the effects are multiplied. Those physiological factors include headaches, dizziness, tightness of the chest, restriction of breathing, burning and tearing of the eyes, burning and discharge of the nose, and burning and stinging or the skin around the sprayed area. As painful as the effects of coming into contact with bear Mace may be, it is possible to relieve them.

Calm the subject and aid his breathing by assuring him you know how to relieve the pain and symptoms. If the subject cannot breathe or is gasping violently for air, immediately call 911.

Expose the subject to fresh air immediately. Seek out a breeze or blow a fan on the person.

Flush the affected area of the skin or eyes with cold water for 15 minutes. If the subject is wearing contact lenses, clean your hands then remove the lenses before flushing the eyes.

Clean affected skin with a non-oil-based or cold cream-based soap. Any other product will amplify the burning sensation and spread the pepper spray.

Remove all clothing contaminated by the bear Mace and seal it in a plastic bag for transport.

Go to the emergency room after you relieve the initial symptoms to seek medical attention. Bear Mace can leave third-degree burns and requires medical treatment.

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