Skunk Spray Effects on Humans

Skunks spray musk from a duct that protrudes from the anus. The skunk can spray musk in a fine spray or stream. The spray can travel as far away as 18 feet if wind conditions are right. The pungent odor is noticeable up to a mile away and can last for weeks. The good news is that their supply is limited and it can take up to a week for them to produce more musk. However, that is no comfort to anyone on the receiving end of skunk spray. Skunk spray effects vary widely by person and the location the spray affected.


Skunk spray effects can include blindness. This is the worst-case scenario. If the spray hits a person directly in the face, the oily musk can get into the eyes. Skunk spray contains sulphuric acid, which can cause temporary blindness. Even if it did not hit the person's face, the spray can irritate the eyes. Rinse itchy, burning eyes with generous amounts of cold water.


Skunk musk effects can include difficulty breathing. People with asthma or other respiratory conditions can have the most difficulty when exposed to highly concentrated skunk odors, reports the North Carolina Cooperative Extension. They may suffer shortness of breath or an asthma attack. People who are highly sensitive to odors in general can experience difficulty breathing when subjected to skunk spray.


People who are highly sensitive to odors can vomit from the odor of skunk spray. If the oily musk gets into the mouth of a skunk spray victim, he may vomit and experience a period of drooling. Even if the spray does not get into a person's mouth, the stress of an encounter with a skunk can lead to loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea.

Skin and Hair

Skunk spray effects can plague a person for a while after they have attempted to wash the musk off. The musk is so highly concentrated that it does not require a direct hit for the odor to cling to a person's hair and skin. Washing hair and skin with solutions made from tomato juice, vinegar, hydrogen peroxide and carbolic soap can lead to skin irritation and dry hair.