Tear gas is used throughout the World for control of riots and civil disobedience. CS gas as used by the UK police force is issued as a 'spray' and is 5% CS in methylisobutylketone (MIBK), a potent irritant. Assaults on police officers in forces issued with CS spray have fallen significantly over the past 3 years, whilst having risen in areas without it. Thus, CS gas appears to be an effective deterrent. However, significant cutaneous reactions can occur as a result of exposure. We report a severe contact dermatitis to CS gas to highlight the clinical features. The nature of CS gas and potential cutaneous adverse reactions are discussed.