4% of people in the world are allergic to propylene glycol, one of the main components in e-liquids. This may not seem like much as your chances of having a PG allergy are pretty low. But, if you are indeed allergic to PG, this may really spoil your vaping experience and make your close the door on it altogether. And this would be a shame because a PG allergy can be easily managed by simply making a few little tweaks to your vape juice buying process.
What is Propylene Glycol?
PG or propylene glycol is a colorless, the odorless and flavorless substance that is used in the making of e-liquids (as well as food flavorings, cosmetics, medicine, etc.). Propylene glycol is recognized as generally safe for consumption by the United States Food and Drug Administration and is non-toxic.
Why is PG used in e-liquids?
PG is often used in e-liquids for a number of reasons. Its main function is carrying and suspending flavors in your e-liquid and it’s also the substance responsible for the ‘throat hit’ that a lot of ex-smokers appreciate. Thus, PG has earned itself the title of one of the main e-liquid components and, in most cases, it is used vape juices in concentrations of 50% and above.
What are the symptoms of a PG allergy?
One in ten people say that they experience a certain level of sensitivity when vaping a PG- based e-liquid and PG allergy symptoms may range from a light dry throat feeling to hives and severe coughing. Some of the most common allergy symptoms include:
In fact, 1 in 10 new vapers report being slightly sensitive to PG and will experience a soft irritation or dryness of the throat. In most cases, this will not be severe and the symptoms should subside and, ultimately, go away within a few days. However, if you continue to suffer from throat irritation for a longer period, this may be a sign that you are allergic to PG.
If you experience a sharp throat pain when vaping e-liquids, this may be related to a PG allergy. Try stopping vaping for some time and see if the pain goes away.
If you’re experiencing swollen, painful gums while vaping a high PG e-juice, you may have a PG allergy.
Rashes and Skin Problems
1 in 5,000 people who are highly sensitive and allergic to PG and will experience skin problems that can range from light dryness to severe itching as well as rashes and hives. If you start noticing rashes on your face, lips, and neck you should stop vaping PG immediately and consult a medical professional.
If you are having sinus problems and discomfort while vaping a high PG e-liquid, this is a common sign of a PG sensitivity — especially if you are experiencing a burning or tingling sensation in the nose/sinuses that gets worse as you vape.
While the symptoms listed above are common indicators of a PG allergy, there may be other reasons for them as well. Before diagnosing yourself with a PG allergy, consider if the symptoms you are experiencing may be related to what is known as “a smoker’s flu”, a set of temporary symptoms associated with smoking withdrawal. These typically include headaches, nausea, sore throat, dizziness, and even mouth ulcers. These can also be the signs that you are using an e-liquid with a very high nicotine content — if this is the case, try lowering your nicotine intake. Dehydration is another common side effect of vaping — try drinking more water to compensate for PG and VG e-liquids attracting moisture.
What should you do if you are allergic to PG?
Just because you are sensitive or allergic to PG e-liquids do not mean that you have to stop vaping. All you need to do is find a 100% VG e-liquid and you can continue exploring the advantages of vaping over smoking further. Thus, here’s is the generally recommended course of action:
- Confirm with your doctor if the symptoms you are experiencing are indeed caused by a PG allergy.
- If your allergy is confirmed, stop vaping PG immediately.
- Check with your preferred e-liquid brand if they make juices that are 100% VG.
- Purchase a 100% VG (vegetable glycerin) e-liquid and make sure it is compatible with your device (for instance, iQ ONE uses 0.8 coils that are perfectly suitable for vaping 100% VG and are good for up to 15 refills).
- Try vaping 100% VG for a week and see if your allergy symptoms go away.
Salted caramel, Jamaican run or the classic apple and cinnamon? Choosing your e-liquid flavor may be one of the most exciting things about vaping. But it’s the make-up of your e-juice that actually makes the biggest difference. And with some vapers reporting having allergic reactions to their vaping juices, choosing the e-liquid with the right composition is crucial to a safe and pleasant vaping experience.
Do PG e-liquids cause allergic reactions?
As you may well know, your e-liquid can be PG-based, VG-based or mixed. The type of e-juice you go for depends on what you want to get from the experience.
PG liquids are based on propylene glycol and are often preferred by those looking for a stronger throat hit.
VG liquids consist primarily of vegetable glycerin and are noted for their ability to make big clouds.
Then, you have a whole range of e-liquids that use both PG and VG, mixed in different proportions. Choosing your e-liquid composition is mostly a matter of personal preference and depends on what vaping device you are using and how you want to vape. Unless that is, you are allergic to propylene glycol. According to statistics, about 4% of people in the world will experience an allergic reaction with an e-liquid containing PG. So, how do you know you are allergic?