What is it?
Propylene Glycol is a solvent (allows things to dissolve), humectant (moistening), and preservative (prevents decomposition) properties. It is widely used in medicines, cosmetics, and in industry.

How can I avoid it?
Glycerin is an excellent substitute for Propylene Glycol in many formulations. Extremely sensitive individuals may have a flare-up or dermatitis after oral ingestion of foods or upon the use of oral, intramuscular, or intravenous medications containing propylene glycol.

Skin contact with Propylene Glycol is required for it to cause a rash. Discontinuation of exposure to products containing Propylene Glycol should result in improvement and/or resolution of your dermatitis. By law, all products made in the US for topical use have the ingredients listed either on the product package or the box that contains it, so check the labeling of your skin care products for this ingredient. If there is no information ask your pharmacist or call the company directly. At work, request a material safety data sheet (MSDS) to help identify potential sources of exposure.

  • Antifreeze and deicing compounds
  • Automotive brake fluid 
  • Foods
    • Salad dressing
    • Cake mixes 
    • Toppings 
    • Cakes
    • Vegetables 
    • Beverages 
    • Mountain Dew 
    • Coconut
    • Whipped topping mix
    • Cheesecake mix 
    • Canned French fried onions 
    • Butter flavored popcorn 
    • Coffee based drinks 
    • Liquid sweeteners 
    • Ice cream
  • Household cleaning products and liquid detergents
  • Wipes
  • Inks
  • Skin Care Products / Cosmetics 
    • Hair care products 
    • Hair Colorants / “Permanents-Relaxers” 
    • Soaps / Cleansers/ household detergents 
    • Shampoos / Conditioners 
    • Moisturizers/lotions
    • Make-ups 
    • Powders / Sprays
    • Shaving products 
    • Sunscreens 
    • Towelettes
  • Medications, topical, prescription and over the counter such as 
    • Oral - cough preparations
    • Injectables (intramuscular, intravenous)
    • Anesthetics
    • Antibiotics 
    • Benzoyl peroxide preparations 
    • Eye / ear / Nose preparations 
    • Lubricant jelly 
    • Medical gels (Electro II, electrocardiogram gels, Spectra 360, transcutaneous nerve stimulator gel)
  • Paint
  • Dog food
  • Plasticizer for resin systems
  • Tobacco (as humectant) 
  • Varnishes and synthetic resins
  • Electric cigarettes
Other names for propylene glycol: 
  • 1, 2 dihydroxypropane 
  • 1, 2 propanediol 
  • Methyl Ethyl Glycol (MEG) 
  • 2-Hydroxylpropanol
  • Methylethylene Glycol 
  • Propane-1, 2-diol
Potential cross-reacting/co-reacting substances: 
  • Ethylene glycol

How safe is it?

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