When you vape, it should be a pleasant experience. There are times when you first start vaping when you might cough as you look to find the right vaping technique for you. While there may be some side effects to vaping, in general, you should enjoy vaping once you get the hang of it.
What happens when that’s not the case though? Or more specifically, what happens when your throat burns every time you vape or you develop canker sores in your mouth or a rash around your nose?
These could be signs of a deeper issue that could be impacting your ability to vape. And it’s important for you to investigate and figure out what is causing the problem.
If you have suffered from any of these things or you have noticed that you can’t vape without one of your body parts feeling uncomfortable, you could be suffering from an allergic reaction to the propylene glycol, or PG, found in just about all e-juices. Or you could be displaying signs of PG sensitivity.
The good news is that a true PG allergy is incredibly rare. Studies have shown that only about 1 or 2 percent of people who vape experience PG allergies. PG sensitivity on the other hand, is more common. So, if you find that PG is affecting your ability to vape there are some steps you should take to try and change that.
Let’s take a closer look at PG allergies and PG sensitivity…
Am I Allergic to PG?
As we just mentioned, there aren’t many people who are truly allergic to PG. PG is found in a lot of regular, everyday items, including toothpaste, deodorant, and more. So, if you have a true PG allergy you probably know about it by now.
If you are allergic to PG, you will likely develop allergic contact dermatitis in the areas surrounding your mouth and nose. A PG allergy will lead to a rash forming on the areas of your skin exposed to the PG. You can try putting PG directly onto your skin in a discrete area, like the inside of your elbow, to test to see if you are allergic to it.
In all likelihood, you will find that you aren’t allergic to it, but it doesn’t hurt to test it out to see. If you do want to test to see if you are allergic to PG just be sure to not ingest any. If you are allergic, ingesting PG could prove to be much more harmful than simply applying some on your skin.
You can also speak with an allergist about your suspicions to see if he or she can figure out if you have a PG allergy.
Why Does It Feel Like I’m Allergic to PG If I’m Not?
If you find that you’re not allergic to PG but you are still experiencing certain symptoms when you vape, like a scratchy throat or even the aforementioned rash surrounding your mouth and nose, there’s a chance you have a PG sensitivity. While PG sensitivity is slightly more common than PG allergies, it’s also pretty rare.
There are some people who are just more sensitive to PG than others. They will cough more often than other people when they vape and experience discomfort when they use e-juices that are high in PG.
Some people may find that they have a higher sensitivity than others. They may find that their side effects are worse than others with a PG sensitivity.
It can sometimes be hard to diagnose a PG sensitivity, so you really need to pay attention to your body and see how it reacts to certain e-juices.
You might want to get into the habit of documenting which e-juices that you vape with so that you can see which make you the most sensitive.
Can I Still Vape If I Have a PG Allergy or Sensitivity?
When people who are just starting to vape realize they have a PG sensitivity, their first thought is usually, “Oh no, now I have to stop vaping.” There are even some who will run back to cigarettes to comfort them from their PG allergy or sensitivity.
This isn’t necessary. While you can’t really “cure” a PG allergy or sensitivity, you can take steps to dramatically reduce the effects you feel when you vape.
For starters, you can find e-juices that are high in vegetable glycerin, or VG, as opposed to PG. Many of these e-juices will have some PG in them, but they will have way less of it.
Additionally, there are some companies that have created PG-free e-juices for those who can’t tolerate it at all. This will, unfortunately, cut down on your options and limit which e-juices you can buy. But it will improve your vaping experience and allow you to vape without any discomfort. And isn’t that exactly what you’re looking for?
What If Avoiding PG Doesn’t Solve My Problem?
If you cut way back on your PG intake and are still experiencing issues when you vape, it might not be the PG. It could actually be any number of things, including one of the other ingredients found in e-juice like VG.
Those new vapers who are making the switch from smoking to vaping might also be forced to deal with some of the side effects that come along with quitting. That can cause some discomfort at the beginning, but if you can deal with it for a little while, it usually won’t last very long.
Additionally, you may just be dealing with familiarizing your body with vaping when you first start doing it. It can take time to find the technique that works best for you when you vape. It can also take time to get used to using an e-cigarette and e-juice. So what you think might be a PG allergy or PG sensitivity could just be you learning the tricks of the trade when it comes to vaping.
Bottom line: Vaping is meant to be enjoyable, so do what you can to get the best experience possible. If you find your experience is frustrating or not enjoyable, just take a closer look at how you’re vaping. If you suspect a PG allergy or sensitivity could be to blame, investigate it to see if that’s the case.
Hopefully it isn’t, but the only way to know for sure is to pay attention to the warning signs and, if necessary, speak with a medical professional about it.