Ask The Allergista: I Recently Developed a Propylene Glycol Allergy - Are PPG and PEG the same?

Q: I was recently diagnosed with propylene glycol allergy, and I stumbled upon your list of other names for this. Is is true that PPG and PEG are the same, or at least that I would be allergic to both?

Thanks so much!!

A:

I'm sorry to hear that you've developed a PG allergy :-/   Not fun! As long as you have a good routine down, though, it's completely manageable, I promise.

My dermatologist who specializes in allergic patch testing stressed that PPG and PEG are two separate things and I'm only allergic to PG. He said that I need to avoid anything with "PG" or Propylene Glycol, as we know it. He said as long as those two letters are together, even if there are other letters in front of it such as "di-ppg" or "peg/ppg", I'm allergic to it. If all it says is "PEG" or Polyethyleneglycol, I'm fine. A lot of people who are sensitive to PG are also sensitive to PEG, though, so I recommend giving your doctor a call and asking if they tested you for PEG (Polyethylene Glycol) and if not, if they are able to. If they can't, you can search for doctors here: http://theallergista.com/tag/find-a-patch-test-doctor/

I saw Dr. Scheman (scheman.com) in the Chicagoland area and he is the best of the best. Not all of the doctors in the searchable list can do the extensive testing he does, so make sure to call and ask how many allergens they test for. You'll want to be tested for the chemicals that are in body care products for sure and it can't hurt to be tested for other substances as well, obviously.

I wish you luck! Let me know what happens :-)