Propylene Glycol Allergy and Eating at Restaurants

First, thank you so much for this blog. I feel like I’m the only person in my 20’s that has skin this horrible. It’s nice to know I’m not alone and that people have gotten through these same breakouts that I am having. I’ve had eczema since I was born (brother and sister got asthma instead) and I finally think I’m growing out of it, about 18, when itchy oozing red bumps pop up all over... Skin biopsy revealed it is an allergy, so I went through the standard 30 patch tests thinking I would be allergic to multiple things, and turns out they were all negative. Unfortunately they did not have propylene glycol to test with, so I am going back for 75 patches in April. Meanwhile I have eliminated propylene glycol in all the products I use, but I break out every single time I go out to eat. You think I would learn, but it’s just so nice to have someone else cook and clean for you. I was wondering if you know of any safe places to eat? I contacted PF Changs about propylene glycol and they confirmed that all sauces are homemade and do not have propylene glycol. So do you know of any other places like that who make everything in house? Thank you!!
— Anonymous Allergista Reader

You are so welcome! You are definitely not alone :-)

I totally understand about wanting to go out sometimes instead of cooking. I stay on track most of the time, but every now and then, I'll give a new place a chance and cross my fingers. It doesn't always turn out well, though! When my husband and I go out to eat, we tend to stick to more upscale places - they usually cook from scratch more than your run of the mill chain would. In a pinch, I try to find an Asian place that can do something like plain steamed rice and veggies with maybe some grilled chicken or something else that's really basic. You can always order a salad and ask for olive oil and a lemon, which I often do. Since so many salad dressings contain propylene glycol, it's the safest and healthiest way to go! And if I know I'm possibly going to be in a situation like this, I'll stick a snack in my purse before I leave in case I end up eating on the light side.

Best of luck!

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