Propylene glycol dermatitis

J Am Acad Dermatol. 1991 Jan;24(1):90-5. doi: 10.1016/0190-9622(91)70018-w.


Propylene glycol is a commonly used vehicle for topical preparations. Although it is well suited for this purpose, it is capable of producing both primary irritant skin reactions and allergic sensitization. The literature on propylene glycol is reviewed, with particular attention to the nature of these adverse cutaneous effects. Guidelines for patients sensitive to propylene glycol are discussed.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Cutaneous
  • Dermatitis, Contact / etiology*
  • Humans
  • Pharmaceutical Vehicles / therapeutic use
  • Propylene Glycols / adverse effects*
  • Skin Diseases / drug therapy


  • Pharmaceutical Vehicles
  • Propylene Glycols