Propylene glycol

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CAS: Chemical Abstract Service Registry Number


Propylene glycol is a vehicle in pharmaceutical and cosmetic bases as well as in industry. It is a viscous hygroscopic liquid used as a wetting agent, solvent, keratolytic and preservative.



Methyl glycol
Monopropylene glycol



Antifreeze and de-icing compounds
Foods (solvents for colors and flavors, emulsifier)
Household cleaning products
Pharmaceuticals (topical corticosteroids, otic preparations, sterile lubricant jelly, electrocardiogram gels, injectables (intramuscular and intravenous))
Varnishes and synthetic resins





Unusual Reactions

Contact urticaria
Systemic contact dermatitis




Fisher, A.A., Letter: Contact dermatitis from stearyl alcohol and propylene glycol. Archives of Dermatology, 1974. 110(4): p. 636.


Shore, R.N. and W.B. Shelley, Contact dermatitis from stearyl alcohol and propylene glycol in fluocinonide cream. Archives of Dermatology, 1974. 109(3): p. 397-9.


Hannuksela, M., M. Kousa, and V. Pirila, Allergy to ingredients of vehicles. Contact Dermatitis, 1976. 2(2): p. 105-10.


Nater, J.P., A.J. Baar, and P.J. Hoedemaeker, Histological aspects of skin reactions to propylene glycol. Contact Dermatitis, 1977. 3(4): p. 181-5.


Hannuksela, M. and L. Forstrom, Reactions to peroral propylene glycol. Contact Dermatitis, 1978. 4(1): p. 41-5.


Oleffe, J.A., A. Blondeel, and A. de Coninck, Allergy to chlorocresol and propylene glycol in a steroid cream. Contact Dermatitis, 1979. 5(1): p. 53-4.


Angelini, G. and C.L. Meneghini, Contact allergy from propylene glycol. Contact Dermatitis, 1981. 7(4): p. 197-8.


Romaguera, C., et al., Propylene glycol in standard patch tests. Contact Dermatitis, 1981. 7(6): p. 346.


Trancik, R.J. and H.I. Maibach, Propylene glycol: irritation or sensitization?. Contact Dermatitis, 1982. 8(3): p. 185-9.


Castelain, P.Y. and G. Chabeau, Contact dermatitis after transcutaneous electric analgesia. Contact Dermatitis, 1986. 15(1): p. 32-5.


Hannuksela, M. and H. Salo, The repeated open application test (ROAT). Contact Dermatitis, 1986. 14(4): p. 221-7.


Tomb, R.R., G. Rivara, and J. Foussereau, Contact dermatitis after ultrasonography and electrocardiography. Contact Dermatitis, 1987. 17(3): p. 149-52.


Willis, C.M., J.M. Stephens, and J.D. Wilkinson, Experimentally-induced irritant contact dermatitis. Determination of optimum irritant concentrations. Contact Dermatitis, 1988. 18(1): p. 20-4.


Eun, H.C. and Y.C. Kim, Propylene glycol allergy from ketoconazole cream. Contact Dermatitis, 1989. 21(4): p. 274-5.


Corazza, M., et al., Propylene glycol allergy from acyclovir cream with cross-reactivity to hydroxypropyl cellulose in a transdermal estradiol system?. Contact Dermatitis, 1993. 29(5): p. 283-4.


Funk, J.O. and H.I. Maibach, Propylene glycol dermatitis: re-evaluation of an old problem. Contact Dermatitis, 1994. 31(4): p. 236-41.


Kim, Y.J. and J.H. Kim, Allergic contact dermatitis from propylene glycol in Zovirax cream. Contact Dermatitis, 1994. 30(2): p. 119-20.






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