By Alexandria Hein
Published March 05, 2019
A woman in England is calling for a law requiring an allergy test for any first-time vapers after she claims her severe reaction to the e-cigarette landed her in the hospital. Lisa Santiago-Griggs, who had attempted to self-medicate with a vape pen to relieve long-term back pain, said she was left with a painful rash that felt like “my skin was burning from underneath.”
“I’d never vaped or even smoked before,” Santiago-Griggs told SWNS. “They just sold it to me and sent me on my way without any advice of the possible side effects. At 2 a.m. I woke with an itch and all of a sudden by 4:30 a.m. I was completely covered in a painful rash.”
“I’ve never had an allergic reaction to anything before — this was horrible,” she said.
Santiago-Griggs told the news outlet that she had been taken CBD oil tablets to ease the pain from a broken back that she suffered four years ago, and had hoped the vape would provide the same relief. But within hours of trying it, she started to feel side effects. When the rash began to blister, she went to Southmead Hospital in Bristol, where she says she was treated with steroids and an IV drip.
“I have to stay in until it’s calmed down and they can work out exactly what is going on,” she told SWNS. “I am 100 percent convinced it was the vape. It’s not like I’ve been out doing anything else. It was the first time I’d ever had a vape and I didn’t’ realize it can cause this kind of reaction.”
Santiago-Griggs said she would like to see legislation requiring vape shops to wait a 24-hour period to ensure customers aren’t allergic to the product before selling a full vape. According to E-CigReviews.org.uk, allergic reactions to propylene glycol or vegetable glycerin, two ingredients that make up e-liquids, are possible although often rare. Symptoms of a propylene glycol allergy include dry throat, sore throat, swollen gums, skin problems and rashes, and sinus problems.
Those who experience skin issues including on their neck, lips and face are encouraged to stop using the liquid immediately. According to the website, those with an allergy to propylene glycol can still vape, but will need to choose a liquid void of the ingredient.
“I appreciate it works for some and not everyone will have an allergic reaction from vapes, but it is more common than you think,” she told SWNS. “A quick Google search will tell you – but it appears serious allergic reactions like mine due to the product being ingested can’t be treated quickly.”
Santiago-Griggs said it felt like she was “on fire from the inside out,” and decided to share photos of her reaction as a warning for others.