Breakouts on back of neck and scalp...possible Cellulitis??? Is this related to vaping?
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Thread: Breakouts on back of neck and scalp...possible Cellulitis??? Is this related to vaping?

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    Full Member Patrick.Quenga's Avatar
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    Default Breakouts on back of neck and scalp...possible Cellulitis??? Is this related to vaping?

    Have to share my experience thus far as I'm trying to figure out if anyone else is/has experienced this.
    I have been vaping since 1 JUN 2013. So that’s about 7 months now. I’ve never really had skin issues with breaking out with acne growing up, and have never really had issues with my scalp (dry scalp, dandruff type stuff). Anyway, my story…About three months into vaping, I started to notice that I was getting these red acne like bumps on the back of my scalp and neck (August 2013 time frame). I have to keep my hair short and clean cut (shaved to fade) as I’m in the US Army. Since August I have been battling bad breakouts on the back of my neck and scalp, very embarrassing. They are not pimples, they are like penny sized boils or cysts, only on the back of my scalp and neck. Because I have to keep my hair short, it is really embarrassing, because they appear red in color and it just plain looks bad.

    I have never had a problem with my skin and have never had a break out like this before, ever, in my life. I’m trying to see if anyone has experienced anything like that, and if so, what did you do? I have been to my doctor a few times already…he just prescribed a topical steroid and some shampoo equivalent to Selsun Blue, but much more powerful. It helped calm the breakouts down, but they are still coming on. I can feel the boils or cysts coming in like 3 days out, before they mature. THEN, they take FOREVER to go away. Like often about 10 days or more.
    I have read a few posts on breakouts here in e-forum and found some good advice (switching to pure PG or pure VG, as I may be allergic to one or the other). I’m debating quitting e-cigs all together, to see if I see results, but I’m nervous to go back to analog smoking, as I still crave that nicotine…lol.

    Has anyone else experienced this? Any experts have advice for me? Thanks…
    Last edited by Patrick.Quenga; 01-19-2014 at 06:40 AM.

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    Not an expert by any means, but skin eruptions are quite common after quitting smoking as your body purges itself of toxins. These are know (colourfully) as quit zits. While most say it happens quite quickly after quitting, I actually found I got some boil-like symptoms at about 3 months, lasting for about 2 months.

    The take-aways for you? It's common and not just a "happens in the first few weeks" syndrome, it gets better with time, and it's quite possibly not because of vaping but rather because of your body healing (the irony, I know).

    I would encourage you to sweat it out for a while longer with vaping. The PG/VG adjustments you mention would be a good thing to experiment with.

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    Full Member Patrick.Quenga's Avatar
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    Thanks Laz...I'm still working on figuring out what is the issue, and I'll try the PG/VG things. If I had longer hair, it wouldn't be an issue for me, as I could work through it, but my neck and side of my head is shaved (you might be able to tell in my picture) so it is VERY noticeable. I'll see what I can do. Thanks braddah...

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    Hi.

    Ick! lol My thoughts on it from the allergy perspective: If it was an allergic reaction to either PG or VG I would think you would also be experiencing other allergy related symptom in addition to it. Any headaches or bursts of itching on the extremities? The people I know who have had a skin problem in context of a PG allergy had the problem on their face in the "vape zone" - a triangular area from the nose extending down the cheeks to the chin area. When they switched to a 100 VG liquid new acne breakout stopped right away and it cleared.

    It's worth doing "the experiment" to rule in/out: Get two small bottles of unflavored in your regular nic level, one 100 PG the other 100 VG. Vape 'em up and see what you get. You really need to do this in unflavored, in case there is an outside possibility that it's neither PG or VG, but a flavoring ingredient that doesn't like you.

    Not sure what your best options are when it comes to Hawaii shipping costs, but at Mt. Baker you could get those two 15 ml bottles for less than 10 bucks plus shipping. "Unflavored" is a choice in the pulldown menu for flavors.

    P.S. Do you know what the PG/VG ratio is in the liquids you are using now? Keep in mind that the people who have issues with PG fall into two pretty broad categories: The really unfortunate who have a severe allergic reaction to any amount of PG in their liquids. Or people like me who can tolerate the up to 20% PG that a flavoring can contribute to a liquid. Some people can go higher than that. I'm just saying your end PG/VG ratio isn't black & white yet. But to figure out if it's a problem go to the 100PG and 100VG extremes first.
    Last edited by Rickajho; 01-19-2014 at 07:22 AM.

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    Full Member Patrick.Quenga's Avatar
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    Thanks Rick. Actually, I am a DIY guy. I make my own liquids. I always make everything 50/50. So I can go into making two different pures and vape them for 2 weeks, each type. See if I notice any difference.

    I will make some tomorrow. What I have noticed is that my facial skin does seem a bit more oily. Do you know if PG or VG would cause that? Oily skin? I just really noticed this today, but yeah, my skin does seem more oily than normal.

    On a side note, I am 40 years old, never had any issues with my skin, except minor blemishes, but I think everyone has those. I smoked for about 10 years, about half-a-pack-a-day smoker.

    I'll be starting my tests tomorrow. I'm going to make some pure mixes tomorrow, let them steep for a few days, then start hitting them up. See if I notice a difference in my skin and my scalp. Thanks again...

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    It's possible that it could be an allergy to some ingredient in what you're vaping but I think it's more likely something else. You may want to try anti bacterial or anti fungal shampoo.

    Good luck! And try to keep vaping. Smoking may seem to be a better alternative but you just can't 'see' the damage its doing to you.

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    Registered Supplier ECF Veteran Vash's Avatar
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    This happened to friend of mine and since switching to high VG juices it has gone away .Good luck !

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    Full Member Patrick.Quenga's Avatar
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    Thanks Vash. I was going to do that first, switch to high VG. I hear more people are allergic or have reactions to PG than VG. I do believe it is from vaping though, as this is the first time in my life I started breaking out on my neck and scalp, and it was right around the time I started vaping. I evaluated everything in my life, even looked to see if I changed shampoo, soap, laundry detergent, anything....nothing changed in my life, but vaping (and quitting smoking).

    I will go to full VG tomorrow, I make my own mix, and see how that works. Also Sane, I tried both, anti-fungal to treat Follicitus, if that was what it was, and antibiotics, if it was Cellulitis. Neither worked. I'll report back in a few weeks to see what happens, because I know there HAS to be others that have had or are having this issue, and I want to help out. If anyone has had skin breakouts or anything since the time they changed from smoking to vaping, they have to look into VG and PG and see if they are allergic.

    Thanks again guys...Vash, your comments give me hope...you said it happened to a friend of yours...that gives me hope. Was it on his scalp and back of his neck? I don't get it on my "scalp" per say, it is only on the back of my neck, like right where my neck and scalp meet. It 's not all over my head at all, only the back part.
    Last edited by Patrick.Quenga; 01-20-2014 at 08:20 AM.

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    Registered Supplier ECF Veteran Jonathan Tittle's Avatar
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    When I first started vaping and became 100% dedicated to it (i.e no smoking, just vaping), my face and neck broke out as well, so it is a rather common, yet unsightly, downside to quitting smoking. It has nothing, IMO, to do with picking up vaping it its place.

    As mentioned above, it is most likely your body purging itself of all the "other" chemicals you were smoking along with the tobacco (although I'm not a dermatologist or doctor). Cigarettes carry 4,000+ chemicals, so when you deprive your body of something it's used to getting, it's going to react. In most cases, it starts with expelling chemicals and other foreign bodies. Since the build up and chemicals are inside, they have to find a way out and the only way out is through your skin, short of throwing up and coughing it up (sorry to be graphic).

    It's much like a piercing, you're injecting a foreign object through your skin and the first line of defense is for your body to heal and reject it, which is why so many people have to remove their piercings. Cysts, Boils and other formations of the skin appear because their body simply doesn't want it there; it doesn't know any better, it just knows you're hurt, there's a hole in your body and it's time to kick into gear and do its job so you can get better.

    The same overall thing applies to the lungs, bloodstream etc. There's only two other ways out and chances are, you're not going to remove too much that way since such things don't pass through the digestive system.


    That said, in my case, it occurred on the front and back of my neck; worse on the back near the hairline as I shave my head as well (former Army - injured back and knee). Over time, it gets better, much better. I still, to this day, continue to vape and I vape mainly 50/50 and 60/40 PG/VG. a few spots pop up here and there, even after 8 months of solid vaping, but the body doesn't undo 12 years of smoking in 8 short months, it's going to take some more time.

    I'm not sure how long you actually smoked, but my suggestion would be to test the waters with 100% PG and then 100% VG, see if that helps. If it doesn't, worst case, go to a dermatologist and have them do a skin test to see if either of those affect you immediately using their tools and methods. If you get a negative, chances are you're going to go through the same thing I did and just have to wait it out.

    From there, use something with salicylic acid (used for acne treatments) and always use a wash cloth or something similar, never your hands. That'll help control the break outs and relieve them. Do that 2-3 times a day and that should help control things a bit for you. On the other hand, if you go to a dermatologist and they recommend something else, do what they tell you to do.

    Just letting you know what worked for me.
    Julie W likes this.

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    Definitely see if it's a VG, or PG allergy. Good luck!
    I vape therefore I am ~ It's a vape thing...you wouldn't understand!-Provari Mini-chi you clone-itaste v3-itaste mvp1&2-many colors ego twists,ego vv/v3, Sigelei Legend,Hammer,Nemi clone.Gourmet e-juice afficianado.Vaping for 3+ years


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