Electronic cigarettes and dermatological manifestations

Electronic cigarette usage has become quite frequent in the last couple of years, mainly due to it being marketed as a substitute for traditional cigarettes. There’s a lot of controversy revolving around whether it is truly a safe substitute to traditional cigarettes. However, some harmful dermatological manifestations have been linked with e-cigs.


Some of the dermatological manifestations associated with the usage of e-cigs are contact dermatitis, thermal injury, and oral mucosal lesions. Contact dermatitis usually affects the dominant hand, and it’s caused by the release of nickel from the heating coil, which is the component that vaporizes the liquid. Thermal, blast and chemical injuries reported were due to overheating, leakage and/or explosion of lithium-containing batteries used in e-cigs. There is also an increased prevalence of oral mucosal lesions such as nicotine stomatitis, hyperplastic candidiasis, and black hairy tongue among consumers of electronic cigarettes.


In conclusion, the increased consumption of electronic cigarettes is due to it being advertised as a safer alternative to tobacco cigarettes. However, electronic cigarettes can cause some harmful skin-related conditions outlined above. Currently, electronic cigarettes are not a safe alternative and further studies are needed on the topic.


Written by: Khalid Al Dakheel, Medical Student @ KSU


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