Getting E-Juice on your Skin: The Truth and The Myths

In short, if you dropped any retail e-juice on your skin, your not in any danger for nicotine poisoning or any overdose related nicotine side effects. This is not because nicotine isn’t absorbed through the skin (it is, that’s why nicotine patches work for example). Rather, it has to do with three key factors:

  1. The maximum amount of nicotine in most e-juice,
  2. The nicotine skin absorption rate, and;
  3. How much nicotine it takes for you to get nicotine poisoning

E-juice nicotine content

When you buy e-juice from any reputable online e-juice store, the max strength nicotine you’ll find in the e-juice is 18 mg/mL. Even if you’re buying e-juice at a higher strength, like 36 mg per mL, there is simply just not enough nicotine in the liquid to provide any ill side effects if only splashed on your skin.

This leads to our next point.

Nicotine absorption rate on skin

Unlike nicotine patches, e-juice isn’t specially created to be absorbed through the skin. In fact, it is quite bad at it. For any nicotine to actually pierce through your skin and create any noticeable side effects, you would gave to take a bath in a tub for of e-liquid for 3-6 hours.

This is because it takes a very long time for any nicotine in e-juice to be absorbed through your skin, and due to limited amount of nicotine in e-juice.

The amount of nicotine it will take to get nicotine poisoning

According to experts, you would need to swallow anywhere from 60mg of nicotine to 1000mg of nicotine for a fatal dose of nicotine poisoning. That is a whole lot of nicotine to swallow! And notice how I said ingested, not absorbed. It would be nearly impossible to absorb that much nicotine through your skin, unless you were covered head to toe in nicotine patches for days and days on end.
Also, when it comes to ingesting nicotine through your mouth, your body has natural defense mechanisms to fight the poisoning. In essence, this means you’re going to puke and keep puking until most that nicotine is out of your body. It would also be very hard to take down in the first place. That’s why nicotine isn’t used as a poison by criminals.

However, this doesn’t mean nicotine poisoning isn’t possible. Here are some signs that you have nicotine poisoning:

nicotine poisoning - symptoms

  • Nausea
  • Headache
  • Cramps
  • Vomiting (as mentioned)
  • Rapid heartbeat and breathing
  • Muscular convulsions and short breath

If you or someone you know is experiencing any of those symptoms, call your nearest poison control center at (800) 222-1222, who are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Also call an ambulance as well.

The Verdict

If you got some e-juice on your skin, wipe it off thoroughly and you will be just fine.