Mango Allergy

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mango allergyFood allergies are very common nowadays and can be caused due to any foods that the body becomes sensitive to. Citrus fruit allergy is a common allergy that many people may suffer from. However, some people may also suffer from mango allergy which occurs due to a contact with Mangoes.

Mango (Mangifera indica) is a fruit primarily produced in Indian subcontinent especially in India and Burma. It is national fruit in India which produces 50% of total world mangoes. It can be taken fresh while there is season and otherwise could be consumed as juice, pickles or jams.

Mango allergy is different from other fruit allergies because it belongs to the family of plant to which poison sumac and poison ivy also belong. This allergy is caused due to a contact with the skin of the fruit and generally results in symptoms of contact dermatitis. The symptoms are more evident around the mouth because of the close contact.

The allergy from mangoes occurs due to the chemical called urshiol which is present in the peel of the fruit. Urshiol is also an active compound in poison oak leaves and is the cause of rashes from poison ivy. Fortunately, the amount of this chemical present in mangoes is much less than poison ivy and therefore the symptoms are also much less severe. This chemical is more in green mango than in ripe.

Mango ingestion provocation test is one of the most common and reliable tests for this condition. However prick test could also be done to find the sensitivity to Mango. Do remember to do all these types of test in strict medical supervision.

Mango Allergy Symptoms
The symptoms of mango allergy are similar to the symptoms of poison ivy allergy and contact dermatitis. Some of the common symptoms include:

  • The area around the mouth tends to turn red
  • There is a breakout of hives and rashes all over the body, especially in the areas where there has been a contact.
  • Runny nose
  • Fever and general malaise
  • Tightness in chest, congestion and difficulty in breathing
  • Dyspnoea
  • Hoarseness
  • Erythema
  • Urticaria
  • Angioedema
  • Anaphylaxis(rare)
  • Asthma

Respiratory distress or dyspnoea is most common symptoms of this allergy which could occur in 8 out of 10 cases. It is very rare for a person to experience an anaphylactic shock due to a mango allergy.In case of severe reaction, epinephrine injections are administered. In rare cases this allergy could be life threatening for some of the susceptible individuals. The symptoms for this condition might appear immediately for most of the cases or within 30 minutes. Delayed hypersensitivity is very rare and could happen as contact dermatitis.

Mango Allergy Treatment
There are not many people who get allergic to peeled mangoes. Since the chemical urshiol is present specifically in the leaves and the peel of the mango fruit, it is best to avoid contact to both. If you are eating mangoes, be sure to peel the skin off before you consume them. Anti histamines and over the counter drugs can be used to treat some of the allergic reactions. Topical creams and ointments that contain steroids can be used to treat rashes and hives which may have broken out.

Note: This allergy primarily occurs in places where cultivation of this fruit does not occur.

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30 Comments

  1. I think the best treatment for mango allergy is the way you eat mango. Do not ever try to eat the skin of the mango. Do not ever try to remove the mango pulp sticking to the skin of the mango. Wash the mango properly before cutting or eating it. Some of these precautions will prevent you from getting mango allergy.

    • When I moved to Hawaii one of the first things I did was harvest fresh mangoes and found out the connection between the allergen in mangoes and poison ivy. Having a severe allergy to poison ivy I broke out with a severe, itchy, exudative rash in every area that the mango sap had made contact. I tried Benadryl (diphenhydramine) which was not effective and then obtained prednisone by prescription which did work. Like poison ivy, calamine lotion and cortisone ointment can ease the topical symptoms. I no longer can touch or peel mangoes and even have to be careful not to brush into the leaves of the tree in my garden. Hope this helps!

  2. I was beaten by this mango bug recently as this is mango season here in India. The allergy was severe and I had lots of blisters on and around my mouth and lips. I never heard about mango allergy before but once I got it, it scared me and now I am very cautious while eating them. Be aware when you buy it from market. Wash it properly before you even put it into your fridge. People use lot of chemicals for forced ripening of these fruits.

  3. Just in case you’re searching, as I was, to figure out how long you’ll be suffering with a blistered mouth from your mango skin encounter, Here’s my experience:

    3 Days before Day 1: Ate a Mango, including getting the flesh out of the skin with my teeth after lunch. Did not wash face until that night.
    Day 1: Noticed a couple little bumps on lips, and thought they were really chapped. Applied regular lip gloss (Carmex) as usual.
    Day 2: Woke up with swollen, inflamed, blistery, painful, itchy lips. They looked and felt AWFUL.
    : Applied vaseline and scoured the internet to figure out what was going on.
    : Figured out it was a mango allergy, but wasn’t sure what to do for it. Stopped applying vaseline because some said it might be bad for poison ivy types of reactions because it keeps blisters from drying out.
    : Took an Alavert-24 hour to try to help with the allergic reaction
    : Bought Ivarest Poison Ivy Itch Relief Cream and Benadryl Itch Stopping Cream.
    : Took an advil and applied the Ivarest at 6pm to my lips and surrounding skin area, and the Benadryl cream that night after washing my face, before bed.
    — Incidentally, both are SUPER painful – burning, drying, etc. on your lips.
    Day 3: Woke up and lips looked only slightly better – the blisters were drying up a bit from the creams.
    : Took an advil, and applied Ivarest at 9:30am
    : Took an Alavert-24 hour to try to help with the allergic reaction
    : Applied Benadryl cream at 2pm and again at 5:30pm
    : Applied Ivarest before bed
    Day 4: Woke up and lips looked better – good enough that I was only somewhat mortified to have to go out of the house that day
    : While outside the house, I removed the Ivarest/Benadryl and applied Lip Clear Lysine+ (a cold sore treatment) because it also claimed to dry out blisters (albiet of a different kind), is fairly clear, and is safe for use on your mouth (The others probably aren’t ideal for use on your mouth)
    : Applied Ivarest at night
    Day 5, 6, 7: Each night I applied Ivarest (again it is SUPER PAINFUL – burning, etc.), and during the day I used Lysine. Each day my lips looked progressively better.
    : My lips and the area around them were peeling constantly from Days 4-8 – the nasty blistered skin was flaking off. It was gross, but I tried not to mess with it and just let it come off naturally.
    Day 8: The last night I used Ivarest
    By Day 9, my lips look almost completely better. There were few spots on the skin around my lips that didn’t start to get red or inflamed until around Days 4-6, and those are still a bit red, but my lips are pretty much back to normal.
    Day 10 and 11, I’m just using regular Burts Bees Honey lip balm, and trying to get my mouth back to it’s non-dryed out state. But aside from dry skin around my mouth, everything looks pretty much normal.

    I don’t know if the methods I used were ideal to treat this, but I figured I’d at least pass them along so you’d have the type of info I looked for when I first figured out what was wrong – and an idea of how long your lips would look so gross and be so painful!
    Hang in there. You’ll survive. 🙂

    • thank you so much MangoHelp, I was actually ready to go to the hospital and let them put me down , now I know what to do , thanks

    • I had a similar experience just last week..I used ice, benadryl and carmex this is day 10 lips look ok but still kinda of dry..thanks to this thread I now know to stay away from cashews..all along I thought it was hsv1

    • Thank you! Im doing all that! With the same stuff too I’m like on day 5 ,but did you get bumbs on the inside corner of your mouth?

  4. If you must eat a mango. The best way to do it is by having someone wash, peel and cut it for you and then wash it again. Drink 2 benadryls before you chow it down.

  5. Mango should be washed properly before taking it. This is the best way of avoiding mango allergy. Actually, I feel that it is due to people being lazy that they get this allergy. In fact with the use of chemical pesticides these days, it is a must to wash all the fruit properly as they are the ones which are taken in a raw form.

    If you take any of the fruits without washing it properly, you would end up getting some form of infection. It is a must to wash all the fruits properly without fail.

  6. Had an outbreak of the mango allergy many years ago, when I ate the fruit off the large seed. Had to use oral steroids to get rid of it fast. Have eaten mango for years since, never eating off the seed. This time , I did wash well, but incutting, noticed i cut into the seed, and ate some fruit from the skin at work. the rash started as 2 tiny pimples, then got worse. I’ve been using Maalox, benadryl cream, and washing it well. Also taking Clariton for 5 days now. It has not itched at all, but slow to clear. I will try the honey and nettle, as I read here. Thanks, Janice

  7. I nearly died from eating a fresh mango that was skinned and cut up.
    Don’t take this lightly.
    And…. it’s related directly to pistachio and cashews…….. go gently….. serious allergies do NOT get better… in fact they get worse as one’s intolerance decreases…….

    • I had a severe reaction to a mango last night. I have been able to eat mangos for many years and not have a reaction. Last night my throat swelled up and my entire body was on fire like a terrible sun burn. My eyes swelled shut and had the worst headache. And a stomachache. I took two benadryl tablets. This morning, I still have the bad headache and swollen eyes. A slight rash on my entire body. I guess I will have to give them up for good.

    • I think you should consult your doctor immediately. It is very dangerous to take anything without doctor consultation if you are pregnant. Get well soon..

  8. I am going through this right now, and it sucks..I thought it was a severe case of herpes..I am on day 3 and I just found out about the mango allergy. I have been eating a lot of mango lately, like a barbarian, and here we go. Never eating mango again..May have to take some steroid treatment..

  9. I actually went into anaphylaxis early this morning from eating a mango. It was my first time peeling the skin and cutting it myself because my husband asked me to. Immediately my hands became numb, but within a half an hour my face was swollen, I was having severe difficulty breathing, a rash had broken out all over my body, and I was congested to the point of tears. Scariest morning ever. Guess I’m staying away from mangoes for a while!

  10. I had a reaction to mango a week ago – swollen and seriously inflamed lips. Didn’t have any idea what was happening til a friend suggested mangos. Don’t usually eat them! My face on one side and my eye have since gotten swollen, painful with a red rash. Now it seems to be spreading to my hands and chest. Although my lips and face seem to be finally healing other areas seem to be getting worse although I have had no further contact with mangos. Can this spread without new contact? Have taken Benedryl pills and used Poison Ivy cleansers and treatments on affected skin. Definitely scares me to see new “bumps” and rash develop. any ideas?

  11. Listen!!! The only way that you can absolutely cure a mango allergy is to stop eating mangoes completely! I have had severe rashes since i was ten years old from mango . It is not worth it! I now have little white bumps at the corners of my lips from getting attacks so often. I still get attacks from accidentally eating cashews ” Cashews come from the same family , So i don’t eat those either. The only medicine that i found that worked for
    me was Steroid cream prescribed by my doctor. He said i would be highly allergic to poison ivy for the rest of my
    life. I stay inside in early spring and early fall because that is when pollen is at its highest . I am currently itchy and my lips are swollen Because i ate a holiday cashew treat! Once it is in your system it takes a week to fully spread and three more days for it to start clearing up. While you have the rash on your skin it is important that you don’t drink milk or ingest any dairy . Enzymes in milk can make you even more sick.
    Also have someone take your plants outside . Animals can also aggravate this . My cat is currently staying with my sissy so i can heal.
    Love maddie:)

  12. Hi all who have commented. Does anyone have swelling and redness of the upper and lower eyelids due to mangoes?

    • Wow, it happens to me last night…. my eyes are sososo itchy with little pain as well! Swollen like bells, almost shut… I tried ice for half day, but it didn’t help too much! Still suffering!

  13. Agh!!! I don t even like mangos. I picked some from my back yard to give to the wife. Some of the sap squirted on my chest. Hey no big deal Right? Wrong good grief itch like crazy, not to mention I look like someone squirted battery acid on me. This is a drag,,, who knew I had to be afraid of a tree?

  14. I just found this site and I can’t believe I have a mango allergy. I’m on day 3 and I don’t know how Long I should wait before seeing a doctor. I only have the redness and bumps on my lips after I are the mango. It took me a while to realize it was due to the mango I ate.
    I’d like to know how long exactly will it take to clear up on its own and if it’s gonna get worse without treatment?

  15. Mango is my favorite fruit. I have eaten it multiple times before. Then, the one time I don’t wash it and the one time I scrape the fruit off the peel and the seed with my teeth, the allergy starts. It didn’t start until the day after I ate it. I woke up and had some bumps on the corner of my mouth. Within an hour, both of my lips were covered in blisters and were swollen, burning, and itching. I’m on morning three right now and it only seems to be getting worse.

  16. Really interesting. I ate a mango, and my mouth started itching. Odd place to feel an itch, on the roof of your mouth! My lips started burning. I spit out the mango, and felt almost nauseated. I had never had one before, and will never eat one again, or touch one. I will stick with peaches.

  17. I know this is an old thread but I just ran across it while assessing my own mango mouth predicament. Fortunately I do not eat mango often because unfortunately they are so rock hard at the store they rot before they ripen. Anyhow, about a month ago I had a nasty cold or flu and there were some mangoes that were decent. They were one of the few foods I actually wanted and didn’t make me feel worse. At that time i thought the severely chapped lips were related to the cold with the coughing and mouth breathing…I was wrong. After accepting it WAS mango mouth, I still had a mango left. I figured my lips were already a mess so I did eat the last one. I changed the strategy washing the mango with dish soap and water before slicing and scrubbing hands and face from the nose down with soap and water after finishing. It does not seem any worse. Seems to be drying and healing. It will be a little while before I attack another mango, but, I will figure out a strategy….

  18. Omg. I realized that i had a mango sap burn only after i took a bath day after. The skin on my face below the right eye scrape off and it’s very painful. Right away i applied antibacterial ointment after drying. I goggled for other alternative treatment and found out this natural- honey treatment. How long will it be healed and clear the scar? Worried because of my upcoming party celeb by next month… Need your advise. Thanks.

  19. I had my kids climb up a mango tree and throw some down to me. I collected them in my shirt. The sap got on my arms/hands and stomach. We ate a lot of mangoes that night. Next day the blisters started around my mouth and on my arms/hands/stomach. I am quite allergic to poison ivy all my life. This reaction was the same, lines of blisters. This never happened with peeled mangoes or canned mangoes, only the sap from the stem or just under the skin I think did it for me…. I can eat Indian Mango Pickle!!! That pickle has the skin on and made from under/unripe mangoes.
    Go figure!!?!??? Apples, cashews (lot) make my mouth/throat itch.

  20. I just jumped on the computer to look up what a mango can do to a person. I have eaten them all my life and never had a reaction to them. I am 65! But I just ate a mango and must have missed some of the skin that I know I have to take off. First I got a horrible taste in my mouth and then my uvula started itching, still itches and I started gagging. Gross, I know. I quick rinsed my mouth with every thing I could find and gargled and drank a ton of water. It is 2am and I considered waking my husband to take me to the ER but thought I would try some cough medicine I had with an antihistamine in it and it seems to be better. I am also not freaking out like I was at first and that seems to help! I don’t have any exterior rashes, blisters or swelling such as hives. It is scarier to me for it to be in my throat than outside on my lips. Either way isn’t good. I have 3 mangoes that are ripe, don’t think I will be touching those puppies. Lesson learned.

  21. I’ve been doing mango facials for years but not any more! I used to take the flesh left on the peel and rub it all over my face and was fine. My skin looked awesome! However, the past two times I broke out like crazy and finally figured out I was suddenly allergic. Good news – a product called “Oral Ivy” that I’ve used for poison oak before REALLY helped it go down along with benedryl every night. I got it before it went crazy.

  22. I am allergic to mango. I don’t break out until about 2 or three days later. Why is this? I try to avoid it at all costs, but 2 days ago I was at my nephews wedding and had put some fruit on my plate that looked to be peaches, which it did have peaches in it. The mangos in it looked just like the peaches. No one told me it had mango. I ate a good portion of what was on my plate until I got a hint of mango flavor. Obviously the peach juice had overtaken the mango flavor and I was unAware I was eating mango. Upon tasting it, I turned to my sister and said this taste like mango. She said ubruptly, yes it has mango in it. So now after 2 days I’m breaking out.

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