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Anne Marie Helmenstine, Ph.D.

Poison Mango?

By July 1, 2013

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Mango (MacAddct1984, Wikipedia Commons)Did you know mangoes belong to the same plant family as poison ivy and that the skin of a mango can give you that same great contact dermatitis as if you played with poison ivy, poison oak, or poison sumac? I did not know that. That is a factoid that (thankfully) I did not learn as a result of personal experience. I was seeking the chemical structure for urushiol to add it to my indirect poison ivy blog post and I read that if you have contact dermatitis from poison ivy or one of the other urushiol-containing plants, exposure to the cut skin of a mango can be a highly unpleasant experience. From there, I found a nice list of Contact-Poisonous Plants of the World that you can peruse for education and entertainment.

Obviously people eat mangoes all the time. The edible portion isn't going to cause you problems. However, the vine of a mango contains sufficient urushiol to cause a reaction that rivals or exceeds that from poison ivy. The skin of the mango contains enough urushiol that if you are already sensitized to it, you will probably get contact dermatitis from exposure, usually on your hands, since most people don't bite into mangoes.

Comments

July 22, 2008 at 2:45 am
(1) Jeff says:

I lived for 2 years in Paraguay and ate mangoes by the bucketful during the summer (and any other time that I could find them). Often I would handle them and also eat the skin. Not to mention that when I ate them I almost constantly left my lips in contact with the cut skin. I’ve never had a rash of any kind from it. Am I some sort of anomaly? Do many people have no reaction to poison ivy or sumac?

August 1, 2008 at 10:44 am
(2) Marie says:

Many people are not allergic to Poison Ivy. I am extremely allergic, however no one else in my family is. I am also extremely allergic to Mango, and I didn’t learn until recently that there was a strong connection between them. Also, cashew shells have the same toxin, but I’ve never had an allergic reaction to cashews.

February 4, 2009 at 11:14 pm
(3) AnneShirley says:

Many years ago I moved to Florida and the house we rented had several Mango trees. I had both Poison Ivy and Poison Oak as a child. I carried some of the fruit in my arm. I noticed spots that were itchy. I ate a little bit of the inner fruit but did not like it. The next day my face was swollen up terribly. Some people saw it and said I had Mango Poisoning. I went to a Dr. and he told me Mangos were a relative to Poison Ivy and some people can’t even walk by the trees. Now Mango is in so many things I am really watching what I eat. It makes me wonder how many people might have this poisoning and would not know what it was from.

February 18, 2009 at 5:16 pm
(4) littleredbird says:

I’m very allergic to poison ivy and I eat mango skin all the time. It is chewy and delicious! I have never broken out from contact with the skin.

July 28, 2011 at 11:56 am
(5) Andrew says:

Same here. I have horrible reactions to poison ivy but eat mangos like apples. Strange.

April 20, 2009 at 3:13 pm
(6) Deirdre says:

I lived in Ghana as a child and would get a rash if I came in contact with the tree. It’s the only thing I am allergic to, although I guess it’s not an allergy. Years later I was cutting a mango and touched my skin before washing my hands and also got a rash and then learned it was related to poison ivy.

May 17, 2009 at 7:17 pm
(7) amy says:

EUREKA. As I sit here, trying to figure out what has caused this terrible itchy, swollen, blistering facial rash, I believe I have found the answer!!!! I have never been allergic to anything, including poison ivy but I had surgery and they removed my spleen. Last year, I came in contact with poison ivy and was covered with a horrid rash. Just ate a mango a few days ago and my entire area around my face it DRIVING MR CRAZY. Now I know why :)

May 30, 2009 at 12:11 pm
(8) Matthew says:

Is there a solution to this poison mango after your face is all swollen up? My lips are swollen and I would like to know how to rid of it. Thanks

July 21, 2009 at 10:26 am
(9) mad gasser says:

Matthew, I hope you are fine now, but if it happens again, I would take some benadryl or some other allergy med.

August 11, 2009 at 3:22 pm
(10) derrell says:

I grew up in Miami and there are many, many , different species of mangos there. Some are Haden and some are turpentine . The haden is found in the grocery stores; whereas the turpentine is much smaller and not sold in stores. I grew up eating them all and never had any kind of rashes etc. Some people are not effected by the mango.

October 15, 2009 at 10:53 am
(11) MICHELLE says:

Matthew! I have the answer for a fast cure of a mango out brreak around the mouth. its this skin protectant called GLYCERN its a Pure Natural skin softener. its an oil based product in a clear bottel with pink blue and white label. I got it from walmart. It started to clear up within a few hours.I was sooo amazed.

November 23, 2009 at 10:19 am
(12) Andy says:

3 or 4 days ago I peeled and ate a mango that was slightly unripe and within a few hours my lips started burning and developing a rash. It stayed that way for the next couple of days and then suddenly last night I got hives all around my face and neck. This morning I woke up with my left eye swollen shut. I remember noticing some clear fluid oozing from the fruit at the stem, which I guess is the poisonous sap. Anyway, it’s strange but I’ve eaten mangos a handful of times in my life without getting anything, but I think that someone else has usually peeled it for me. I read that the reaction can be worse if the mango didn’t fully ripen on the tree. I am also highly sensitive to poison ivy and this is the exact same kind of reaction. And as far as I know, there is really no good cure, calamine lotion and oatmeal help a tiny bit but really you just have to tough it out.

January 19, 2010 at 7:01 pm
(13) Matt says:

Holy Crap!I’m going through this as I type. I ate a mango just the other day and woke up the next day with what I thought was poison ivy. I thought this because I too am very alergic to poison ivy. So, I go to the doctor’s and he tells me that it looks like a allergic reaction to something. After trying to figure out what it could be, I just so happen to mention to him that my brother has a serious allergy to mangoes and latex. Which in turn he asks me if I have ever had poison ivy. I say yes and he tells me that the mango tree and the poison ivy plant are somehow related. He gave me some strong steroids and told me that they would help. We will see!

March 1, 2010 at 7:03 am
(14) Chris and His Mangoes says:

Whenever I eat green mangoes, my lips always get sore and painful. I wonder if the whole poison ivy thing is the reason for it. Or maybe because it’s very sour and acidic when raw. I can’t say for sure.

March 19, 2010 at 1:58 pm
(15) Laura says:

i eat mango skins. like literally i will bite into a mango and eat the skin with the fruit. with no side affects. it taste pretty good. my dad and sister do this too, also with no side affects. (my mum hates mangos)

i am wondering if i am immune to poison ivy. i have never had poison ivy before, neither has anyone in my immediate family, and we love the outdoors and hiking and camping. i’m actually thinking to purposely try to get poison ivy to find out. obviously carefully, i’d rather have the itchy rash somewhere other than my hands.

my boyfriend is allergic to mangos. every time he tries to eat one, he gets sore, swollen lips.

April 2, 2010 at 3:00 pm
(16) Liz says:

Mango-yum-a gift from a friend=AGONY
I peeled a large mango, sucked on the pit which had residual fruit…12hours later…rash on my neck, right below my chin. It has been itching for 4 two days now. I’ve been using cortizone and today it seems to have spread down to the area below my neck. It is most unpleasant.

May 27, 2010 at 3:21 pm
(17) mangohelp says:

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. :)

May 30, 2010 at 3:45 pm
(18) neil says:

Unripe/artificially ripened mangoes are the worst for this – pften a problem in India when the mangoes are late ripening, and the monsoon is on it’s way. The growers often harvest them unripe then use artificial means to ripen them – resulting in a lot of very strong allergic reactions.

May 31, 2010 at 3:40 pm
(19) Abby says:

I just cut into an unripe mango, and I was scraping the flesh off of the skin with my teeth, as it was so hard. By the next morning I had developed small pustules, sort of yellow in color, on either corner of my mouth, sensitive and raised. I remembered that someone had told me you could get poison ivy from mangoes, so I googled it, and here I am! I am just trying to keep from picking at the areas, and it doesn’t itch but is oozy and yucky.

July 15, 2010 at 9:07 pm
(20) beverly north broward says:

omg. im miserable! i have a mango tree in the back yard and ive NEVER had any interest in the fruit. this year i decided to surprise my co workers and bring a bunch to work. my husband got me a new picker and i was off! about seventy-five mangos later, i have the rash not only on my face, but my stomach, groin, legs, arms,neck and chest. eye swollen shut (thats gotten better but now my face has this awful peeling, hanging skin! i called my m.d. he gave me steriod shot and oral prednisone. im using benedryl cream ( two tubes so far) and i still have hives all over. this happened on the 6th and today is the 15th. its really horrible. help!!

September 21, 2010 at 12:43 am
(21) tonia says:

when i was kid, every time i ate a mango, my lips got all these tiny little blisters on them. someone told me they were related to poison ivy, and since i am sensitive to poison ivy, i knew mango was the culprit. 20 years later, i tried to eat a mango again, just to see if maybe i’ve “outgrown” the allergy. NOT! i not only got the little blisters on my lips, but a little blister patch on my eye! it’s itching like crazy!! guess i won’t be eating them anymore.

December 7, 2010 at 11:15 pm
(22) rose says:

I’ve been allergic to Mango for years! Not sure if anyone else has the same issue, but I’m extremely allergic that I cant use any products that contain Mango what so ever. Never fails i try based on the information I read and I break out (No where near as bad as when I ate mango years ago – with horrible reaction!) just a tip

February 18, 2011 at 5:58 pm
(23) sean says:

Poison oak or urushiol reactions is something ive become an expert on having had contact with so many times. The best way to avoid the misery is to avoid at all costs. But if you find yourself coming in contact as soon as possible wash the affected area immediately. Use a commercially available soap that can break down the urushiol oils. Fels naptha was one of the first one used or now technu works well. Use cool water initially and be very thorough. Try to not overly irritate the skin. Very important to wash everything you or the source came in contact with as urushiol oils dont breakdown (other than in extended sunlight). If its a mild exposure than many over the counter lotions and benadryl concoctions may give relief. Affected individuals who have acute contact or have ingested must seek a physician immediately. As for mild cases its really just a tough it out approach. I found that really slathering on(use alot its cheap) calamine lotion everywhere(even unaffected areas helps with discomfort and its spreading-drys out skin). The itch mechanism is caused by the fluids moving outward and by the sensitive nerve endings of the affected skin. calamine lotion help to dry the skin. Another approach after your in full outbreak is to right before bed time take a very hot shower(hot as you can stand) which kicks the fluid production into high gear (during the shower) so subsequently after the shower itch causing fluid production subsides for a time allowing you to sleep. I know it sucks to have this and I totally feel for you. Hope this helps

March 23, 2011 at 3:33 pm
(24) Norma says:

I ate a mango last night and ended up in the ER at 2 o’clock this morning. I had a severe reaction to the mango. I almost went into anaphylactic shock. Luckily I made it to the hospital before that happened. The dr treated me via IV, with benadryl, pepcid, and prednisone. It started to get better before they released me at 5 a.m. He sent me home with scripts for all 3 medications and it seems to be getting better by the hour. I first noticed it at midnight and by 2 I knew somethin was really wrong. My right eye was almost swollen shut, all of my face was swollen as well as my neck. even my ears were swollen on the inside and out. I never would’ve guessed that he would use pepcid to treat me, but apparently its an H2 histamine that really helps severe allergy attacks. It was very scary and absolutley painful!!! I wont be eating mangoes anymore! If it happens to u, dont wait it out. Go to your nearest hospital and get treated ASAP.

March 23, 2011 at 3:38 pm
(25) Naniobananio says:

I have had a toxic reaction from eating too much mango fruit…my face looked like Charlie Brown…round,round,round and puffy. It took several months (luckily my kidneys survived).

June 11, 2011 at 11:59 am
(26) Roy says:

This is what works for me:

There is nothing in this world I enjoy eating more than a mango. However, I am highly allergic to poison ivy. So if you don’t want to stop eating mangoes, this is what you can do: I have a mango tree in my yard in Miami. When I pick the mangoes, I carry a bag in one hand and only touch the mangoes with my other hand. I make sure that the mangoes nor the tree ever touch any other part of my body. When I am finished picking. I wash my hands and arms 3 times with warm water and Seventh Generation dish soap. This prevents me from breaking out (I’ve broken out before when I didn’t wash my hands…or when I let a mango touch a part of my body that I didn’t wash afterwards). When it’s time to eat them I peel the mango over the garbage can. Then I put the peeled mango down and wash my hands with the dish soap again. Then I hold the mango over the sink and munch on it sloppy style. This will work for those of you who are not allergic to the actual pulp. Now, for buying mangoes in the store, I’ve been told by the people in my local store that mangoes sold in grocery stores have typically been boiled which gets rid of the allergen. Not sure if this is universally the case.

August 2, 2011 at 11:44 am
(27) Lynne says:

I learned this the hard way. I prepared my first fresh cut mango from a farmers market (mind you, I’ve spent years eating already prepared mango from stores and in foods with no problem). When I cut the fruit from the skin I noticed a good amount was left behind, so I folded the skin inside out and nibbled the mango from it. The next morning I had a red rash around my lips which, by noon, spread into tiny clustered clear pus filled blisters (about the size of a pin head) that went down my neck, behind my ears, up my nose, on my eyelids, and into my scalp. It had completely taken over my lips. It itched terribly, and burned when I itched it. I tried mass doses of Benadryl (the most my pharmacist would allow me to take) before going to the doctor who scripted me Methylprednisolone. The swelling, itching, and blisters went away within 8 hours from starting the steroid. The dry skin and redness remained for a week. I still eat mango, but never fresh prepared again, even the knife cutting the skin and then into the fruit drags the chemical with it and causes a reaction for me! I’m mildly allergic to poison ivy and sumac, no reaction to poison oak. My advice to you: at the very start of these symptoms go get a steroid asap!

August 18, 2011 at 8:33 pm
(28) kindame says:

Son is allergic to poison ivy and just now learned that the reason he had his last two bouts with it is because he ate mangos and was scraping the skin to get all the pulp. The doctors didn’t even ask why on the mouth..you’d think they’d know this…they will the next time I have to take him to get some steriods…..I was shocked to learn this so I feel I need to share with the smart doctors.

December 7, 2011 at 12:02 pm
(29) Eileen says:

You must have the wrong plant Mangos grow on trees, and dont cause rashes unless you are allergic>

April 8, 2012 at 2:31 pm
(30) flo says:

I have a question, I bought a mango, and cut it up into slices, I left the skin on, and placed the peices in my water jug with cucumber, about an hour or more later, I started breaking out in this rash of little red bumps, itches terrably, and feels like I have rolled around in fiberglass. could leaving the skin on have caused this?

April 26, 2012 at 5:26 pm
(31) Tom says:

While visiting Florida a few weeks ago, I picked some mangos from a tree. I was warned that they carry the same chemical as poison ivy. Although I am extremely allergic to pison ivy, I disregarded the comment as I’ve been eating mangoes all my life. I remember being intrigued by the amount of sap coming out of the branches as I picked four mangoes to take home with me. Several days later, bumps began to form on one arm, then another, then on my chest and, basically, everywhere my hands touched skin on my body. Two weeks later, I have been given a cortisone shot and taking oral prednisone, along with corisone cream. It’s still itchy, red, swollen and painful.. .the symptoms do not disappear. Nothing seems to help, just have to let it run its course I guess. Safe to say, I don’t think I will ever touch a mango again. I’m sticking to melons.

June 28, 2012 at 3:38 pm
(32) jc says:

I’m just lucky to own several mango trees & consume both young & ripe and don’t experience any problem. The green young we pickle & ripe ones in salad or smoothies.

July 10, 2012 at 4:19 am
(33) sistermoon says:

Just figured out where I got this facial rash from…. the mangos I’ve been eating. Also very allergic to poison oak/ivy. Now I know.

July 12, 2012 at 3:25 pm
(34) Julie says:

I have enjoyed mangoes from the jar for years… I was visiting my family in south Florida and took my kids to the mango groves. I bought a bushel of mangoes. We enjoyed eating them all week, and then… I had welts on my neck and red swollen lips. It then moved to my nose and then to my eyes. I had no idea what was going on. It has been going on for more than a week now. My eyes are so swollen I did go to the Doctor and he gave me some steroids for the swelling. Thanks for the information.

July 16, 2012 at 8:32 pm
(35) Linzy says:

I moved from USA to Vientiane, Lao PDR and I had mango almost everyday. My lips tingling and so uncomfortable. Put carmex, vaseline and lip gloss. Still bad and went to see a Doctor. Was given Vit D. I’d thought I had herpes but after I google it, I knew it is mango!! Stopped mango for a week feel good and had mangi again yesterday, and I am having itchy lips, swollen and some burning feeling too…..what shall I do?

July 17, 2012 at 9:48 pm
(36) marion says:

Question? I have poison ivy all over and its not going away. First time I’ve ever had it, and today I was drinking a mangoe drink, and now my body literally feels like I hav toxic body. Everything hurts, all my joints ache and it feelslike I feel when I get stung by sweat bees (I’m allergic). Is it possible to be related to my aching body? I actually looked up poison ivy because I thought maybe I’m having a reaction and found this article.

August 7, 2012 at 9:17 pm
(37) Ben says:

I discovered I was allergic as a teenager. My lips were blistered with pin sized dots. After blaming a girl for giving me herpes, I learned it was the mangos. I was hoping for a way to eat mangos again but after reading the horror stories I think i will stay clear. Also highly allergic to poison ivy.

October 25, 2012 at 8:08 pm
(38) Jennifer says:

I have been freaking out for the last few days. I got the rash and swollen lips, pussing, my eye swelled up so much I couldn:t see and the itching is unbelievable. I looked up like symptoms and would like everyone to know I am a hypochondriac as it is and similar symptoms could be herpies, lupus, etc. I have made myself sick over this and feel like it’s been much longer than it actually has since the reaction flared up. The experience of eating the mango has been one lesson I will learn from and never do again. I look like the elephant man’s twin female cousin! Lmao. I ate one Mon. then on Tues. and yet again another on weds. My way of thinking was u don’t normally wash an orange when u eat it especially when u live in Florida, Why I ask? would you wash a mango simply to peel it? I am so disgusted 3 days and I am still debating on going to the ER. Does any one have some soothing advise for me?

November 23, 2012 at 11:30 pm
(39) Ivonne says:

Michelle** can I use glycerin on my face or just for lips? My face rash is drying out and itchy can’t take it anymore

December 4, 2012 at 5:28 am
(40) Bonnie says:

I’ve had swollen, itchy lips for a week, plus cold-like symptoms, that I’m now suspecting might be a cashew/mango allergy. As background, I’m extremely sensitive to poison ivy/poison oak, latex and, more recently, to peanuts. So lately, I’ve begun eating cashews instead. Initially, I had no ill effects with the cashews. But several times in recent months, I’ve experienced short-term bouts of extreme total-body itching accompanied by a short-term rash. The label on the cashew package noted that the nuts were processed in a facility that also processes peanuts, so at first I theorized that some peanut residue had gotten mixed in with the cashews during processing. However … about a week ago, I was drinking some Trader Joes’s mango ice tea (green tea mixed with mango concentrate) – something I’ve done many times before with no problem – but this time I was also eating cashews. I didn’t experience any rash but I’ve had itchy, majorly swollen lips now for almost a week– plus headache and that general run-down feeling you get when dealing with an allergy. I doubt I’ll risk eating peanuts, cashews or mangoes again.

December 25, 2012 at 8:45 pm
(41) Sar says:

Thanks to you all. I didn’t know what was going on but now i know it is the mangoes. I’ve taken an antihistimine which is helping. Another person recommended vinegar onto the area several times a day. Go steady on the vinegar though, first there is the usual shock factor, then i have found relief. I have it on my lips, chin, neck, between my fingers, small patch on my wrist and inner arm. I’m in Australia, its summer with hot, humid temp outside. I am staying in the aircon (heat makes it worse).

December 30, 2012 at 3:35 am
(42) Melissa says:

Yes, I too found out the hard way that Mangos are related to poison ivy. We were stationed in Panama (I was an MP) and our quick reaction force compound had mago trees growing on it. We would be on lock-down for a week at a time (different platoons each week) and I would go pick mangos to put on my cereal in the morning. My face broke out something awful but I thought I was allergic to the bedding or detergent. By the time the lockdown was over, I could barely see or talk! (but I had my mangos every morning, lol) Went to the Dr and he knew immediately what it was and gave me a shot of prednisone (sp?) and cleared it up in several hours. He said the sap from picking them probably caused most of the damage and I likely trasfered it a lot of it from my hands, not knowing. I still eat mangos but am very careful about washing them and not breaking the skin too much when I cut them (then I wash the fruit again… It’s a pain but I do love them~)
I’m in Afghanistan right now as I write this and they had mangos for lunch, so I grabbed one! (and for the record, I am not sensitive to poison ivy at all – grew up on a farm and can walk right thru it, still can to this day… but those mangos do me in!)

Melissa, US Army

February 2, 2013 at 9:48 am
(43) littlemo says:

Many years ago when I lived in Florida, all I had to do was walk underneath the tree when the fruits were ripening and I would break out in a rash. The locals identified it immediately as “mango poisoning”. I also get a skin rash from holding cashews in my hand and am severely allergic to poison ivy. Haven’t had any of those rashes in a long time because I avoid the source.

February 2, 2013 at 11:55 am
(44) Bonnie says:

I am severely allergic to poison oak, ivy, sumac, etc….I can get it by just walking by & breathing it & have had it in the North in winter on my face from the smoke from a fire with a piece of dead vine on the wood in it. Last week I ate the Mango/Salsa Tilapia dinner at Chili’s & just luckily I was tentative about the hot pepper taste & took just a tiny bite of mango/ sauce/ fish. Immediately my throat swelled up & I was fighting off wanting to throw up! I knew if my husband had called 911……no one would have gotten to me in time! The swelling subsided after a while & I was OK- but terrified. If I had taken a normal mouthful- I know it would have ended badly. I have been looking since for what ingredient in that meal caused it- & I’m convinced now that it had to be the mango…..as I’ve eaten everything else before & since except for a couple of peppers. Beware of taking this allergy lightly- I’ve been told that the reaction can get worse every time you are exposed.

February 22, 2013 at 2:22 am
(45) Rhonda says:

I spent the first 30 years of my life very allergic to poison oak and ivy. It seemed I could get a rash from looking at the stuff. After moving to Hawaii 5 years ago I discovered mangos. Love them. After a few weeks of eating them every day, a rash broke out on my skin. Then I climbed a tree and the next day my face and chest was swollen and itchy. The Dr couldn’t figure it out, but a friend knew it was the sap. I started using latex gloves to even touch them, and especially to cut them up. No reaction to eating them. Last week that changed. I got a rash on my skin and my mouth began to tingle after a few bites. I have eaten my last mango. Sad day – beware the building allergy. :(

March 15, 2013 at 6:52 am
(46) jagger says:

HELP im dealing with this right now and its killing me mines not pussing like everyones elses mines just tine red bumps all around my mouth ive been using oils but i need some thing that will work fast so if you have any advice please tell me. its killing me

March 22, 2013 at 7:47 pm
(47) Linda says:

Take Benadryl at the first sign of a reaction. it is one of the best histamines available. I am extremely allergic to poison ivy and mango.
Also, beware lotions with mango as an ingredient. I was using a shea butter lotion and after a week or so began getting horrible, itchy rashes. The itching was so bad it woke me at night and I would get up to shower at 3 or 4 in the morning to calm the itch. Then, you guessed it, I would put lotion on, so my skin would not dry out. Monitored everything I was eating, drinking, only to find out the lotion had mango as an ingredient! Rash subsided after I quit using lotion, but it took about a week to 10 days to heal completely.

May 21, 2013 at 9:33 am
(48) Marge Shire says:

I had poison ivy for the first time at age 18. It was so bad I ended up in the infirmary at school. It was every where I had touched my face, including my eyes. I have been around poison ivy since and it is never, NEVER, as bad and sometimes I don’t react at all. Can you become desensitized to poison ivy, or build up an immunity? I eat mangos without any problems.

May 26, 2013 at 6:18 am
(49) Greg says:

Yes, I am highly allergic to poison ivy and recently experienced a similar reaction from cutting up lots of mangos. I suspect the the chemical responsible for this reaction is much higher concentrations in poison ivy though.

June 10, 2013 at 10:44 am
(50) David T says:

I am puzzled by this. I am significantly allergic to poison ivy/oak (have a scattering of rash all over my arms as I write this after a few days backpacking and trying HARD to avoid it and using Tecnu. The plants were everywhere.) Anyway, I have never noticed a reaction to mango though I don’t eat them often (maybe 6-12 a year), I have peeled them on many occasions.

July 6, 2013 at 7:24 pm
(51) kiran says:

I have beein eating tons of mangoes since young and so have all my friends and millions of asians. I think there is an error in the comment made by Anna Marie. The link she provide shows plants with leaves that cause allergy or reaction. BUT her is what is says to the sape of one of the leave- growing 6 m tall with elongated leaves which resemble those of the Mango tree.

It says it the leaf resembles the shape of a mango tree not that mango skin causes allergy. I do not have a chemstry or bology background but I billion people in india eat mangoes with skins in the pickles and in dried form and this would be well advertised so I will not beileve what is suggested/

July 8, 2013 at 8:50 pm
(52) Dr. "T" says:

Most people are not affected by mango eating. I however have had 3 events of anaphalaxsis from the skin fibers. Use caution…

July 8, 2013 at 8:59 pm
(53) Dr. "T" says:

I live in the Philippines and have had three anaphalactic reactions to consuming mango skin fibers. Use caution… I just don’t eat them anymore.

July 10, 2013 at 2:25 pm
(54) Rich says:

I had no idea how I got a rash around my mouth. I thought it might be poison ivy because I was weeding prior to the breakout and thought maybe got it by wiping the sweat off my mouth. I am very allergic to poison ivy and didn’t think I had any around the house. However, the dermatologists said it looked like poison ivy to him too. I just read about “mango mouth”. Ironically, I enjoyed my first-ever mangos last week. I broke out right after the first mango and even worst after the second mango two days later. After reading this and other articles about Mango allergies… the mango is the “forbidden fruit” for me! Never again!

July 10, 2013 at 9:08 pm
(55) Veronica says:

I have been seen by 7 doctors in the past 3 days, including a trip to the ER at my PCPs recommendation, & it wasnt until an emergency dermatology consult today that I had an answer as to what was causing the excruciating rash & blisters that i’ve had for 6 days. It initially started in the corner of my mouth & a blistered top lip. I thought that this was a cold sore (even though ive never had one before) & began using OTC cold sore treatments. They didn’t help & the rash grew in size & severity each day. I have never had a more uncomfortable, painful & itchy experience in my life. It has really been horrendous. The doctors initially thought, & I myself thought, that I was having an allergic reaction to the OTC lip creams but it did not explain the bizarre & intense symptoms I was having. Everyone asked about environmental changes & possible exposure but no one asked me about mango until the dermatologist today. I have been eating a lot of mango lately as I go through phases with fruits. I peeled them by hand & did eat some small skin patches, figuring more fiber is always good for you. I also instead of cutting them up would eat them like an apple.
I feel it is incredibly irresponsible & down right wrong that seemingly no one besides specialists have any knowledge of the toxins in mango. I, nor a single soul I know, has EVER heard of this until I had the misfortune of suffering this reaction. The delicious mango is too good to be true & I am pretty appalled that no one is educating people about this. I will miss the taste as I for sure will never enjoy a mango ever again.

July 11, 2013 at 4:28 am
(56) lexi says:

I am somewhat sensitive to poison ivy, and also somewhat sensitive to mango skin. I only ever get rashes on my lips – I thought it was herpes, too! My poor bf haha! But I love mangoes so much that every now and then, I just suck it up. My lips are swollen again, but as my reaction is so mild, eating mangoes is totally worth it. I wash my lips with dish soap (except this last time) and try to not let my lips touch the skin. It usually works for me (except when it doesn’t).

July 15, 2013 at 8:42 am
(57) Karen says:

Thank you for all the input. I live in Florida and have a mango tree. Never had a reaction but after reading what can happen, will throw out the two I just picked. They are small and not that good anyway. Surprising I have had no reaction since as a kid living in Michigan I would often get poison ivy and poison oak. All of the comments are very helpful.

July 15, 2013 at 11:27 am
(58) Crystal says:

Now I just have to figure out how to plant it under my daughters windows so peeping toms get their just deserts!

July 22, 2013 at 2:38 am
(59) jim zoller says:

I am very allergic to Poison Ivy and Poison Oak. 10 years a go I was offered some chopped Mango (which I was unfamiliar with) when I was in Florida. My stepmother mentioned that Mango was in the Poison Ivy family. Within an hour I was being rushed to the hospital with an anaphylactic reaction. Fortunately, 5 years earlier I had the same reaction with Pistachios so I was able to get help in time!!!! Mango and Pistachio is becoming more and more prevalent in fish dishes, sauces etc. and it scares me to …….! I try to carry Benodryl and Epipens in close proximity to me all the time now.

August 6, 2013 at 9:49 pm
(60) ice-cream says says:

this sucks!!! I’ve been doimg research and all of them said that it is safe to eat mango peels.

August 12, 2013 at 7:30 pm
(61) Chris says:

My mom ate and loved mangoes for a long time and then, all of a sudden, she had a severe anaphylactic shock reaction after eating some pieces that were peeled. She nearly died from her airway becoming obstructed with swelling on the way to the hospital. Fortunately, my dad got her there in time form the EMTs to treat her for mango allergic reaction. So my advice would be to cautiously prepare mangoes even if you believe you are not allergic to the oil in the skin. If you have experienced the allergic reaction, even mildly, to mangoes in the past, then it is safest to avoid eating them in any form in the future as allergies can intensify tremendously and very quickly to threaten your life.

August 19, 2013 at 2:44 pm
(62) Susan Walzer says:

I love mango and have no problem with the flesh. However if I come in contact with the skin (peeling it) I get a horrible rash that lasts for weeks and yes, I an very allergic to poison ivy. It must be genetic because I had an aunt who was hospitalized after eating one.

August 22, 2013 at 10:58 pm
(63) Bonnie says:

I am highly allergic to poison oak, ivy, and sumac and found out recently that I’m allergic to mango’s. My mouth and eyes get cuts at the side and I get a bad rash. I can eat the mango but react when I touch the oils on the skin so I stay away from them.
Recently I thought I was reacting to poison oak and over a weeks time my whole body was covered in red itchy bumps. The only thing I changed was I bought the new Purex laundry crystals. Today I looked at the bottle and the flavor I chose has a huge picture of a mango on the front with Hawaiian flowers. I’m sure this is it. I’ve been washing everything in the house with it.

August 27, 2013 at 7:52 pm
(64) Allison says:

Highly allergic to both…accidentally used mango body butter the other day. HUGE MISTAKE. (I was drunk).
All I can recommend to you poor people is ZANFEL. Way expensive (over 30 dollars for a tube), but totally totally totally worth it for any poison oak/mango rash. And I carry a bottle of technu around with me too.
I don’t know why nobody seems to have heard of it and is sticking with the SUPER LAME AND INEFFECTIVE oatmeal/calamine bull.
Seriously.
This will change your life.

October 2, 2013 at 1:34 pm
(65) Gail says:

Watch out for cashews if you are allergic to mango and poison ivy. The shell contains urushiol as well. Currently I have blisters on the soles of my feet, palms of my hands and fingers. TI has started up my arms now on day 3. I have had asteroid shot, am taking Benadryl and using a steroid cream. You can’t do much without the use of your hands. I have to be careful about walking. Had the same reaction when I was 12. Didn’t know about the urushiol back then. No wonder I have never liked mango.

October 7, 2013 at 8:40 pm
(66) Nicole says:

I have developed a pretty severe case of “mango mouth” as research has shown it is commonly referred to. I thought I had cold sores, and have never had them in my life, but I went straight to the dermatologist to find out what was going on after I woke up with a strange red puffy rash on the right top side of my mouth yesterday. Since then it has rapidly progressed, and I now have several itchy, water filled blisters around my mouth and it’s completely red all the way around my mouth and down to my chin. After several questions, my derm asked me directly if I had eaten mango from the skin recently, which I thought was the weirdest thing, since I did about 3 days before the reaction first popped up. (I’ve never cut up a mango before the other day on a whim) My derm told me I am only allergic to the skin of mangoes and- for all of you- dry chinese mushrooms (whatever those are), but I doubt I will ever eat a mango again. I’m wondering if anyone else has any stories for how long it took to heal. It looks TERRIBLE, I am embarrassed to walk around outside.

October 29, 2013 at 2:17 pm
(67) Rita says:

Tropical fruit (mangoes and papaya) and cooked peaches taste like soap to me, so I try not to eat any. That means I stay away from fruit salads. I had a severe throat swelling after eating a spoonful of hot&sour soup. Luckily, ice water kept my throat open. I wonder if there is a connection….go figure!

November 19, 2013 at 2:57 am
(68) Suzanne says:

For the past week and a half I’ve had a terrible case of mango itch. I have been miserable, with a swollen face and eyes and a horrible rash all over. I have it on many parts of my body, including all of my mucus membrane areas, as well as inside my nose and eyelids.
It has been a nightmare and NOTHING seemed to work–UNTI I remembered what I used to use many years ago when I went hiking with my kids. I used to carry a spray bottle containing water and capful of chlorine bleach that I would spray on my children and on myself to break the chemical reaction of poison ivy on our clothes and skin. It always worked like a charm, and since the bleach mixture is really weak, it never ruined our clothing.
About 2 hours ago I put about 11/2 cups hot purified water to a 1/2 capful of chlorine bleach and applied it to my rashes & Voila–like magic, the itching and irritation stopped.
I know that chlorine bleach has carcinogenic properties , but I was so miserable, I had to so something and I’m glad I did! I’ve had to apply a small amount to the infected areas a couple of times within the last hour, but I have to say that this is the most astonishing fix I’ve ever had the pleasure of finding!! I even put some on my eyelids with no stinging, This is freaking amazing!! Wish I would have remember this before I spent a fortune on all of the bogus products from the pharmacy. If you try this but be careful that you use very little bleach and try it out on a test spot first. Good Luck. I’m feeling great!!!

January 3, 2014 at 8:49 pm
(69) graham says:

picking mangos for 2 years mainly bowen,the bosses only care about the speed they are picked in.when 5 to 10 people are working a tree the sap is every where,your cloths will be soaked in the shit,if you can smell it its on you.most people come out with a rash after the season has finnished,purple stains on you,mainly fingers,then the burn starts.you have to scratch it you cannot stop.you will scab up after the blisters and u will scratch the scabs off.i have scares all over my arms.you feel so sick its horrible…sorry to the backpackers in australia they will use you because you do not know.my ex partner spent 1 week in hospital her entire body was burnt,they all thought she was burnt in a car accident.hospital remedy was antihistomins and bathing in cottonsead oil .i love mangos and stuped me picked some and ate one now i am paying the price again.

January 18, 2014 at 12:03 am
(70) Nancy says:

Re Mangoes, oh my, how clear this is now. Nasty blistering, swelling, itching, etc., ad nauseum not long after eating this delicious new fruit….no allergies in my family…figured it was the heavenly fruit (some New Englanders never have a mango until adulthood, imagine that).
Determined to have a definitive answer, I later purchased and consumed one and a half overripe mangoes. The skin was not removed and truth be told, I did bite straight through the skin, slobbered over the favors (what the kids refer to as “pornstar” behavior) to an embarrassing degree. My British heritage bowed its head in disgrace/disgust as my embracing the pleasures of the fruit so wholeheartedly could easily have been mistaken for carnal indulgences. The audio portion only, to clarify. The visual might have been a morphing of a woman who has just had her cochlear implant turned on for the first time and the scene in the movie When Harry Met Sally; Meg Ryan’s restaurant scene.
Did I mention I liked the taste? Ok.
Why, you wonder, did you only eat one and a half rather than the two mangoes? The pins and needles had started in my lips and gums. Only a matter of minutes — when the worst had passed (lips just about fell off, impetigo to boot, weeks to heal) I went to a doctor………that’s a New Englander for ya. Next to mangoes, prednisone is my favorite drug.
Sincerely, nancy

January 29, 2014 at 9:07 pm
(71) Dinesh says:

see in mangoes there are diffferent problems. When it is naturally or organically grown. you will not find poison effect. there are people in the industry who stuff chemicals and steroids for the plant where it results to akward conditions.

February 19, 2014 at 1:27 am
(72) squoggy says:

Very allergic to mango. Never ate them as a child in uk. Moved into a house with a mango tree. Ate couple and harvested bag fulls from tree. Woke up with burning rash all over body. Face, eyes and lips swelled hugely. Took drs weeks to figure the cause. It was awful and so painful. One course of steroid prescribed and relief started in a few hours. Scary stuff!

February 28, 2014 at 11:28 pm
(73) aroth says:

If you’re having a reaction caused by exposure to mango/mango trees I’ve found that oatmeal-based soap (such as Aveeno) is far, far more effective at clearing things up than steroid creams and other remedies a doctor may typically recommend. I’ve had a couple of bad reactions that persisted for over a week even while applying a steroid cream regularly. 2-3 days of vigorous scrubbing with the oatmeal soap (during showers in the morning) did the trick, and the relief was almost immediate after the first shower.

March 4, 2014 at 10:07 am
(74) T says:

Mangos do not grow on vines. They grow on big, beautiful trees.

April 8, 2014 at 11:13 am
(75) Laila says:

Homeopathic Rhus Tox should help with the rashes, etc. From the site 1-800-Homeopathy: For skin, Rhus tox soothes itching, blistering rashes and red patches whether due to poison ivy, other irritants or hives, especially if symptoms worsen with getting wet or cold. Rhus’ ability to calm a variety of irritations extends to soothing eye irritations, swollen eyelids and skin outbreaks, as well as facial swelling and heavy, painful-to-touch occipital headaches.

It is also good for pain, swelling and stiffness of joints: Rhus ranks among the best for easing stiff joints with tearing pains, swelling, redness, sprains, etc.. It earned the title “Rusty Gate Remedy” by relieving joint and back pains that hurt on initial movement but improve after limbering up– just like an old gate that squeaks at first but quiets down after a few swings. Also like the rusty gate, these joints do not like cold damp weather– they can be great storm predictors. For back relief, Rhus specializes in strain or injury, stiff necks, lower back pain, lumbago, even nerve pains, especially if they feel better lying on a hard surface, walking or bending backwards. Similar joint pain shows up in Rhus’ flu or fever along with a dry swollen throat, hoarseness, chills and much weariness and fatigue. I take it, and recently tried mangoes without trouble. Don’t know if taking Rhus Tox prevented that or not as I am not sure if I ever had an exposure to poison ivy or oak.

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