Q. After eating prepared mangos over the holidays, I bought some to peel and slice myself. I even chewed on the seed. Bad mistake!
By the next day, I was itching under my chin. This became swelling around my mouth and beside one eye.
I looked on the Internet and found that mango is related to poison ivy. Apparently there is an oil in the skin that can trigger reactions. Why is this not more widely known? I would never have suspected.
A. The sap of the mango tree and the skin of its fruit contain urushiol, the same irritating chemical that causes reactions to poison ivy and poison oak. Most people who react with an itchy rash can still eat the fruit if it has been peeled for them. But some people react to eating mangos with serious allergic symptoms such as swelling of the lips, face and tongue and even anaphylaxis.
Another allergy that might cause problems is latex. People with latex allergy may react to foods like mangos, kiwis, bananas and avocados.

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  1. Jayne
    Madison, WI

    I had the same reactions you’ve described from urushiol oil but I was exposed while cutting down the vines of Morning Glory Flowers. I didn’t know the cause until spending hours on the web. The rash appeared within 24 hours and covered a large portion of my body. I was prescribed Prednisone, used Hydrocortisone Ointment, USP 1%, and Ranitidine (which is an acid reducer… suggested by Dr. not sure what the connection was) but the itching and rash cleared up very quickly. 50% in a day and 90% on day 2.

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