Facts About Mango Allergies

The mango’s attractive red-yellow or red-green hue belies the dangers lurking below the surface.

A culprit? Oral Allergy Syndrome (OAS), a cross-reactivity between certain pollen and fruits that the body believes to be the same. This is the mildest of the three potential responses. In fact, mango (mango) differs in its ability to cause an allergic reaction.

The national fruit of India, Pakistan and the Philippines, mangoes grow on trees belonging to the cashew family Anacardiaceae. This is the same family of plants that includes poison oak, poison sumac, and poison ivy. This distinction can make eating mangoes problematic for some people and downright dangerous for others.

This article discusses several types of reactions you may experience after biting a mango stemming from oral allergy syndrome, contact dermatitis, or anaphylaxis.

do you know?

Food allergies are “essentially your body misreading a food, classifying it as dangerous, and overreacting.”

Mango and Oral Allergy Syndrome

Oral allergy syndrome (OAS) is usually a mild, uncomplicated allergy that occurs almost immediately after eating a slice of fresh fruit. It usually subsides without treatment, within a few minutes.

OAS occurs due to the similarity of proteins found in mango and pollen, most commonly birch or mugwort pollen. Oddly enough, an allergy to latex can also cause OAS symptoms when eating mangoes, a condition known as latex-fruit syndrome.

Diagnosis of OAS is usually done by skin testing to determine whether there is a cross-reactivity between mangoes and common related allergens. OAS is not generally considered a serious condition because saliva in a person’s mouth usually breaks down allergens quickly. Therefore, any reaction is usually limited to the mouth and/or lips.

However, because the risk of a more severe reaction is relatively small, people allergic to mangoes are advised to avoid all unprocessed fruit. Cooked mangoes are rarely a problem.

Is prurigo contact dermatitis?

Mangoes and Contact Dermatitis

Another reaction that can be caused by eating mangoes is contact dermatitis.This is especially due to a substance found in plants Anacardiaceae family calling Urushiol. In mangoes, high concentrations of urushiol are found in the peel and the fruit beneath the peel.

In most people, exposure to urushiol can cause an allergic skin reaction, such as a rash. With mangoes, an allergy may not be as common as poison oak or poison ivy, but in some cases, it can be just as severe.

Urushiol is the substance that causes poison ivy, poison oak, and poison sumac rashes.

This reaction is similar to a poison oak rash and most often occurs on the face within hours of consuming the fruit. It can last a few days. The rash appears as small, itchy blisters that sometimes ooze.

This mango allergy is not dangerous or life-threatening. But it can be uncomfortable and annoying. When needed, treatment includes topical or oral corticosteroids, depending on the severity of symptoms.

The diagnosis can be made based on the appearance of the rash. Testing is usually not required. If the reaction is particularly severe, a patch test (on the skin) can be used to confirm whether the mango is actually the cause of the rash.

Do not delay calling 911

If you or someone you know has a sudden, severe reaction to mango, be sure to call 911 right away.

Mangoes and Allergies

In rare cases, eating mangoes can cause a severe allergic reaction. This reaction, called anaphylaxis, usually occurs within minutes of consuming the fruit and can trigger a variety of symptoms, including:

  • stomach ache
  • Difficulty breathing
  • tightness in the chest
  • diarrhea
  • Dizziness
  • swelling of the face
  • syncope
  • measles
  • nausea
  • Heartbeat
  • throat tightness
  • Vomit
  • respite

In some cases, the patient’s condition deteriorates rapidly and can lead to coma, shock, cardiac or breathing arrest, or even death.

People who experience severe allergy symptoms after consuming cashews or pistachios should also avoid mangoes due to potential cross-reactivity. People at risk of allergic reactions should always carry injectable epinephrine (such as an EpiPen) in case of accidental exposure to mangoes or any cross-reactive substances. It is known as the “drug of choice” for reversing the effects of anaphylaxis.

Symptoms of Anaphylactic Shock


If you develop a food allergy after eating mangoes, you may choose oral allergy syndrome. As the name suggests, it occurs when the mouth and throat come into contact with raw fruit. It usually causes itching or swelling of the mouth, tongue, lips, throat and face. It is also shorter in duration and less uncomfortable and annoying than contact dermatitis. It produces a rash that sometimes oozes. But these conditions pale in comparison to allergic reactions. It can quickly trigger a wide range of reactions, including difficulty breathing, rapid heartbeat, and chest tightness. In the worst case, people could go into cardiac arrest or even die from anaphylaxis. Learning the facts about mango allergies can be unpleasant, but it can also help you prepare to counteract them.

VigorTip words

You may be concerned that you have a food allergy. Or maybe you want to exclude one. Either way, the only way to be sure is to get a food allergy test. Call your healthcare provider to find out what services they offer. You may see a full selection menu for skin testing only. Depending on your preference, you can choose a skin prick, a skin injection or a patch test. You can also choose to have a food test (for which you eat and monitor your response) or a blood test. Most allergy tests are simple and minimally invasive, and are over in less than an hour. Many people find that the results of a food allergy test can help understand reactions that were previously completely meaningless.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What is a delayed allergic reaction to mangoes?

    A delayed allergic reaction to mangoes can take up to 7 days after exposure to mangoes. This is called a delayed (type IV) hypersensitivity reaction. The reaction usually comes in the form of contact dermatitis, or a rash that appears on the skin around the lips and mouth. However, it can affect any part of the body.

    understand more:

    Mango Allergy Overview

  • Are mangoes related to poison ivy?

    Yes, mangoes are related to poison ivy.In fact, they belong to the same plant family called Anacardiaceaewhich also includes poison oak and poison sumac.

    understand more:

    What is Poison Ivy?