Mango Allergy Overview

Mangoes can cause allergic reactions in some people, although this is very rare. A rash may occur when you touch the mango peel, but more severe reactions are also possible.

If you are allergic to mangoes, you may be able to eat mangoes if you don’t touch the mango skin. However, if the allergy is more severe, some people may need to avoid mangoes entirely.

This article explains the causes and symptoms of mango allergy in adults and babies. It also explores how a mango allergy is diagnosed, and the treatment options available.

Signs and Symptoms of Mango Allergy

There are two allergic reactions to mangoes:

  • rash around the mouth
  • experience a severe, life-threatening reaction called allergic reaction

Depending on the individual, an allergic reaction to mangoes may occur immediately or several days after exposure to mangoes.

rash

contact dermatitis, an itchy rash with blisters or bumps, is the most common allergic reaction to mangoes. The rash is usually near the lips and the skin around the mouth, but it can affect any part of the body.

It can take up to 7 days for the rash to appear after contact with mangoes.

Symptoms of contact dermatitis caused by mangoes include:

  • redness
  • itching
  • swelling
  • dry, peeling skin
  • blister

Keep in mind that mango peels often trigger rashes. Many people who have a tendency to develop contact dermatitis after consuming mangoes do not experience any symptoms if the fruit is cut from the skin before consumption.

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The most common type of allergic reaction to mangoes is a rash called contact dermatitis. It usually appears around the mouth, but can also appear on other parts of the body. Symptoms of this rash include itching, swelling, and blisters.

People get atopic and contact dermatitis in different ways

allergic reaction

Sometimes a mango allergy can cause a severe allergic reaction called allergic reaction. It is characterized by swelling, changes in blood pressure, wheezing, and difficulty breathing. This can be life-threatening.

Allergic reactions may occur after eating mango pulp, but more likely after eating mango peels.

When to call 911

Call 911 or seek emergency care if you experience the following symptoms after eating mangoes: vomiting, shortness of breath, wheezing, fast heartbeat, dizziness, or swelling of your tongue, throat, or face.

How to Prevent Allergic Reactions

baby mango allergy

Food allergy symptoms are similar in infants and adults. Allergic reactions can quickly progress from uncomfortable to life-threatening. For some people, just a tiny amount of the allergen can trigger a reaction.

That said, food allergies are more common in infants than adults. It is also more likely to become severe. One reason for this is that babies have more sensitive skin than adults, so they are more likely to develop contact dermatitis after touching something sensitive.

Any signs of an allergic reaction in an infant should be taken seriously. If you suspect your baby has an allergic reaction:

  • Stop feeding immediately.
  • Call 911 or go to the hospital immediately.

An estimated 8 percent of schoolchildren in the U.S. have a food allergy. The most severe allergic reactions are caused by milk, eggs, fish, shellfish, wheat, soy, peanuts and tree nuts. Fruit allergies are extremely rare in childhood.

reason

Urushiol is an oil that can be found in the juice, peel, stem, and leaves of mangoes. In those with allergies, it can cause a reaction on contact.

Rashes from mangoes are more common after contact with the plant, rather than consuming the fruit just because of the location of the oil.

cross reaction

mango tree is part of it Anacardiaceae plant family. The same goes for poison oak, poison ivy, and poison sumac, which all contain urushiol.

If you are allergic to this group of plants, you may also have a reaction to mango and vice versa. This is called cross-reactive allergy. This means that the body cannot differentiate between an allergen in one plant and an allergen in another.

This usually causes a rash. It can also cause oral allergy syndrome (OAS), which causes sudden swelling and itching in the mouth, lips, and throat.

It’s worth noting that the shells of cashews and pistachios also contain urushiol, so they also cause a similar reaction to mangoes.

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Most allergic reactions to mangoes come from touching the peel. People with severe allergies to mangoes experience an allergic reaction shortly after touching or consuming mangoes. This is a life-threatening medical emergency. If you suspect an allergic reaction in yourself or your child, call 911 or go directly to the hospital.

diagnosis

Parents are encouraged to introduce babies to a new food one at a time so they can monitor for signs of allergies. Doing this eliminates the possibility that the reaction could be caused by something else.

You may be able to tell if you are allergic to mangoes if you experience a reaction immediately after being exposed to mangoes.

However, it may not always be obvious whether you or your child has this particular allergy.

If you develop a rash, you should see a healthcare provider as soon as possible.

Tests used to determine the cause of skin irritation may include:

  • A skin prick test, where a needle is used to prick a small amount of the allergen into the skin and monitor you for signs of a reaction
  • A patch test, where a potential allergen is applied to your skin on a patch and you watch
  • a blood test called the ImmunoCAP test, which detects immune proteins called antibodies

treat

Avoiding mango peels is often an effective way to prevent rashes. If you do get one, it will most likely go away on its own within a few days.

For more severe rashes, treatment options may include:

  • Over-the-counter itching creams, such as hydrocortisone, to relieve discomfort
  • prescription strength corticosteroids creams, which are medicines that are applied to the skin to help reduce swelling and irritation
  • Oral steroids

If you are at risk for an allergic reaction, your healthcare provider will give you an epinephrine auto-injector, which is an injection that contains epinephrine. When epinephrine is injected, it stops the allergic reaction. However, you still need to contact emergency services immediately for additional care.

What to do in an allergic reaction emergency

generalize

A mango allergy can trigger a rash or a more severe reaction called anaphylaxis. Most people tend to be allergic to the urushiol oil in mango peels.

Therefore, if you suspect that you have this allergy, it is best to avoid mango peels and mango plants. You can still eat mangoes as long as the peel is removed for you.

If you’re not sure if you have a mango allergy, you might consider getting a diagnosis by a healthcare provider. They may do a skin test or blood test to find out if you have this particular allergy.

Treatment for mango allergy may include topical creams or oral steroids. If you have a severe reaction, you may need to use an epinephrine auto-injector and seek immediate medical attention.

VigorTip words

If you experience discomfort after consuming mango, be sure to consult your healthcare provider before consuming it again. Keep in mind that some people allergic to mangoes may develop a cross-reactive allergy to cashews and pistachios. Therefore, it is best to ask your doctor if any of these are safe to consume.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Is mango allergy common?

    No, mango allergies are rare, but can still occur. If you are allergic to latex, birch, or mugwort pollen, you may also be allergic to mango.

  • When can I start feeding my baby mango?

    When your baby is about 6 months old, you can start introducing your baby to solid foods like mangoes gradually.

  • How long does it take for a mango allergy to go away?

    Most babies stop developing food allergies during their teenage years.