mango(58783)Credit: Wikimedia CommonsCredit: Wikimedia Commons

With its unique flavor, fragrance and taste, the mango fruit is considered as a popular favorite. This tropical seasonal fruit is also called “the king of fruits” with its health promoting qualities.

Mangoes come in as many as a thousand different varieties. It is believed to originate in Southern and Southeast Asia, but it is now widely cultivated in Africa as well as Central and South America. Mangoes belong to the family Anacardiaceae, a family of flowering and fruit-bearing plants.

Although the fruit is known to have a large number of nutrients and a positive effect in certain ailments, not all people are advised to consume it. Such a case occurs when a person experiences an adverse reaction – an allergy that triggers skin, respiratory and even behavioral symptoms.

More information about the symptoms of mango allergy as well as tests and treatments for it is available below. 

Symptoms Of Mango Allergy

The substance found in mangoes that causes irritation is called urushiol present in the sap and peel of the fruit. This substance has been identified as the leading cause of allergies in some individuals. The allergic reaction is usually a type of contact dermatitis which occurs when urushiol comes in contact with the skin. This is why a mango causes rash on several individuals.

Aside from rashes, symptoms of mango allergy includes redness, itching and flaking of the skin and lips. The allergic reaction usually develops 12-24 hours after eating the fruit. The mouth and the area around it, which has direct contact with urushiol, can swell and itch sooner than the stated period. Other symptoms can include swelling and tickling of the tongue, throat irritation and even dryness of the eyes.

In rare cases, eating mango fruit can also cause an anaphylactic reaction – a very serious allergic reaction with a range of minor and serious symptoms, from dizziness to death. Unlike previously mentioned allergic reactions, this requires prompt medical attention.

Aside from urushiol, protein content in mangoes can also cause allergies. Symptoms include sneezing, stomach pain and breathing trouble.

Tests for Allergic Reaction

To confirm whether a person is allergic from mangoes, a skin patch test can be done. In this test, the allergen solution, in this case urushiol, is placed on a pad which is then taped to the skin. The pad is left for 24-72 hours. If no symptoms of mango allergy is observed after this period, then the person will not likely suffer from contact dermatitis when eating this tropical fruit. 

Mango Allergy Treatment

Mango allergies on the skin is best treated with washing, but this is only effective when done promptly. When rashes or swelling begin to manifest, wash the affected area which soap to effectively drain the urushiol. Another natural remedy that can be used to treat mango allergy is honey. Anti-inflammatory agents in this sweet syrup called pollen allergens can reduce the allergic reaction. However, when the allergy is cross reactive – meaning the allergy develops over a period of time – other medications are prescribed.

Antihistamines can be used, but this has not shown significant effects to counter symptoms. A natural antihistamine called nettle can inhibit the production of histamine caused by the fruit. Over-the-counter anti-allergy creams can also control mild symptoms. Severe anaphylactic reactions, on the other hand, can be cured with the use of topical or oral steroids. Before administering any treatment, its best to consult an allergist to avoid aggravating the condition.

Very few people suffer from an allergic reaction to this fruit, so it is not advised to avoid eating it altogether. Mangoes, although high in calories, also have great nutritional value. Devour the fruit happily but with caution to enjoy a taste of the tropics.