Yesterday was a sad, sad day for me. After 3 days of an insanely itchy face and lips (on top of recovering from a cold, mind you) I came to the conclusion that I’m allergic to one of my most favorite fruits!
Heck, I love them so much I even made my own Mango Cheesecake recipe!
Well, my love died a little bit yesterday morning when, after what felt like Google search #2,643 I realized that the allergic reaction I’ve been experiencing the past few days is courtesy of the mango… more specifically the mango peel.
Apparently mango is in the same botanical family as poison ivy. The peel and sap from mango contain the same oil, urushiol, that causes a similar autoimmune response caused by its 3 shiny-leafed relative. It’s commonly referred to as mango mouth (go on, laugh) and is fairly common in people who are highly sensitive to poison ivy, moi included.
I found a couple photos (here, here & a more severe case here) for those interested in seeing what this reaction may look like. The first two are pretty mild cases from what I saw but similar to what I experienced. The skin around the mouth gets dry, flaky, itchy, bumpy and actually weeps like poison ivy. I can tell you that the itching and burning feels 10x worse than it looks.
From what I understand (and according to the American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology), I can still eat mango as long as I steer clear of the peel and sap. This also means not eating the fruit out of the skin like I regretfully did this past weekend. FAIL. Wearing rubber gloves or having a friend slice up the mango might be the way to go in the future but I think I’ll avoid them entirely for a little while. I’m still slightly scarred from this experience.
After a quick trip to the doctor yesterday, I’m feeling and looking much better thanks to a little tube of steroid ointment that looks no different than my favorite shiny lip gloss. I was able to determine my sensitivity to mango by reading other blog posts and photos and hope this post can help others in the future!
Have you ever heard of this sensitivity to mango peel before?