Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Oh dear...

...I think I might be allergic to mangos.

When I was about 10 years old my mom discovered that she is allergic
to mangos. Mangos and poison ivy are in the same family, and both
contain urushiols that irritate some people. My mom broke out in a
poison ivy-like rash around her lips and on her hands from cutting
fresh mango. I've never had a problem with it, and never even reacted
to poison ivy until last summer (I think this might be in part
because I learned very early from my mom how to identify poison ivy
and thus avoid it because she's quite allergic to that too). I also
hardly ever eat mangos since they aren't local and are often expensive.

On Saturday morning I ate half of an enormous mango for breakfast. It
was delicious. On Monday morning, I felt a tingling on my upper lip
and by mid day I had bumps forming all across my upper lip. I thought
it was a cold sore, because I get those, but I don't get them on my
upper lip and usually I don't get them on my lip unless I sunburn my
face (it took me years to figure this out). I was diligently not
picking at it and I treated it intensively with that Abreva sore sore
stuff. Today I've noticed a few spots on my nose (fresh mango is messy).

Last night I bought a small, perfectly ripe mango for about 25 cents,
and I ate it this morning for breakfast. It wasn't until after I'd
eaten it that it occurred to me that I might not have cold sores at
all, but mango rash on my lip instead. So, I suppose I'll see what
happens over the next few days. I think I can still eat mangos as
long as I make sure to wash my hands and around mouth right afterwards.


Karina said...

I just googled "mango rash lips" and found a hilarious blog post by another afflicted person, and to date there are 109 comments of people saying, "Wow- thanks for posting this- I have this problem too!!!" You should read this for a good laugh.

Anne-Marie said...

Yikes, I learned that they were in the same family in my botany class this semester, but I never thought about people reacting to eating mangos...sorry you had to find out the hard way! I'm immune to poison ivy, have never reacted to it even though I know of many times I've marched around in it (and everyone else I was with reacted to it). I have heard that you lose immunity with repeated exposure, though, kind of an anti-vaccine type effect, so I try to avoid it whenever possible. I hope you feel better soon, I look forward to updates on your adventures!