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Why do I get an itchy rash around my mouth after eating mangoes?


Updated May 14, 2014

Question: Why do I get an itchy rash around my mouth after eating mangoes?
Answer: Allergic reactions can occur with any food, but mangoes are unique in that they belong to the plant family that also contains poison oak, poison ivy and poison sumac. Contact with the skin from mangoes, such as with eating a mango like an apple, can result in contact dermatitis around the mouth. These symptoms may include redness, itching and flaking on the areas of skin that the mango touched, and look much like a poison oak reaction.

Many people who notice this skin rash say that they don’t have any symptoms if they cut up the mango and eat it without the fruit touching their skin, especially if they don’t eat the peel of the fruit. In these cases, a person is probably not truly allergic to mango, since a reaction should still occur if they have allergic antibodies to mangoes.

The contact dermatitis on the skin around the mouth may respond well to low-dose topical steroids or Elidel/Protopic. It is not likely that these symptoms will get better with antihistamines.

However, only an allergist can determine if you are truly allergic to a food or not. Therefore, if you have any unusual symptoms with eating any food, check with your doctor before eating any more of the suspect food.

Learn more about food allergies.


Beltrani VS, Bernstein IL, Cohen DE, Fonacier L. Contact Dermatitis: A Practice Parameter. Ann Allergy Asthma Immunol. 2006;97:S1-38.

DISCLAIMER: The information contained in this site is for educational purposes only, and should not be used as a substitute for personal care by a licensed physician. Please see your physician for diagnosis and treatment of any concerning symptoms or medical condition.

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