While rare, mango allergy can cause mouth itching, hives, vomiting, or breathing issues shortly after exposure. A person may also experience a delayed reaction, such as a rash around the mouth or eye swelling.

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People with a mango allergy may develop symptoms after they have been in contact with mango peels or a mango tree.

Doctors can diagnose mango allergies with a thorough medical history and physical examination. Testing can confirm the diagnosis.

This article explains the symptoms, causes, and treatment of mango allergies.

People with a mango allergy may experience symptoms such as rash and itching when exposed to mango. In some severe cases, mango allergy may cause anaphylaxis, a medical condition that requires immediate treatment.

However, in most cases, mango peel is the part of the fruit that triggers an allergic reaction. Some people may be able to eat the flesh of a mango with the peel removed without experiencing a reaction.

The symptoms of mango allergy can fall into two categories.

An immediate-type allergy — also called immunoglobulin-mediated (IgE-mediated) allergy — may appear within 1 hour of exposure to the mango. This reaction is more likely to occur with exposure to mango pulp specifically and causes symptoms such as hives, vomiting, or breathing difficulty.

A delayed-type reaction, which can occur hours or days after exposure, is more common after exposure to mango peel. The delayed type of mango allergy causes an itchy rash around the mouth or eyes.

Learn more about food allergies.

We explore the symptoms of the two types of mango allergy in further detail below.

Immediate-type allergy

Symptoms usually begin within 1 hour of eating mango and include:

Immediate-type allergy can be a classic-type allergy to mango with a risk of anaphylaxis or oral allergy syndrome, which occurs due to cross-reactivity between mango and pollen. This is also known as pollen food allergy syndrome.

Learn more about allergic rashes.

In extremely rare cases, a person with mango allergy may experience an anaphylactic reaction. Anaphylaxis is life threatening, and a person should seek medical attention immediately.

Symptoms of anaphylaxis may include:

Delayed-type allergy

With a delayed-type allergy reaction, having skin contact with certain proteins in mango can cause an itchy rash to appear hours to days after exposure.

According to a 2021 review, instead of looking like hives, the skin may appear:

This type of reaction is similar to allergic contact dermatitis.

A 2022 report states that a 12-year-old developed a rash around their mouth, blisters, and flaky skin after eating mango slices.

There is no specific research into the presentation of mango allergy in babies. However, food allergies may be more common in babies.

Children have more sensitive skin and are more likely to experience dermatitis after touching an allergen.

If a person notices a rash around the mouth of a child hours to days after eating mango, they should take the infant for evaluation by a pediatrician or allergist. Delayed-type allergies with rash are not immediately life threatening and typically do not progress to anaphylaxis.

However, if there are symptoms of immediate-type allergy that are progressing quickly or showing signs of anaphylaxis — for example, rapidly spreading hives and breathing issues — a person should contact emergency services immediately.

A person may experience an allergic reaction after being in contact with a mango plant or eating the fruit.

Immediate-type allergic reactions carrying a risk for anaphylaxis do not typically occur unless a person actually eats the mango. In contrast, a delayed-type reaction causes rashes in areas that came in contact with mango, starting hours to days later, and can occur due to contact with the mango plant by touching the fruit’s peel.

Cross-reactivity

Cross-reactivity occurs when the body cannot recognize the difference between the same allergen contained in different types of plants.

Mango is part of the Anacardiaceae plant family. A person with a mango allergy may also be allergic to plants in this family, such as:

People with mango allergies may also be allergic to the following foods:

Food allergy diagnoses typically form a thorough history and physical examination. A doctor may also confirm a diagnosis from the following tests:

  • Skin prick test: A healthcare professional will use a device to apply a small amount of allergen or allergen extract to the skin. If a hive occurs in this area within around 15 minutes, this indicates the person has IgE sensitization.
  • Blood tests: The most common way to detect IgE in the blood that is directed specifically against mango, or any other allergen, is the ImmunoCAP test. If a person has evidence of IgE sensitization from skin or blood testing, as well as a convincing clinical history of IgE-mediated symptoms within a couple of hours of consuming mango, this confirms IgE-mediated allergy to mango.
  • Patch test: A healthcare professional collects results from the patch test application at 2 and 4 days. A positive result indicates a delayed-type allergy to mango. This, combined with a convincing clinical history of delayed-type rash with mango, confirms allergic contact dermatitis.

Learn more about allergy testing.

There are several treatment options for people with mango allergies. They vary based on whether a person is experiencing an immediate-type or delayed-type allergy.

Immediate-type reaction

Doctors may recommend antihistamines for immediate-type reaction, but treatment can vary on the type and severity of a person’s symptoms.

If a person is experiencing rapidly progressing symptoms of mango allergy, they may be experiencing anaphylaxis. A healthcare professional may prescribe an epinephrine auto-injector.

Delayed-type reaction

People experiencing a rash may benefit from the following treatment options:

The following section answers common questions about mango allergies.

Can people eat cashew nuts if they have a mango allergy?

Mango and cashew nuts are part of the same evergreen tree family. There have been some case reports of allergic reactions to cashew nuts in people with mango allergies, while other clinical reports have not reported reactions.

Studies have also demonstrated relatively little cross-reactivity between cashew nuts and mango pulp.

Therefore, some people with mango allergy may also experience a reaction to cashew, but others may not.

Is a mango allergy common?

Mango allergies are rare.

Why do some people feel itchy after eating mango?

If a person feels itchy after eating or touching a mango, this may mean they are allergic to it.

While uncommon, mango allergies usually trigger a rash. In very rare cases, a person may experience anaphylaxis, which can be life threatening.

Someone may experience a reaction after touching the peel but may not experience a reaction when eating the flesh of the fruit.

A diagnosis of mango allergy will usually involve a thorough clinical history and physical examination. Doctors may then confirm it with allergy testing. Treatment depends on the type of mango allergy a person has.