The Facts About a Mango Allergy

Reactions range from mild to life-threatening

Mango on cutting board

​Verywell / Zorica Lakonic

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Mangos are a tasty, colorful piece of produce that is very popular. However, some people can't enjoy the fruit because they're allergic to mangos.

It's also possible for people to get allergy symptoms when they eat mango because they have another food allergy.

Oral allergy syndrome (OAS) is a cross-reaction between pollens and fruits that the body recognizes as being the same. It's the mildest of three potential allergic reactions a person can have.

Mangos are a fruit that can cause an allergic reaction because of OAS.

What Is a Food Allergy?

A food allergy happens when your body thinks that a substance is dangerous and tries to protect you from it.

Your immune system's overreaction to that substance (or allergen) makes you have symptoms like a skin rash.

With more severe allergies, you may have more serious symptoms, like trouble breathing.

This article will go over why mangos and OAS are related. You'll also learn how to find out if you're allergic to mangos and what to do if you're exposed.

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All About Mangos

There are more than 1,000 varieties of mangos. Most varieties have yellow-orange flesh you can eat and a peel that's green or red. Mangos are a mild-tasting fruit that can be used in sweet or savory dishes.

The mango grows on a tree that's part of the cashew family. Other plants in this family are poison oak, poison sumac, and poison ivy.

Mango and Oral Allergy Syndrome

Oral allergy syndrome (OAS) is a minor allergic reaction that happens almost immediately after eating a piece of fresh fruit. It usually gets better without treatment—often in just a few minutes.

OAS happens because there are similarities in the proteins found in mangos and pollens (usually birch pollen or mugwort pollen).

A latex allergy can also cause OAS symptoms when eating a mango (also called latex-fruit syndrome).


The symptoms of OAS can include itchiness, tingling, and/or swelling of the mouth, lips, and/or tongue. In some people, these symptoms are also felt more broadly throughout the face and, in more severe cases, down the throat.

Is OAS Serious?

If you think you might have OAS, you'll need to have skin testing done to see if there is a cross-reaction between mangos and other allergens.

Can I Eat Nuts If I'm Allergic to Mango?

People who have had a severe allergic reaction to cashews or pistachios should avoid mangos because there is a potential for cross-reactivity.

Allergy testing usually doesn't hurt and may not take long. If you're diagnosed with OAS, know that it is not a serious condition.

The saliva in your mouth is usually able to break down the allergen fast. Any allergic response you may have will probably only affect your mouth and/or lips.

However, there is a small risk of a more serious reaction like anaphylaxis.

Therefore, people with the allergy should avoid all raw forms of mango. However, cooked mango rarely causes a problem.

Mango and Contact Dermatitis

Some people will have a skin reaction to mangos called contact dermatitis.

This reaction happens because of a substance in plants from the Anacardiaceae family called urushiol. Mangos have a lot of urushiol in the peel and the fruit just beneath the peel.

Contact with urushiol will cause an allergic skin response, such as a rash, in most people.

What Is Urushiol?

Urushiol is the substance that causes rashes from poison ivy, poison oak, and poison sumac.

Having the rash from eating a mango is not as common as getting it from poison oak or ivy but can be just as uncomfortable.

What Does the Rash Look Like?

A skin rash from mango looks like a poison oak rash. In people with a mango allergy, the rash often occurs on the face within hours of eating the fruit.

The rash looks like small, itchy blisters that can ooze. It can last for several days.

How Is the Rash Diagnosed?

A healthcare provider can make the diagnosis by looking at the rash. Usually, other tests won't be needed.

However, if the reaction is very bad, patch testing on the skin can be used to confirm that mango is what caused the rash.

How Can I Treat the Rash?

Most allergic skin reactions to mangos are not dangerous or life-threatening; however, the rash can be uncomfortable.

The treatment depends on how bad the reaction is, but usually includes a topical or oral medicine called corticosteroids that help lower inflammation.

Mango and Anaphylaxis

Rarely, a severe allergic reaction can happen from eating a mango. The response, called anaphylaxis, usually starts within minutes of eating the fruit.

Here are some of the key signs and symptoms of an anaphylactic reaction:

A person having an anaphylactic reaction can get very sick, very fast. They may go into shock, fall into a coma, or have cardiac/respiratory arrest. A person can also die from the reaction.

People at risk for anaphylaxis should always carry injectable epinephrine (EpiPen) to make sure they are safe if they are accidentally exposed to mango or any cross-reactive substance.


If you are allergic to mangos, you may experience tingling or swelling in your mouth, lips, or around your face when you eat the fruit. The response is called oral allergy syndrome (OAS).

OAS can also be triggered by eating food related to mangos, like cashews. This happens because of cross-reactivity.

Most people with OAS or a mango allergy don't have serious symptoms. Rarely, people can have a severe, life-threatening reaction that requires emergency medical care.

A Word From Verywell

If you are worried that you could have a food allergy or are having symptoms of OAS when you eat foods like mango, talk to your healthcare provider. They can do tests to find out which food is the cause of your symptoms.

Once you know for sure, you can take steps to avoid mangos or foods that can cause a similar reaction.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What is a delayed allergic reaction to mango?

    Sometimes, a reaction to mangos does not appear for up to seven days after a person is exposed to the fruit. This is called a delayed (type IV) hypersensitivity reaction.

    The reaction often appears as contact dermatitis or a skin rash on the lips and skin around the mouth. However, it can affect any area of the body.

  • Are mangos related to poison ivy?

    The mango is related to poison ivy. They are both in the same family of plants, along with poison oak and poison sumac.

8 Sources
Verywell Health uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
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  2. Lauricella M, Emanuele S, Calvaruso G, Giuliano M, D’Anneo A. Multifaceted health benefits of Mangifera indica l. (mango): the inestimable value of orchards recently planted in Sicilian rural areas. Nutrients. 2017;9(5). doi:10.3390/nu9050525

  3. Bastiaan-Net S, Reitsma M, Cordewener JHG, et al. IgE cross-reactivity of cashew nut allergens. Int Arch Allergy Immunol. 2019;178(1):19-32. doi:10.1159/000493100

  4. American Academy of Allergy Asthma and Immunology. Oral allergy syndrome (OAS) or pollen fruit syndrome (PFS).

  5. American Academy of Allergy Asthma and Immunology. Oral allergy syndrome (OAS).

  6. Ukleja-Sokołowska N, Gawrońska-Ukleja E, Lis K, Żbikowska-Gotz M, Sokołowski Ł, Bartuzi Z. Anaphylactic reaction in patient allergic to mango. Allergy Asthma Clin Immunol. 2018;14:78. doi:10.1186/s13223-018-0294-1

  7. Gabrielli S, Clarke AE, Morris J, et al. Fruit-induced anaphylaxis: Clinical presentation and managementThe Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology: In Practice. 2021;9(7):2825-2830.e2. doi:10.1016/j.jaip.2021.02.055

  8. Sareen R, Shah A. Hypersensitivity manifestations to the fruit mangoAsia Pac Allergy. 2011;1(1):43-49. doi:10.5415/apallergy.2011.1.1.43

By Daniel More, MD
Daniel More, MD, is a board-certified allergist and clinical immunologist. He is an assistant clinical professor at the University of California, San Francisco School of Medicine and currently practices at Central Coast Allergy and Asthma in Salinas, California.