Tales and thoughts from the founder of NormSoft (maker of Pocket Tunes), working and living in St. Croix, USVI

Monday, June 23, 2008

Allergic to mangoes

For the second time in the past month, I just started getting this itchiness all over my body, concentrated on my lips, but also on my face, hands, legs, and other places. I've got little tiny red bumps on my lips that are itchy and sensitive.

I've had this in the past, since moving to St. Croix. The other times it seemed to happen after putting bleach in our cistern, so I chalked it up to too much bleach exposure.

But these past two times, we haven't added bleach recently. The one thing that is common, though, is that 1-2 days before each breakout, I bought some local mangoes.

It turns out that mango allergies are quite common. This article claims the allergy is to the sap on the leaves and fruit, not the actual fruit itself. Since I have been cutting the mangoes myself without wearing gloves, I probably got the sap all over me, causing the itchiness.

I knew the sap caused problems, which is why you shouldn't eat the skin on the mango and why you need to wash your hands after cutting one, which I definitely am careful about. But it seems I am much more sensitive than some people, and I should probably avoid all contact with the mango skin. This is unfortunate, since I love mango and recently planted a mango tree in our yard. Oh well, I'll train Gerald how to cut them!

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