Monday, June 28, 2010

Mango: The forbidden fruit

About the mango.

Not many pictures, but so many people shared their stories and I found some good info. It turns out that mango sap contains urushoil wich is also a substance found in poison ivy.
It causes a severe rash, mango allergies are often noticed soon after eating a mango. Typical mango allergy symptoms are blisters around the mouth and severe itching. This usually takes from several hours to days to develop.

In June 2009, while visiting my mother in Florida I had my first mango rash. Back when I was a child in my country I used to indulge with tangy green mangoes and salt whenever I could and never experienced this reaction to it. Several years passed since I last ate one but Florida is full of mango trees, every where I look there's a tree calling me, tempting me to take one. They're in full view and within reach, after a brief rain you can collect the ones that fall on the ground around the neighborhood, who could resist that, I couldn't heck I still can't. Well I took a few off the trees, green ones just like I like them. One mango dripped a white,milky substance on my hand,didn't think anything of it. I briefly rinsed my hands and mango with water and started to chow down on my mango with salt, enjoyed it all by myself since no one else liked it this way.

Fast Forward 2 days: I woke up with a weird sensation on my lips, looked at it and noticed small bumps all around the edge of one side of my lips. I was alarmed, I immediately thought it was HERPES. Unlike love, Herpes lasts forever, I began to apply ointments to relieve the itching but ended up making it worse. By night time it had spread all over my lips and it was clear then that this was not Herpes.
Oh the pain, the swelling and the itching were annoying. Well I, figured the mango had all to do with this, so I googled and found a lot of info describing symptoms and length of reaction. I read that it usually takes 10 days to clear. Yellow liquid will ooze out of the bumps and crust over.

I ended up going to the Emergency Room, as you can see on the pictures my lips where huge. The Doctor said mangoes cannot cause this reaction, instead he considered it to be Impetigo (an acute contagious staphylococcal or streptococcal skin disease characterized by vesicles, pustules, and yellowish crusts, most common in infants and children). They gave me a prednisone( a very strong anti-inflammatory steroid) while at the emergency room, and a prescription for two, that's right, just two(2) prednisone pills and a bactroban(mupirocin topical ointment used to eradicate the bacteria that causes Impetigo.

I applied the ointment and 5 seconds later, the ointment began to make my lips burn even more.This was excruciating. From the start of the reaction I had tried anything and everything. Antibacterial ointments, lip balms, Neosporin, Tylenol, Benadryl, Caladryl, warm towels, ice,Oatmeal and so on. In the morning my lips were fused together with the yellow ooze, it would take me about 5 minutes to rinse them open. Brushing, eating,talking or simply being was a hard task. The sun would exacerbate the symptoms. It took 10 days and NO patience from my part till i was completely cured.

Pictures below are in order from beginning to end.