When I was growing up, mangos were a divisive fruit in my family. I remember sitting in my grandpa’s back yard as a child, watching him as he taught me different methods of slicing up a mango; of discarding that large seed; of how they tasted good in smoothies, soups, or (my favorite) — just on their own. My father and mother, however, both pledged eternal disdain for the fruit.
They claimed that eating a mango made their throats itch, and caused rashes. As it happens, mangos belong to the same plant family as poison ivy. While the fruit is usually safe for consumption, the skin of a mango can actually give you the same contact dermatitis as a brush with poison ivy, poison oak, or poison sumac can — but that’s not all.
Over the July 4th weekend, a young girl named Eliana was eating a mango out in the sunshine. Later, her parents discovered a sunburn over her chest, but couldn’t figure out what had happened. Upon taking her to the doctor, the cause of the burn was revealed. After this happen, A question raised in the mind of people that can mangoes get sunburned? You guessed it: mangos.
Eliana’s mother, Melina Kaufman, told WFOR: Eliana “had spent the day in the pool. She was wearing sunscreen and a swim shirt the whole time. That evening, they all went to [a] friends' house in Siesta Key.” There, Eliana plucked a mango from a backyard tree and ate it. “Eliana never complained about any pain that night but was very tired.
The next morning, while putting on her bathing suit, Seth saw her chest and noticed what looked like a burn with five water blisters on it (each the size of a pencil eraser),” Kaufman added. After a trip to the pediatrician’s office, the Kaufmans learned that Eliana had phytophotodermatitis, a skin condition that results from sensitivity to chemicals in certain plants and fruits.
The reaction is catalyzed when affected skin is exposed to some form of ultraviolet light. The doctor prescribed Eliana a topical cream. She is currently in recovery, but Kaufman wanted to share the story in the hopes to inform other parents. “It is a danger that all parents should be aware of especially in summer,” she said. “We hope to prevent this from happening to others.”