PALM BEACH GARDENS (CBSMiami) –Many people are allergic to mangoes when they eat or touch the sweet fruit but did you know that mangoes can also cause severe burns on your skin?
That’s what happened to a young South Florida girl from Palm Beach Gardens who suffered a blistering burn on her chest after eating a mango outside in the sun.
Melina Kaufman posted a picture of her daughter’s injury on Facebook.
Kaufman told CBSMiami.com that her husband and daughter were in Sarasota over the weekend. Her daughter 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 his parent’s friends’ house in Siesta Key.” That’s where Eliana picked 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),” explained Kaufman.
She said they had no idea where it came from but a visit to her pediatrician’s office the next morning revealed it was phytophotodermatitis, which is a skin conditionn that happens as a result of sensitivity to chemicals in certain plants and fruits. The reaction to those chemicals is triggered when the affected skin is exposed to sunlight or other ultraviolet light.. The doctor prescribed a prescription topical cream and Eliana is recovering.
On her Facebook post, Kaufman wrote that the burn is, “Caused from an enzyme in the juice of mangos that combined with the sun to cause a chemical burn.”
Kaufman posted about the incident in order to warn other parents not to let their kids eat mangoes outside in the sun.
She also explained that it wasn’t an allergic reaction to mangoes. “It can happen to anyone, especially people with fair skin.” She told CBSMiami.com that if it was an allergic reaction, “it would have been on mouth and hands as well.”
Mango sap is very acidic and can cause terrible skin burns. In addition, the tropical fruit is actually related to poison ivy, according to GardenGuides.com and the sap of the stems, leaves and fruit skins contain a toxic irritant that can cause a rash.
Kaufman explained she wanted to share her story in order to warn other parents. “It is a danger that all parents should be aware of especially in summer. We hope to prevent this from happening to others.”