Exploring the mango-poison ivy connection: the riddle of discriminative plant dermatitis

Contact Dermatitis. 2005 Jan;52(1):3-5. doi: 10.1111/j.0105-1873.2005.00454.x.


A relationship between sensitivity to poison oak or poison ivy and mango dermatitis has been suggested by previous publications. The observation that acute allergic contact dermatitis can arise on first exposure to mango in patients who have been sensitized beforehand by contact with other urushiol-containing plants has been documented previously. We report 17 American patients employed in mango picking at a summer camp in Israel, who developed a rash of varying severity. All patients were either in contact with poison ivy/oak in the past or lived in areas where these plants are endemic. None recalled previous contact with mango. In contrast, none of their Israeli companions who had never been exposed to poison ivy/oak developed mango dermatitis. These observations suggest that individuals with known history of poison ivy/oak allergy, or those residing in area where these plants are common, may develop allergic contact dermatitis from mango on first exposure. We hypothesize that previous oral exposure to urushiol in the local Israeli population might establish immune tolerance to these plants.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Child
  • Dermatitis, Allergic Contact / diagnosis
  • Dermatitis, Allergic Contact / immunology*
  • Dermatitis, Toxicodendron / diagnosis
  • Dermatitis, Toxicodendron / immunology*
  • Desensitization, Immunologic
  • Environmental Exposure / adverse effects*
  • Female
  • Food-Processing Industry
  • Humans
  • Israel
  • Male
  • Mangifera / adverse effects
  • Mangifera / immunology*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Toxicodendron / immunology
  • Travel
  • United States