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Avatar universal

Tiny itchy bumps on/ around lips and genitals

This is less of a question and more of a statement (but I'd appreciate any doctor feedback). I've been searching for a possible cause of my problem for weeks now, and I think I've finally found the answer. I'm posting this for anyone who might have similar symptoms and is looking for a possible answer. Both my GP and dermatologist couldn't figure out what the problem was. Just some background--I'm a 28 yr old monogamous married male. I'm quite fit, exercise every day, eat healthily and take low dose whole food multis. I drink infrequently and have no other health problems.

I've recently had two very uncomfortable bouts of rashes occurring on my lips and penis at the same time. The first came about eight weeks ago. It began with what looked like tiny, slightly burning, tingling blisters at the corners of my lips (both sides). Within a day, dozens of tiny bumps in clusters of lines began to form at the top edge of my top lip. These tiny bumps (size of head of pin) then spread to my lower lip (only the parts exposed to the air). Some of the bumps spread up toward my nose and off the sides of my lips as well. They occasionally itched, but mainly produced an extremely dry, chapped feeling. The bumps in the corners of my mouth were a bit larger and actually cracked and were quite uncomfortable. My lips felt very tight and I had to continually apply chap stick.

At the same time, a rash of some sort began developing on the shaft of my penis, from the base up to, but not including the head. It began as a moderate itch near the base, but over one or two days spread across 80% of the shaft. At times the itching was incredibly intense, and at other times it was very minor. My GP told me it was fungus and prescribed econazole nitrate. I've had jock itch before (which wasn't nearly as itchy as this), and this looked nothing like it since the rash at its peak was nearly hot pink. If I stretched the skin of the penis, I could identify the same type of bumps that were on my lips underlying all the redness. My wife verified that they looked the same. This baffled me. My wife does not have any of these bumps or rashes on her body. Other than the rashes, I felt totally fine and had my usual level of energy.

I used the econazole cream and some 2.5% hydrocortisone on my lips and penis, and they both cleared up in ~7 days. As my lips healed, they felt very rough, and my penis became very dry for a couple of days.

Eight weeks later (beginning 5 days ago), both the lip and penis rash came back at the same time. I had not been sexually intimate with my wife for at least 3 days before that. This really perplexed and frustrated me. I began using the econazole cream again on my penis, but I really doubted I was dealing with a fungus since it was on my lips as well. I don't touch my face or penis w/o washing my hands. After literally weeks of searching online, my wife and I found something about mangoes. I'd seen the info before, but had brushed it aside because I thought it was nonsense. It turns out that it may not be nonsense. Immediately preceding both outbreaks, I'd peeled and eaten fresh mango. Apparently mango skin contains the same toxic oil (urushiol) as poison ivy, and is a member of the sumac family. I've had a couple of poison ivy cases when I was a kid, and am definitely very allergic to urushiol. I've read that even touching the skin (or pit) of a mango and then touching any part of the body can cause a severe allergic reaction. The oils can stay on the hands for hours, and it can take 24-72 hours for symptoms to appear. I definitely had the skin all over my hands when peeling the mango and sucked on the pit and ate the leftover flesh right off the inside of the skin. Regular soap might not even be enough to rid the skin of the oil. I must have scratched or touched my penis after handling the fruit (I just rinsed my hands with water after peeling the mango).

Anyway, I've read countless stories online of mango induced rashes on lips, faces, hands, eyelids, necks and yes,  genitals, all describing exactly the same symptoms I have. I even found a few photos displaying the same symptoms I'm experiencing. This last outbreak is on its way out, but you'd better believe I'm closing the door on mangoes (at least peeling them).
10 Responses
Avatar universal
It was information worth recording.However I would have expected the oral cavity to bear the major brunt of the problem.An herpes simplex type1 might of explained most of the symptoms.Fixed drug eruptions do occur in both the locations mentioned.These are just suggestions, no way reduce the good investigative work of yours.
Avatar universal
i have had the same symptoms for the past 2 days (this is day 3) and i have been continually searching online for answers. everything i've read has said either eczema or tartar control toothpaste, but i have been using the same toothpaste for years and i didnt feel i just randomly got eczema on my genitals and mouth area. i just had a mango the other day for the first time in years, approx 2-3 days before this rash broke out, and after reading what you wrote i just did a search about the mangos. thank you so much for pointing that out, that must be the problem! you don't know how relieved i am to finally know what's going on. i don't understand why no doctor can figure this out after years of med school, experience and high salaries, yet here we are on the interenet, free of charge, figuring it out.  thank you again!
Avatar universal
This morning I woke up with the most annoying itch in the very corners of my mouth... later I discovered little tiny bumps, almost like poison ivy. So I freaked out and got on the net, thinking I had some type of herpes and stumbled on this thread and what do you know I ate a ******* MANGO yesterday for the first time in forever! Thank you so much. No more mangos for this gal;)
Avatar universal
Thank you for posting this!!!!! WOW. So coincidental that I find this. Okay, I'm a bit more relieved now that someone has posted a more indepth explanation on all of this. I too got those little pin head bumps on my lips and have a reaaaally bad rash on my penis as well. It ******* *****. Hopefully this medicine my doctor prescribed me will work okay, he gave me some steroids that are supposed to help speed it up. Any tips you might want to add since you've gone through it twice now?
Avatar universal
People allergic to mango develop a rash about 24h after contact with the fruit. It usually starts with a peribuccal rash, it can extend behind the ears. 48h later you can see dryness and itching in the genital area. This allergy is rather rare, not really well known by doctors (I’m a student in medicine in montreal), so you might be misdiagnosed by a general practitioner, the doctor might tell you that you have fungus infection. Patients usually consult thinking they have sexually transmitted disease (like herpes). Don’t worry, herpes rash is composed of usually painful and larger lesions/pimples. You are allergic to the skin of mango, so ask someone to peel it with a knife (remove at least 5 mm) and you may still enjoy eating mangoes!

For treatment, use a topic anti-inflammatory cream, hydrocortisone is the most widely prescribed, and it is available in lower concentrations on pharmacy shelves (at least, it is in Canada) if you don’t have time to see a doctor. If you don’t see improvement upon 4-5 days, I strongly recommend you get checked by a doctor and don’t forget to tell you’ve applied a topic anti-inflammatory cream.
Avatar universal
I ATE YELLOW MANGO (not the green/red one)

wow this is relieving to come across this forum.. this is the second time i had this out break i also had a mango.. i didnt even have a chance, since usually i will eat the mango skin if its not to bitter..

if anyone knows a good way to get rid of it faster please post..

ive tried different things on it, i wasnt sure what i was up against but im going to do more research on how to counteract the effects

for my lips i would normaly put burts bees lip balm, contantly to make sure my lips are always moist.. during the day it works great i can feel my lips getting soft and they feel much better, but usually when i wake up in the morning they are much worse.. if you able to put it on at night also then might go awat faster, im usually a heavy sleeper.

for my penis,

rubbing and scratching it made it spread much faster, and if i would put lotion on my skin after i rub it then it felt a littler burning and lotion also made it spread. masturbation will only increase your pain.

the first time i got it, i did try something and i feel that it made it go away faster.. i put a condom on and rubbed the parts that had it.. and what that did, it made the out break dry, it took away the redness and made it less itchy, but while it was on it was slightly uncomfortable.  after a day of dryness i put lotion on it and it got better. not sure what the condom had that helped.. and remember this is not proven just something i tried.. so be careful

the second time i tried to touch it the least i possibly could, so far so good.. it still spread, and its itchy but wasn't as bad as first time..

well good bye mangoes..
Avatar universal
Thank you so much for your post!  This happened to me for the first time and I looked all over the internet... No help whatsoever.  I was trying to think of what could have cause it and never realized it could have been a mango!  I am highly allergic to poison ivy.  I really had to think back and remembered that I had eaten a mango prior to the symptoms.  In fact my wife had to remind me and she also had mentioned that the mango's had an oily sap all over them.  Wow! I was really sweating it there for a minute.  I am in a financial crunch and have no insurance.  I also have 2 kids and have been avoiding contact in case I was contagious.  Any idea how long it lasts or if there is anything that could lessen or eliminate the symptoms?  Anyway, thanks again for the help!  I hope others with this problem come to this page before sifting through all of the other B.S. on other forums like I did.    
Avatar universal
Dear Readers,
I had the same problem and attacked twice with genitals & lips bumps & irritation and i know how difficult it is to cope - up with, and i realised that this is 80% because of "sabudana" Sago.
Since i don like it and don hate this food but i just tried twice eating and realize that this is the fact..., well my doctor says its reaction of some medicine but i personally feel if mango can cause then this food [sabudana] too can cause the problem as this literally contains all sticky kind of things out of which its made.
plz suggest any remedies
Avatar universal
Thank you!!! This answered my husband's problem immediately! Exact same symptoms as his...luckily I found your post on my first google search. I read it to him and he realized the outbreak happened right after he ate 3 mangoes back to back. Thanks!!
Avatar universal
OMG I'm so glad o found this post. I have the exact same thing. Very itchy eye lids, ears, genitals and a few on the neck. I've never had anything like this before and I've pealed my first mango in maybe 20 years a day or so before this happened. The mango is pretty much the smoking gun. I have another mango on my desk at work that i have been touching off and on waiting for it to ripen. I'm going to promptly throw it in the trash. I never want to go through this again.

Thanks for the post!
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