Thursday, May 14, 2009

You Have Got To Be Kidding Me

Although I have been careful about washing fruits and vegetables well before we eat them in China (just as I am in the US), I have definitely become less concerned about the potential risks associated with Chinese produce. We've all enjoyed the seasonal products that abound in Beijing...In fact, pineapples, watermelons, and mangoes are highlights of all the corner markets right now.

So what is one to think when one develops a strange rash around one's mouth, and later on one's chin....And then one's cheek? One just chalks it up to good ol' poison ivy.

That one is me, and that poison ivy allergy rears its ugly head (sometimes systemically) about once or twice a year. Yet, while we have toured much of Beijing lately, the selections have not really been in nature-type settings. The hutongs don't even have trees.

So today, I'm racking my brain trying to figure out where I have picked up this rash. Did Z walk through a patch, and did the oil get on his shoes, and when I put them away yada yada...You get the picture. Faced with the potential hassle of having to go halfway to New Jersey (i.e., all the way across Beijing) to a clinic for some prized prednisone, I've raided my medicine cabinet instead. First Benadryl, then A&D Ointment, then Caladryl. All help, but none answer the question.

Then I examine my "new food memory."

Mangoes? That's the only food I've introduced to my diet over the last couple of weeks. They are so incredibly good here that I had vowed to eat one a day until I can't find them at the market anymore.

Then I did what most 21st century moms do...Type it into Google...


As my Mom likes to say, "Bingo!"

There it is...

"mangoes are unique in that they belong to the plant family that also contains poison oak, poison ivy and poison sumac. Contact with the skin from mangoes, such as with eating a mango like an apple, can result in contact dermatitis around the mouth. These symptoms may include redness, itching and flaking on the areas of skin that the mango touched, and look much like a poison oak reaction."

Who would've thought mangoes could be related to poison ivy!?

Oh well, I guess "A mango a day and the rash will stay!"



At 10:12 AM, Blogger Richard said...

Never would have occurred to me! But do you treat it the same way as poison ivy (along with avoidance in the future)? Judy Mc

At 10:39 AM, Blogger Dora Y. said...

Mrs. Balla!
#1 I'm so sorry that you got a rash from mangoes. I hope it's just a certain type because Mangoes ROCK!

Michelle Lopez and I went to Blair to visit you earlier this year, and to our dismay, we found out that you were in China.

Which is GREAT! Just wanted to leave a message! Looks like you're all having a great time!


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