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Options in managing chigger bites

There are various ways in managing chigger bites. Chiggers are small mites which are members of the arachnid family. Chiggers attach themselves to people walking through infested vegetation. Chiggers initially explore their victims for at least 3-6 hours before biting them. They usually attach to the thin-skinned areas of the body such as the waist, ankles, groins, armpits and at the back of the knees.

A magnifying glass is needed check for chiggers. They are red in color and can be seen when clustered as groups in the skin.

Symptoms of chigger bites

  • Chigger bites cannot be seen until it begins injecting digestive enzymes in the skin usually after 1-3 hours.
  • Itchiness of the affected area
  • The bitten area turns red, flat or raised. Oftentimes, appearing similar to a blister or pustule.
  • The itchiness is caused by the presence of stylostome and becomes severe within 1-2 days after the bite.
  • If there are multiple bites in the area, the condition might be mistaken for eczema or allergic contact dermatitis.

Treatment

Chigger bites

Apply an ice pack or cold compress on the affected area to lessen the itching.

  • Take a hot shower, scrub the body using soap to remove chiggers from the skin and prevent skin reaction caused by the bites.
  • Use a prescribed antihistamine or topical hydrocortisone cream to lessen the itchiness of the area. Apply calamine lotion with zinc oxide on the area to lessen the itchiness. Take oral antihistamines to lessen the itchiness of the area.
  • Vicks Vaporub can be used to lessen the inflammation and itching caused by chigger bites. It also prevents swelling and breaking up of blisters. Mix salt to Vicks Vaporub and apply immediately to the bite site before going to sleep at night to prevent the formation of rashes. If there is swelling, repeat the procedure until swelling is reduced.
  • Apply an ice pack or cold compress on the affected area to lessen the itching. Take a cool shower or apply a cold compress.
  • In a cup of water, add a tablespoon of Epsom salt and apply the solution on the bite site and leave it on to dry naturally. Epsom salt can help lessen the swelling.
  • Avoid scratching the affected area. If the skin was accidently damaged, apply an antiseptic ointment to prevent infection.

Tips

  • Avoid scratching the bite. Simply slap in a gentle manner to lessen the itching.
  • Wash clothing using hot water.
  • Spray non-toxic bug spray around the waist band, ankles and tight areas of the body to prevent chiggers from attaching to the skin.
  • Wear loose-fitting, long sleeved shirts and long pants when walking through vegetation where there are plenty of chiggers. The cuffs should be tightly closed and tuck the hem of the pants into the socks.

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