Chiggers (Bites) (cont.)
Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD
Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD, is a U.S. board-certified Anatomic Pathologist with subspecialty training in the fields of Experimental and Molecular Pathology. Dr. Stöppler's educational background includes a BA with Highest Distinction from the University of Virginia and an MD from the University of North Carolina. She completed residency training in Anatomic Pathology at Georgetown University followed by subspecialty fellowship training in molecular diagnostics and experimental pathology.
William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR
Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.
In this Article
- What are chiggers?
- What do chiggers look like?
- How do chiggers bite humans?
- What are the symptoms of chigger bites?
- What is the treatment for chigger bites?
- What are the complications of chigger bites?
- How can chigger bites be prevented?
- Chiggers At A Glance
What are the symptoms of chigger bites?
A chigger bite itself is not noticeable. After the chigger has begun to inject digestive enzymes into the skin (usually after about 1-3 hours), symptoms typically begin.
- Pronounced itching is the most common symptom.
- The area of the
bite may be reddened, flat, or raised; sometimes it resembles a
- The itch is due to the presence of the stylostome and usually is most
intense within 1-2 days after the bite.
- The itching persists for several days, and complete resolution of the skin lesions can take up to two weeks.
What is the treatment for chigger bites?
Many home remedies for chigger bites are based upon the incorrect belief that chiggers burrow into and remain in the skin. Nail polish, alcohol, and bleach have been applied to the bites to attempt to "suffocate" or kill the chiggers. But because the chiggers are not present in the skin, these methods are not effective.
Treatment for chigger bites is directed toward relieving the itching and inflammation. Calamine lotion and corticosteroid creams may be used to control itching. Oral antihistamines, such as diphenhydramine (Benadryl), may also be used for symptom relief.
Learn more about: Benadryl
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