Q:

What do chigger bites look like?

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Quick Answer

Symptoms of chigger bites do not occur until several hours after being bitten and are typically characterized by a small pustule or blister that is extremely itchy, according to MedicineNet. The itching is caused by a chigger injecting its digestive enzymes into the skin. The worst of the itching usually passes in one to two days but the bites sometimes takes as long as two weeks to heal.

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Full Answer

Chiggers do not burrow under the skin and therefore do not need to be removed to treat the bites, according to MedicineNet. The insect larvae simply pierce the skin, feed and then leave. Treatment is primarily aimed at relieving the inflammation and itching, making calamine lotion and corticosteroid cream good choices for topical application. Oral antihistamines are also helpful in providing some relief. Do not scratch the bites; scratching increases the risk of infection and lengthens the time the bites require to heal. Visit a doctor for any chigger bites that show signs of infection, such as oozing pus, swelling or pain.

As always, the best fix is prevention. Wear long pants and sleeves when chiggers or other biting insects are likely to be a problem. Use insect repellents on skin and clothes. Wash clothes after being outdoors, and shower with soap and water after outdoor activities. Chiggers do not bite at temperatures lower than 60 degrees Fahrenheit and do not live in areas that are hotter than 99 degrees Fahrenheit.

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Related Questions

  • Q:

    What is a good treatment for chiggers?

    A:

    Some treatment options for chigger bites are an oral antihistamine and a corticosteroid ointment to apply on the bites, states MedlinePlus. To relieve the symptoms of a chigger bites, which are extremely itchy skin, rash and possible swelling, apply calamine lotion to the bites.

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  • Q:

    How do you treat chigger bites?

    A:

    Treat chigger bites with over-the-counter anti-itch medications such as calamine lotion or with ice to relieve itching, recommends Healthline. It is also best avoid hot showers or hot tub baths. Despite popular belief, chiggers do not burrow under the skin, and there is no need to remove them.

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  • Q:

    How long do chigger bites last?

    A:

    Chigger bites typically take one to three weeks to clear up, according to Healthline. During that time, small red blisters or bumps form clusters on the skin, causing itchiness and irritation. Treating the bumps with ice and anti-itch topical creams, such as calamine lotion or hydrocortisone, discourages scratching.

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  • Q:

    What are some treatments for chigger bites?

    A:

    Chigger bites are typically harmless, but home treatment methods, such as calamine lotion, anti-itch ointments or cold compresses, are effective at relieving uncomfortable itching, KidsHealth states. Washing the area with soap and water also reduces the risk of infection.

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