Chiggers are a kind of bug that is related to spiders and parasites. These bugs are small and nearly undetectable to the human eye. You can get chigger bites anytime in tropical areas.
Check out everything you need to know about chigger bites from what they look like to their symptoms, prevention, and treatments.
What are Chigger Bites?
According to an article from the National Library of Medicine, Chigger is the common name for mites of the Trombiculid family. When the larvae of these mites bite it can lead to pruritus and irritation, a condition known as trombiculiasis or trombiculosis.
Chiggers, red bugs, and harvest mites are some of the names given to these larvae. Chiggers grow in low grasses and bushes all year in tropical, humid regions, or in nontropical areas during the summer and fall months.
Chigger bites are typically mild, although they can occasionally transfer illness or cause a bacterial superinfection.
Chigger Bites vs Poison Ivy:
The difference between chigger bites and poison ivy is that chiggers are mites that attach to your skin to bite, whereas poison ivy is a poisonous plant.
Chigger bites are clusters of uncomfortable, pink pimples that can get red and crusty when rubbed. They often heal on their own after one to two weeks.
On the other hand, each poison ivy leaf has three smaller leaflets. It may produce red, inflamed skin, blisters, and intense itching within hours of contact with any portion of the plant. Poison ivy rash normally goes away on its own after a few weeks.
Chigger Bites vs Flea Bites:
Chiggers and fleas are both bugs, but fleas can be seen by the human eye. They have small, flat bodies and rigid shells and lack wings. Unlike chiggers, fleas can be found in your house especially if you have pets.
Fleabites have a unique appearance. They appear as little red bumps in groups of three or four or in a straight line. Fleabites can also induce allergic responses in pets, as well as anemia from blood loss.
Chigger Bites Pictures:
Here are some chigger bites photos, to give you can an idea of what they look like:
What are some Chigger Bites Symptoms?
Chigger bites appear as itchy red lumps that resemble pimples, blisters, or tiny hives. They are most commonly found at the waist, ankles, or in warm skin folds.
Chigger bites can get larger and itchier with time and frequently occur in clusters. Some chigger bites symptoms according to the Cleveland Clinic are:
- splotchy line of red patches or pimples
- most bites are present where your clothes are in contact with the body
- severe itching
How to Prevent Chigger Bites?
Chiggers are most commonly found in the spring, summer, and fall. Chigger bites on humans can be prevented using the following methods:
- Avoid Long Grass: Avoid brushing up against foliage in forested regions that may be infected with chiggers.
- Be cautious while hiking: Hike in the center of paths rather than along the sides.
- Wear Full-covering Clothes: Wear long-sleeved shirts and slacks that can be tucked into socks or shoes.
- Use Insect Repellant: Apply insect or tick repellant on the tops of your shoes, shirt collar, cuffs, and waistline.
- Shower after returning from the outdoors: Shower as soon as you enter the house.
- Wash your clothes: Warm water should be used to wash your garments.
What is the Treatment for Chigger Bites?
The treatment for chigger bites focuses on relief from itching, redness, or swelling. Chiggers do not penetrate into your skin and separate after biting, so therapy to eliminate the mites is not required.
Some treatment options are chigger bites include the following:
- Using creams or lotions on the skin
- Taking antihistamines such as diphenhydramine
- Using an anti-parasite medicine
- Using a cold compress
- Regularly clean the afflicted skin area with soap and water
The Bottom Line
Chigger bites usually get better on their own but they can cause extreme itching and swelling. If extreme itching leads to an infection in which the skin gets red, swells, or exudes pus, then you might need the help of a doctor.
A Skin Specialist can help you find the best treatment for chigger bites. Click here to book an appointment or video consultation with the Best Skin Specialists in Pakistan Online via the Marham app.
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What do chigger bites look like?
Chigger bites appear as itchy red lumps that resemble pimples, blisters, or tiny hives. They are most commonly found at the waist, ankles, or in warm skin folds. These bites may also lead to a bacterial infection.
How long do chigger bites last on your body?
Chigger bites normally go away on their own after a few days, although they might remain for up to two weeks. But, in the case of bacterial infection, it can take longer for chigger bites to get better.
How do I get rid of chigger bites?
The easiest technique to get rid of chiggers is to lather yourself with soap and rinse with warm water many times. Itching can be reduced by removing the infected clothes. You may also use over-the-counter anti-itch drugs such as pramoxine or hydrocortisone.