Understanding Chigger Bites Symptoms and How these are Treated

Chiggers are the larvae form of certain mites, usually red mites from the family Trombiculidae. It is a parasitic organism, feeding on its host for survival. It lives in especially humid areas, especially under grass and vegetation close to the ground. These chiggers cling to the shoes, socks, or hems of long pants and skirts.

Then, they crawl unto the skin in search of ideal places to feed on.

Chigger Bites Symptoms

  • Unlike popular belief, chiggers do not burrow under the skin and stay there. They actually insert feeding structures, then, inject certain enzymes unto the skin. These enzymes destroy the tissues so that the chigger can feed on these longer.
  • Still, the destroyed tissues become very itchy because of the enzymes injected by the chiggers. So, the tendency is for the patient to scratch on the bite site.
  • The following are some of the symptoms of chigger bites:
    • The bite site will be red
    • The bite site may either be flat or raised and could have liquid-filled blisters
    • The itch will persist for 1 to 2 days after the bite
    • The bite site will be itchy even after the chiggers are removed.
      This is because the injected enzyme might still be present on the bite site.

Chigger Bites How Long Do They Last

  • Chigger bites per se are hardly noticeable. The main reason for this is that the chigger is really very small, just about 1/150th of an inch in length.
  • However, when they inject the enzyme into the bite site, that’s the time when the bitten area becomes itchy.
  • If left, the chiggers can live and feed on the site for several days.
  • If the chiggers are removed, the bite sites will still be itchy for 1 or 2 days more.

Home Remedies to Treat Chigger Bites

  • Treatment for chigger bites will vary, especially determined by the amount of enzyme that the chigger was able to inject.
  • Remedies for the bite include:
    • Taking oatmeal baths
    • Bathing with soap and water, making sure to rub with a sponge or bath towel to remove the chiggers from the skin
    • Eucalyptus oil
    • Tea tree oil
    • Paste of baking soda and water
    • Alcohol might kill the chiggers but may not be very effective
  • Applying the remedies as soon as possible will help prevent complications, including infections that could harm the skin.

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