What Do Chigger Bites Look Like & How Do You Treat Them?12 Sep 2018
In some parts of the United States, many don’t even know what chiggers are. These are tiny biting mites that are the larval form of an eight-legged arachnid. While in their larval form, they appear to have only six legs. They begin by being bright reddish-orange in color and are categorized as tiny parasites that emerge mostly in the Northeastern and Midwestern United States. They mostly perch on grasses and other vegetation and are just waiting to latch on to your skin and that of unsuspecting animals that passed by.
Chigger larvae do not bite humans, rather they pierce the skin and inject skin dissolving enzymes that form a tube that extend down into the skin. In comparison to the tick, they do not suck blood. They only eat liquefied skin cells, and after they drop off, red pimple-like itchy bumps form at the site of their feeding. Chiggers most often seek out protective folds of clothing or skin where there is tightness, such as waste bins, behind the knees, in the folds of the buttocks, and elbows. If you have spent any time outdoors, consider removing all of your clothing, washing them in hot water, and taking a hot shower immediately upon your return to rid yourself of any possible chigger welts.
Avoid These Folk Remedies
To treat chigger bites, there are certain popular remedies that are simply unhelpful. The digestive enzymes injected by the mite can cause notable itchiness and can be exacerbated by a patient’s individual immune response. Folk remedies for chigger bites include covering the bite with petroleum jelly or nail polish. This serves no purpose as the ones that have already emerged are because the mite has dropped off by itself.
How Long Does it Take to Get Over Chigger Bites?
After having grown itchy chigger welts, it is important to avoid causing secondary infections by scratching. After about 1 or 2 weeks, these skin lesions heal on their own, assuming they have not been infected.
How Do You Get Rid of Chigger Bites?
If you have numerous bites, or if any of them have become infected, indicated by heat, swelling, or pus coming from the bike, it is crucial to seek medical attention at a moment’s notice. Preferred Urgent Care in Katy, TX, we’re here to help in the case that one of your chigger bites has become infected. Feel free to save her number in your phone to be able to contact us in a pinch.