Home Remedies For Chigger Bites And It’s Preventive Measures

You are back from an outdoor activity and have developed a cluster of red bumps with the pronounced itch.  This may be an indication of chigger bites.

Chiggers also known as harvest bugs are tiny pests that are barely visible to naked eyes. Moist grassy field and areas near lakes and streams are their ideal habitats, so it’s not a big deal if they have infested your lawn.

It’s not the adult but the larval form of mite that is the culprit. Contrary to the belief chiggers do not burrow themselves in the skin. Instead, they insert tiny feeding tubes into your skin to inject digestive enzymes to feed upon the decomposed tissue. The symptoms and signs appear typically after 1-3 hours. The bitten area becomes red and itchy due to the presence of enzyme stylostome. Itching is more intense for the first 1-2 days. These mites are so small that you won’t be able to notice being bitten by them until the red coloured unpleasant rash appears. Chigger bites heal in 1-3 weeks. Meanwhile to ease the symptoms try home remedies for chigger bites suggested in our article.

What Are The Symptom Of Chigger Bites

The symptoms of chigger bites are many times confused with hives or other infectious rashes.

How will you identify chiggers bites?

Chiggers bites appear as red small pimple or blister in the skin folds with a bright red dot in the centre. Most commonly they develop on armpits, ankles, waist, behind knees, crotch and ankles. These bumps occur in clusters and keep on growing for a few weeks. Chigger bites do not cause any serious health condition, but intense itchiness may make you look for home remedies. Constant itch may also cause bleeding and lead to skin infections worsening the appearance of bites, so it’s better to treat the problem as soon as possible.

home remedies for chigger bites
home remedies for chigger bites

Home Remedies For Chiggers Bites

There are incorrect beliefs that application of alcohol, nail polish or bleach on the bites may help you get rid of chigger bites. But these methods are not at all effective. To relieve the itch and swelling try home treatment for chigger bites mentioned below.

  1. Cold compress- To get rid of itching apply a cold compress. The numbing effect will reduce the itching sensation.

What to do

  • Take a few pieces of ice
  • Wrap the ice pieces in a cheesecloth
  • Apply the cold compress to the bitten area.
  • Repeat this a few times in a day

*Alternatively you may also soak the affected area in cool water to alleviate the symptoms of chigger bites.

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  1. Apple cider vinegar– The antiseptic and anti-itching properties of apple cider vinegar eases swelling, itch, inflammation and also prevents secondary infection.

What to do

  • Take two cups of unfiltered and raw apple cider vinegar
  • Add it to lukewarm water bath
  • Soak yourself in it for 15-20 minutes
  • Pat yourself dry
  • Apply moisturiser to prevent dryness
  • Repeat this two times in a day.

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  1. Chamomile- Another useful home remedy for chigger bite is chamomile as it is anti-inflammatory and anti-irritant. It soothes skin, reduces inflammation, promotes healing and relieves itching.

What to do

  • Steep chamomile tea bags in a cup of steaming water for 10 minutes.
  • Cool chamomile tea in the refrigerator.
  • Soak a washcloth in cold chamomile tea.
  • Place it on the affected area for 10 minutes.
  • Repeat this 2-3 times in a day.

Alternatively, you may also add a few drops of chamomile essential oil to a teaspoon of castor or coconut oil and apply to the bitten area a few times in a day.

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  1. Aloe vera- Not only aloe vera has anti-inflammatory properties, but it is also rich in vitamin E and keeps the skin hydrated.

What to do

  • Extract gel of aloe vera
  • Apply the fresh gel to the bitten areas.
  • After 10-15 minutes rinse it off with water.
  • Repeat this 2-3 times in a day.

Alternatively, add a half teaspoon of olive oil and a few drops of peppermint oil to 2 tablespoons of aloe vera gel and apply to the affected skin. Rise it off after 20 minutes. Repeat this three times in a day.

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  1. Epsom Salt- When Epsom salt is added to water it breaks into magnesium and sulfate. It is anti-inflammatory and detoxifies your skin. Thus, it relieves all the symptoms of chigger bites along with promoting healing.

What to do

  • Fill the bathtub with water
  • Add a cup of Epsom salt to it
  • Soak yourself for 20 minutes
  • Repeat this at least once in a day.

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  1. Baking soda- Baking soda neutralizes the skin. When your skin is neutralized, itching alleviates. It keeps you from scratching and further spread of rash. Baking soda instantly relieves you from symptoms of chigger bites.

What to do

  • Fill the bathtub with warm water
  • Mix 2 tablespoon of baking soda to it.
  • Soak yourself in it for 20 minutes.

Alternatively, add the sufficient amount of water to 4 tablespoon baking soda and make a thick paste. Apply the paste to the affected skin for quick relief from chigger bites. After 1o minutes wash it off with warm water.

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  1. Oatmeal bath– The role of oatmeal in dermatology is not new. Oatmeal is used to treat many inflammatory skin issues. You may also use it to get rid of chigger bites.

What to do

  • Take a cup of oatmeal
  • Add it to a bathtub filled with water
  • Soak yourself for 20 minutes

Alternatively, with the help of a muslin cloth tie oatmeal to the bitten area for relief.

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Preventive Measures

Summers are prime season for chiggers so take following precautions during summers before going out to wooded areas.

  • On sunny days instead of sitting on grass prefer hot rocky seats.
  • Wear proper outdoor clothing, i.e. long-sleeved shirts, long sleeved pants, thick sock and high shoes. Make sure to tuck pants into the boots.
  • After outdoor activity, make sure to bath with soap and water to remove chiggers migrated on your skin.
  • Wash all the clothes wore outdoor to kill the chiggers remaining on your skin.
  • Try not to brush up against the vegetation while hiking.

And yes, try not to scratch chigger bites rash as it may cause infection.

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