What are Chiggers?
Chiggers are small, hairy, red-coloured mites that belong to the family of spiders. They usually feast on the blood of their prey. Chiggers are mostly found in long grasses, woody areas, weed patches and any place with thick vegetation. They usually target the thin-skinned parts of their victim’s body, like ankles, armpits, behind the knees, groin, and waist. Chigger bites can be a bit irritating and itchy, and can be treated naturally by applying homemade remedies.
Chigger mites or chigger bugs contain a digestive enzyme, which gets injected into the skin when the larvae of these mites stick to the skin. This causes red and itchy blisters on the victim’s body.
- Red and flattened blisters or bumps
Home Remedies for Chigger Bites
1. Take a Hot Shower
As soon as you realize that you are bitten by a chigger, take a bath with hot water. Use a mild soap. This will reduce the effect of the chigger bite.
2. Apply Ice
Put an ice pack on the place where you have been bitten for a quick relief from itching. You can also put a topical cream, like Neosprin.
3. Baking Soda
Make a paste of baking soda and water, and apply it to the affected area. This is an effective chigger bites treatment.
4. Use a Dryer
Hold a dryer 5cm away from the bite and blow it dry for about 2 minutes. This will relieve the itchiness caused due to the chigger bite.
5. Apply Nail Polish
Coat the affected area with a nail polish. It will prevent you from scratching the chigger bite too much. You can also apply Elmer’s Glue to the bite.
6. Ace Bandage
In order to reduce the excessive itchiness, wrap the area with an ace bandage. This will interrupt the air supply and reduce itching.
7. Apply Calamine Lotion
To get a quick relief from itching and inflammation, you can also apply some calamine lotion on the skin.
8. Listerine Mouthwash
After washing the affected area with soap and water, soak a cotton ball in some Listerine mouthwash and apply it to the chigger rash.
9. Castor Oil
Massage some castor oil on the affected skin to get relief from the itchiness and irritation.
10. Vicks VapoRub
This is a reliable cure for chigger bite. Mix some salt in Vicks VapoRub and apply it over the bitten area. This will give you relief from intense itching. The best time to put on this mixture is at night as when you will wake up the next morning, the swelling will be gone and the rashes will be reduced to a great extent.
Grind 1-2 aspirin tablets to a fine powder. Apply this powder over the chigger bite. It will certainly help you a lot.
12. Baby Oil
After cleaning the affected area, put some baby oil on it. This will give respite from the irritation and inflammation.
13. Lavender or Tea Tree Essential Oil
You can also apply essential oils, such as tea tree essential oil, lavender essential oil or thyme essential oil for immediate relief.
14. Olive Oil
Mix some olive oil with little tea tree oil and apply it. It is one of the best natural cures for a chigger bite.
15. Apply a combination of Aloe Vera & Peppermint Oil
Take the fresh aloe vera gel and mix it with a few drops of peppermint oil, olive oil and vinegar. Apply this mixture in order to trim down the prickliness and swelling.
Scrub the affected part with cooked oatmeal. This is one of the most effective home remedies to neutralize the allergy caused by a chigger bite.
Put some cornstarch in your bath water and soak in it for some time. This will effectively reduce the soreness. You can also soak in Epsom salt water.
18. Apply a Tea Bag
Soak a tea bag in water and apply it on the area bitten by chiggers. This will lessen the chigger bite symptoms.
19. Drink Herbal Tea
You can also drink chamomile tea or green tea in order to get a soothing effect.
Preventive Measures to Avoid Chigger Bites
- Avoid wearing short clothes if you are going into the woods or a thickly vegetated area.
- Apply mosquito repellent on your hands and feet before going out.
- You can also make your own repellent by mixing peppermint oil, jojoba oil, lemongrass oil, lavender oil and a little bit of witch hazel, and use it as a spray.
- Have a bath if you doubt that you have a chigger bite after you come back.
- Avoid scratching the affected area as it may spread the infection to other areas.