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Home Remedies to Treat Chigger Bites

Chigger bites are also known as berry bugs, harvest mites or red mites. They are tiny red mites belonging to the arachnid family. These mites are usually found outdoors, especially in grassy fields, forest and slightly moist areas alongside lakes and streams. Their tiny claws allow them to attach tightly to human beings and animals. These mites are so small that they can be seen only through magnifying glass. It is difficult to spot them with naked eyes and hence it difficult to prevent from getting bitten.

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Symptoms of Chigger Bites

Chigger bites may not be instantly felt but the symptoms start to appear within few hours. The following are the most common symptoms of chigger bites,

  • Intense itching
  • Swelling
  • Rashes
  • Red bumps

Mostly these bites are not harmful but the discomfort and difficulty to sleep makes it more irritable. Hence it must be treated as soon as possible. The chigger bites usually occurs in the following area,

  • Waist
  • Ankles
  • Skin folds

Healing Time

It takes about one to three weeks for chigger bites to heal. However simple home remedies can be followed in order to reduce the itching and swelling. One should be careful not to scratch the area as it may lead to infection. In case of severe infection, it is better to consult a doctor.

Home Remedies to Treat Chigger Bites

1. Hot Shower

On being aware of the chigger bites, the first and foremost thing to do is to take a hot shower. This will cause the chiggers sticking to the body, to fall off. Thus the skin reactions will be minimized.

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What to Do?

  • Use a mild antiseptic soap and gently lather it all over the body while taking a shower
  • After the shower, pat dry the body using a soft cotton towel
  • Avoid rubbing the body vigorously as it may lead to painful rashes
  • Apply some olive oil or any light moisturizer to avoid itching due to dryness of the skin
  • Use lukewarm water for showering and also wash the clothes in hot water
2. Vicks Vapor Rub

After the hot shower, take a jar of Vicks vapor rub. This is a common medicine found in almost every house. Apart from treating stuffy nose, it takes care of insect bites too due to the presence of cooling menthol. It relives itching by affecting the itch receptors in the skin. It also reduced the risk of blisters and aids in faster healing of the chigger bites.

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What to Do?

  • Take some Vicks vapor rub and add a pinch of salt to it
  • Mix them thoroughly and then apply to the affected area
  • Repeat the process in case there is inflammation and swelling
3. Cold Compress

Cold compress is highly effective when it comes to treating chigger bites. It imparts a numbing effect which in turn reduces the sensation of itchiness.

cold-compress-for-chigger-bites

What to Do?

  • Wrap some ice cube in a thin cotton cloth
  • Apply this cold compress on the bites for 10 minutes
  • Take a break and repeat as and when needed until the itching is relieved
  • Soaking the affected area in cool water may also help in alleviating the itching
4. Baking Soda

Baking soda is another effective remedy to treat chigger bites. It helps in reducing the rashes as well as itchiness. It acts as a natural acid neutralizer and helps in reducing the risk of infection.

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What to Do?

  • Add one cup of baking soda to a bathtub filled with cool water
  • Mix well and soak in this water for 15 mintues
  • Pat dry using a soft cotton towel
  • Alternatively, you may also make a thin paste using two tablespoons of baking soda and little water
  • Apply this paste on the affected areas and leave it on for 10-15 minutes
  • Rinse it off with cool water and repeat once or twice a day
  • Be careful not to use baking soda on broken skin or open wounds
5. Oatmeal

Oatmeal consists of anti-irritating, anti-inflammatory and soothing properties that provide instant relief from the itching due to chigger bites. It is recommended to use colloidal oatmeal, which is oats ground into extremely fine powder.

oatmeal-for-chigger-bites

What to Do?

  • Add one cup of colloidal oat meal to a bathtub filled with warm water
  • Stir thoroughly to help the granules distribute evenly
  • Soak in this water for 15 to 20 minutes
  • Repeat this remedy twice a day or more depending on the severity of the symptoms
6. Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar has antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties that helps in reliving the itching caused due to chigger bites.

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What to Do?

  • Add two cups of raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar to a bathtub filled with lukewarm water
  • Soak in this water for at least 15 minutes
  • Pat dry the skin and apply a light moisturizer or olive oil to prevent dryness
  • Repeat this once or twice a day until the itching and rashes disappear
  • Alternatively, apple cider vinegar can also be applied directly for localized itching
  • Dab a cotton ball in apple cider vinegar and apply on the area of chigger bites
  • Wait for 30 minutes and then rinse it off using cool water
  • Repeat this remedy once or twice daily for a few days

The above home remedies are proven to be extremely helpful in treating chigger bites. If the symptoms persist, it is better to consult a doctor and follow these remedies along with the medicines recommended by the doctor.

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